Planetary Science News for Students

Find up-to-date information and resources for students and early career researchers in planetary science. To learn more about opportunities at the LPI, visit Internships or Postdoctoral Positions.

Student Workshops and Events Internships and Fellowships Scholarships and Awards Opportunities to Participate Resources Additional Information


Student Workshops and Events

Webinar: Perseverance: Three Years of Exploring Mars - June 27 @ 8:00 p.m. CT
Join the NASA Night Sky Network for a free webinar presentation by Dr. Kim Steadman that will discuss the Perseverance Rover and its explorations on Mars. The Perseverance Rover has spent three years exploring Jezero Crater. After exploring the crater floor, Perseverance is now exploring the Delta and working its way to the crater rim.

Virtual Workshops: Graduate School Applications - Dates in July, August, and September
Navigating the graduate admissions process can be daunting - that's why the University of Kansas is offering virtual workshops (on 7/2, 7/31, 8/2, 8/15, 9/5, and 9/6) to equip applicants with essential knowledge and resources for applying to graduate programs in the geosciences. Participants will review the timeline to applying to graduate school, explore the different kinds of graduate programs, learn how to craft CVs, get tips for writing statements of purpose and so much more! The workshops are part of a research project designed to assess whether students experience an increase in self-efficacy after attending workshops that inform them of the steps and resources. Fill out the survey to sign up.

Europa Clipper 2024 Lecture Series
The Europa Clipper Project is happy to welcome the scientific community to the Europa Clipper Lecture Series. Speakers in this series include a variety of Europa enthusiasts ranging from, for example, the PIs of the recently awarded PSIE grants to the authods of recently published Europa-relevant papers to members of NASA HQ. Talks are typically held biweekly on Fridays from 1 - 2 p.m. CT. Sign up for the email distribution list to get updates about upcoming lectures.

Free Online Training from NASA: Open Science 101
NASA's Transform to Open Science (TOPS) initiative is designed to transform agencies, organizations, and communities to an inclusive culture of open science. TOPS's first priority is to develop the infrastructure to train scientists and researchers as part of our 5-year program. The open science curriculum will introduce those beginning their open science journey to important definitions, tools, and resources; and provide participants at all levels recommendations on best practices.

Free Online Training: Overcoming the Struggle to Write
Check out this free, interactive, on-demand 1-hour training in academic writing by Dr. Anna Clemens. This training is ideal for postdoctoral researchers who want to write scientific papers with a structured process in a controlled time frame. Dr. Clemens is an academic writing coach with a background in both science and journalism who has worked with hundreds of researchers inside her online program, the Researchers’ Writing Academy.

The Postdoc Academy - Free online courses
The Postdoc Academy offers two free online courses on edX featuring asynchronous, self-paced content: "Succeeding as a Postdoc" and "Building Skills for a Successful Career."


Internships and Fellowships

NASA Psyche Inspired Internship - Deadline: July 26
NASA's Psyche mission invites full-time, enrolled undergraduate students majoring in any subject at universities and community colleges in the U.S. and its territories to apply to become part of this year’s cohort of Psyche Inspired interns. Psyche Inspired brings undergraduate students together to share the excitement, innovation, and scientific and engineering content of NASA’s Psyche mission with the public through artistic and creative works. The deadline to apply is July 26, 2024.

Postdoctoral Positions: USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program - Deadline: June 17
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program provides postdoctoral Fellows opportunities to work on research with USGS scientists to enhance their scientific stature and credentials and to advance USGS science. Two Fellowships, specializing in geophysics and in remote sensing, are accepting applications. The deadline to apply for these positions is June 17, 2024.

NASA Postdoctoral Program - Deadline: July 1
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) offers unique research opportunities to highly-talented U.S. and non-U.S. scientists to engage in ongoing NASA research projects at a NASA Center, NASA Headquarters, or at a NASA-affiliated research institute. These one- to three-year fellowships are competitive and are designed to advance NASA’s missions in space science, Earth science, aeronautics, space operations, exploration systems, and astrobiology. The application deadline is Monday, July 1, 2024 at 6 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.

NASA Internships
NASA's Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) offers paid internships to high school and college-level students. More than 2,000 internship opportunities are provided each year - including for non-STEM majors! Interns gain practical work experience while working side-by-side with research scientists, engineers, and individuals from many other professions. Internships may be full time or part time; and, they may be on a NASA center or facility, or even working from your home or dorm. Sessions are offered each Spring, Summer, and Fall. Check the website regularly to find new opportunities.


Scholarships and Awards

Geoscience IDEA Scholarship - Deadline: June 30
The 2024 application cycle for the Geoscience IDEA Scholarship is underway! The Geoscience Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, and Accessibility (IDEA) Scholarship program encourages women from under-served communities to pursue an education and career in the Geosciences, or Earth Sciences. The scholarship provides up to $5000 (USD) in awards, annually, typically split between two or more undergraduate students, and matches them with AWG mentors to enhance their careers. The application deadline is June 30, 2024.

Sand Student Research Presentation Travel Award - Deadline: August 10
The Sand Student Travel Award provides women geoscience students with support to present their research at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA). The award is to be used to help defray travel, lodging, registration fee, and other expenses associated with the presentation of the awardee’s research. Two awards will be made each year for $750 each. The deadline to apply is August 10, 2024.

David E. Lumley Young Scientist Scholarship - Deadline: August 12
The David E. Lumley Young Scientist Scholarship for Energy and Environmental Science is for high school and undergraduate students with an interest in environmental science and energy. Its purpose is to inspire today’s young minds to work on problems of global importance in both the energy and environmental sectors of industry and academia. The Lumley Scholarship application will open on July 10, 2024. The deadline to apply is August 12, 2024

David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship - Deadline: August 12
The David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students in geo-environmental sciences or engineering. This scholarship is for students who exhibit an interest and academic potential in fields related to Earth science. One scholarship is awarded each year to a student who demonstrates an ability to leverage their scientific education to benefit society. The Miller Scholarship application will open on July 10, 2024. The deadline to apply is August 12, 2024

The Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award - Deadline: August 16
The Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award is for undergraduate or graduate students, of any nationality, working in any country, in the disciplines of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, astronomy, or biology. The award, which will include $3000, is to be applied for the study of impact craters, either on Earth or on the other solid bodies in the solar system. The deadline to submit an application, including letters of recommendation, is August 16, 2024.


Opportunities to Participate

Black Space Week 2024
This series of events is organized by Black In Astro, and includes networking opportunities, a Hubble Fellows panel, undergraduate and graduate research showcases, and more.

AWG Mid-Career Excellence Award - Nomination deadline: July 15
The AWG Mid-Career Excellence Award is given annually to one honoree in recognition of significant contributions to the Earth and space sciences by an outstanding mid-career woman scientist. Each honoree will be evaluated in the following two areas: Scientific Excellence and Distinguished Service. These areas demonstrate a balance between professional Earth or space science careers, and outstanding service to their communities. Nominations are due July 15, 2024.

Virtual Space Biosciences Training Course: STAR - Deadline: June 28
Spaceflight Technology, Applications, and Research (STAR) is a virtual, international NASA training course in space biosciences. The annual course targets principal investigators, senior research scientists, and postdoctoral scholars. Its purpose is to facilitate participants’ entry to space biology and to prepare them for conducting spaceflight experiments using NASA and commercial platforms. The STAR-5 Course will take place virtually between September 2024 and February 2025 and will consist of weekly virtual seminars. The deadline to apply is June 28, 2024.

Workshops in 2024: Culturally Inclusive Planetary Engagement
Planetary scientists and astrobiologists (including graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, engineers and technicians) and informal (out-of-school time) educators are invited to apply to attend a 2024 Culturally Inclusive Planetary Engagement professional development workshop organized by the LPI. During these workshops, scientists and educators are paired together and supported in bi-directional conversations around diversity and inclusion in engaging Black and Latinx audiences in planetary science.

NASA's Citizen Science Projects
NASA’s citizen science projects are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, volunteers (known as citizen scientists) have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries.

National Postdoctoral Association
The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) was established with the goal of fostering necessary improvements to the postdoctoral situation in the United States. With a focus on advocacy, resource development, and commitment to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, the NPA strives to improve the postdoctoral experience at the individual, organizational, and national levels. Join a community of over 70,000 scholars across more than 300 institutions.

Future Leaders of Ocean Worlds
Future Leaders of Ocean Worlds (FLOW) is a multidisciplinary group of early career scientists and engineers (undergrads, grad students, postdocs, research scientists and others <10 years post terminal degree) interested in ocean worlds and actively engaged in research relating to planetary science, origins of life, astrobiology, cryospheres, and/or oceanography. We seek to foster collaboration, develop community, and advance the interests of early career ocean world researchers.



NASA Astrobiology Graphic Novels (including "Becoming an Astrobiologist")
If you’re interested in life beyond Earth and graphic novels, NASA has you covered! "Astrobiology: The NASA Graphic History Series" details what astrobiologists do, theories on the origin of life, missions to various celestial objects, and what life beyond our solar system could look like. In the latest issue, "Becoming an Astrobiologist," explore what to study in school and which opportunities can help you start a scientific career in exploring life beyond Earth.

Careers at NASA
NASA is more than astronauts. We are scientists, engineers, IT specialists, human resources specialists, accountants, writers, technicians and many other kinds of people working together to break barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Planetary Science REU Programs
This is a searchable list of REU programs where students can work on research program in planetary science. The individual entries note the specific planetary fields in the particular program. The information here is meant as a starting point, a first-stop to see a summary of what is out there.

NSF REU Database
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program.

Paid Research Programs for Students
Browse a database of paid research programs assembled by Cientifico Latino. Research experiences for undergraduates (REUs, also known as SURPs or SURFs) are paid summer internships, usually for 6-8 weeks (sometimes including housing) at research institutions. Undergraduates are paired with a lab and gain valuable research experience. These are extremely helpful for obtaining post-graduate jobs in STEM and applying to graduate or professional schools.

AGU Career Center
No matter your career stage, professional and career development are important to advancing yourself and helping guide others. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) provides career and educational resources, webinars, mentoring services, and support for students and professionals at all levels in Earth and space science. Visit AGU’s Career Center to find current job postings for various career levels.

NOAA Student Opportunities Database
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has opportunities for students of any level, from high school, undergraduate and graduate, to recent graduates. Opportunities include one-day events, summer internships at NOAA, multi-year fellowships, and more.


Additional Information

NRC Research Associateship Program - Deadline: August 1
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Fellowships Office conducts the NRC Research Associateship Programs in cooperation with sponsoring federal laboratories and other research organizations at over 100 locations throughout the U.S. and abroad. As NRC Research Associates, selected postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers conduct independent research, access unique facilities and expertise, and collaborate with leading experts. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. The next round of applications opens on June 1 and closes on August 1, 2024.

NSF ETAP (Education and Training Platform)
Browse a searchable database of NSF Opportunities to discover what could be the next step in your academic journey. Search by keyword or use the filters to find Opportunities relevant to your interests. Start your application when you find a good fit or save it to come back to when you’re ready.

Graduate Schools for Planetary Science
DPS has compiled a list of the graduate programs which can lead to a PhD with a planetary science focus.

Planetary Science MS/ PhD Positions
This spreadsheet organized by DPS lists open MS/PhD positions in planetary science.

JPL Postdoctoral Postitions
Find current job openings for postdoctoral scholars at the JPL. The academic environment at JPL is strongly informed by its role as part of Caltech. Post-docs have always been a critical element of the research community, and JPL is committed to providing ample opportunity with the right framework for success.

LPI Postdoctoral Positions
Review postdoctoral researcher positions available at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. LPI's science team pursues innovative research, supports NASA programs, provides a connection to the university scientific community, and contributes scientific knowledge and expertise to all of the Institute's programs and activities.


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