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

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project - Course dates: October 1 - November 21
The Inclusive STEM Teaching Project, a NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program, is hosting a free six-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from October 1 - November 21 via edX. Join a community of nearly 8,000 faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff for the online course this spring. The course aims to advance your awareness, self-efficacy, and ability to cultivate inclusive classroom environments to enhance learning in STEM for all students. Register today!

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."

LPI Planetary Science Weekly Seminar - Thursdays @ 3:00 p.m. CT
Tune in to LPI's virtual planetary science seminars to hear about cutting edge research from scientists around the world. To receive detailed information about upcoming webinars, as well as directions for how to join, sign up for our 'LPI Seminars' newsletter.


Internships and Fellowships

JPL Year-Round Internship Program - Rolling applications
The JPL Year-Round Internship Program offers part-time and full-time internship opportunities at JPL during the academic year as well as summers to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Maximizing Student Potential in STEM - Rolling applications
Maximizing Student Potential in STEM, or MSP, offers part-time and full-time fellowship opportunities at JPL to underrepresented students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowships at Virginia Tech - Deadline: October 1
Virginia Tech’s new, competitively awarded Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship seeks to strengthen the university’s ability to recruit outstanding, diverse postdoctoral associates. Fellowships are awarded in four tracks (Research Frontiers, Cybersecurity, Innovation, Science Policy) that are open to applicants from any discipline or field. The deadline to apply is October 1, 2023.

NASA Spring 2024 Internships - Applications open
NASA internships allow students to contribute to agency projects under the guidance of a NASA mentor. The deadline for Spring 2024 applications is in November. For the optimal chance of being considered for Spring 2024 projects, submit your full application by November 1.

Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP) - November 1
The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP) offers opportunities for independent research or study related to Smithsonian collections, facilities, and/or research interests of the Institution and its staff. Fellowships are offered to graduate students, predoctoral students, and postdoctoral and senior researchers to conduct independent research and to utilize the resources of the Institution with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff serving as advisors and hosts. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2023.

Community College Internships (CCI) - Deadline: October 4
The Community College Internships (CCI) program seeks to encourage community college students to enter technical careers relevant to the DOE mission by providing technical training experiences at the DOE laboratories. Selected students work on technologies or instrumentation projects or major research facilities supporting DOE’s mission, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers during 10-week appointments. Applications close on October 4, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) - Deadline: October 4
The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Selected students perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting the DOE mission during 10- to 16-week appointments. Applications close on October 4, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET.


Scholarships and Awards

Funded Travel & Training: Gateway to Graduate Studies in Science - Deadline: October 2
This opportunity is for finishing undergraduate students, postbaccalaureate and Masters students from all STEM majors to visit the University of Texas at Austin and learn about graduate research opportunities, degree programs, and applying to graduate school. This event is free, and the cost of your travel, lodging and meals while in Austin is covered! This opportunity is open to prospective students from all majors. Applications are due by October 2, 2023.

Ford Foundation Fellowship - Deadline: December 12
Predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellowships are awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties. Applications open on September 5 and close on December 12, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

NSF GRFP - Deadlines: October 16-20
The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000. Applications are open. GRFP applications close between October 16-20, 2023.

NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) with Minority Serving institutions (MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship - Applications open soon
The NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) with Minority Serving institutions (MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to study a wide range of science, engineering, mathematical, computer, technology and social science disciplines related to NOAA’s mission and objectives. During the internships portion of the award, the scholar is provided opportunities for hands-on research at participating NOAA facilities. Scholars receive financial assistance for two academic years, a bi-weekly stipend and housing allowance during summer internships. Applications for 2024 open on September 1, 2023.

Hertz Fellowship - Applications open soon
The Hertz Fellowship is awarded annually to the nation’s most promising graduate students in science and technology. Using a rigorous, merit-based process, we identify innovators with the greatest potential to create transformative solutions to the world's most urgent challenges. The applications for the 2024 class of Hertz Fellows opens on August 14, 2023.


Opportunities to Participate

2024 RASC-AL Competition - Notice of Intent Deadline: October 11
The 2024 RASC-AL competition invites collegiate-level teams (undergraduate and/or graduate students) to develop new concepts that leverage innovation to improve our ability to operate on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. This year’s themes range from developing large-scale lunar surface architectures to designing new systems for in-space travel and exploration. The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent is October 11, 2023. Competition entries will be due on March 7, 2024.

2024 Gateways to Blue Skies Competition - Notice of Intent Deadline: October 16
As climate change increasingly influences the frequency and severity of natural disasters on a global scale, NASA Aeronautics seeks to crowdsource aviation-related systems and technology applications to help prepare for natural disasters. Through the 2024 Blue Skies Competition, teams of students (undergraduate and/or graduate) will conceptualize potential systems and solutions. The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent is October 16, 2023. Competition entries will be due on February 27, 2024.

2024 Human Lander Challenge (HuLC) - Notice of Intent Deadline: October 22
The Human Lander Challenge (HuLC) is an initiative supporting NASA’s efforts to explore innovative solutions for a variety of Human Landing System (HLS) challenge areas. Through this competition, college students (undergraduate and/or graduate) contribute to the advancement of HLS technologies, concepts, and approaches. The 2024 HuLC competition focuses on the mitigation of lunar Plume-Surface Interaction (PSI). The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent is October 22, 2023. Competition entries will be due on March 4, 2024.

International Observe the Moon Night - October 21, 2023
International Observe the Moon Night is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon. Registration is open - join an event or organize your own!

Europa Clipper's Message in a Bottle
Send your name to Jupiter's moon Europa by signing a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón that will travel aboard NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft. Your name will be engraved on the spacecraft before it travels 1.8 billion miles on a mission to see if this ocean world has conditions to support life.

Workshops in 2023: 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 2023 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.



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.

Resources for Scholars
The Louis Stokes Center for Promotion of Academic Careers (LS-PAC) is a data-driven center dedicated to broadening participation in the STEM professoriate through mentoring, networking, and professional development. They provide resources for undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and faculty and staff.


Additional Information

NRC Research Associateship Program - Applications open on September 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. The next round of applications opens on September 1, 2023.

Multiple Postdoctoral Positions in Lunar Science at Brown University - Applications being accepted
The LunaSCOPE NASA SSERVI Team hosted at Brown University invites applications for multiple Postdoctoral Research Scholars that complement and enhance existing research into the Moon on topics of (1) magma oceans, (2) magnetism, (3) volcanism and tectonism, (4) volatiles, (5) regolith and impacts, and (6) Earth-Moon orbital, stress, and tidal evolution. LunaSCOPE seeks qualified candidates who can contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion through service, mentorship, teaching, and scholarship. Applications will be initially reviewed on August 1, 2023 and on a rolling basis thereafter.

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.

NRC Research Associateship Program - Applications open on September 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 open on September 1.

DEVELOP Internship - Deadline: October 6
As part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, DEVELOP addresses environmental and policy concerns through the practical application of NASA Earth observations. DEVELOP projects apply Earth observations to the application areas of agriculture, disasters, ecological forecasting, energy, health and air quality, transportation and infrastructure, urban development, and water resources. As an interdisciplinary program, DEVELOP accepts participants with skills in a variety of fields. Students, recent graduates, and early career professionals with an interest in Earth science are encouraged to apply. Applications for the Spring 2024 term open on August 28, 2023 and close on October 6, 2023.


  Join our group on Facebook      RSS Feed

Get the solar system in your inbox.

Sign up for Planetary Science News for Students