International LIGO SURF Program 2021 LIGO-India - Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) hosts a 10-week summer student research program every year, called the LIGO SURF Program. In order to support the LIGO-India project, LIGO has graciously agreed to host a few talented and motivated undergraduate students from Indian institutions, pre-selected by LIGO-India Science Collaboration, as part of this program.

Link to the online application form for Indian Students (Closed for 2021)

The program encourages undergraduate students to participate in the development of gravitational-wave astronomy through the LIGO Project. Selected students will work on summer research projects either at the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California or at the LIGO Observatory sites in Washington or Louisiana. The program runs from mid-June through end of August, 2021. Considering the fact that the summer vacation period in major Indian undergraduate institutions starts early, LIGO/Caltech has agreed to host the Indian students during the period from mid-May through the end of July, 2021. The selected candidates are required to attend the full program. Please apply only if you will be able to attend the entire duration of the program during these dates. 

Below are details of the program and selection process:

  • The projects are mainly related to experimental physics and may contain some aspects of mechanical, electrical, control system, and software engineering. However, this is NOT an appropriate program for other aspects of engineering (such as civil, chemical or biological engineering).
  • Particular emphasis will be given on experimental projects; see here for a sample list of projects offered by this program in the past year. The projects require a strong background in fundamentals, motivation and hard work. Previous research experience in good experimental research projects, a proven academic track record, demonstrated a willingness for hard work and interest to work in the area of research will be highly valued.
  • This is a highly competitive program. We receive 300-400 applications from India from which only 2 or 3 are selected. Generic applications with no sign of significant motivation towards this area of research are discouraged.
If you think you satisfy all the criteria mentioned above, please apply using the online application indicating your interest in the LIGO SURF program. *** Application deadline is 10th Jan 2021***.

The ongoing and rapidly-developing COVID-19 situation gives rise to much uncertainty as to whether the 2021 LIGO SURF program will proceed on campus as planned, or remotely by Zoom as was done in summer 2020. We request your understanding and patience.

Selected Indian students: Summer 2021