Update: October 1st, 2018
Information regarding LEAPS 2019 will begin to be posted in late 2018
Leiden Observatory and ESA are pleased to welcome applications for the sixth edition of the LEAPS program. Application are carried out through this application form and the deadline is scheduled for February 23, 2018. If you have any questions about the application process or the program, please . If you want to know more about the projects on offer, please email the project supervisor directly by clicking on their name below.
LEAPS is an opportunity for students with an interest in astronomy and astrophysics to perform a 10-12 week summer research project in collaboration with a research scientist from Leiden Observatory or ESA. The program is open to all students not currently engaged in a Ph.D. program, although most past participants have been senior-undergraduate or masters' students who are enthusiastic about research in astrophysics.
Students will be selected for the program based on their academic achievements and research potential, and will be matched to staff projects based on what they indicate their scientific interests to be. Research at Leiden Observatory and ESA takes place on a diverse array of topics (see below), and student projects will likely consist of anything from the analysis of data from world-class telescopes, to large computer simulations, to hands-on work in the astrochemistry laboratories.
Projects will begin in June 2018 and end by mid-August 2018.
Leiden Observatory (located in the Huygens and Oort buildings) is a world-class institute for research in astronomy and astrophysics based in the Netherlands, approximately 35km from Amsterdam. The atmosphere at the observatory is dynamic, with approximately 100 faculty/research scientists and 70 graduate students engaged in astrophysical research on a wide range of topics. Major fields of interest include extrasolar planets, star formation, cosmology, galaxy formation, instrumentation, and astrochemistry. Multiple research projects will likely be available within these fields.
ESTEC is the main technical centre for the European Space Agency (ESA), responsible for spacecraft integration. ESA develops and manages many types of space missions, from exploration, telecommunications, to earth and space science. The Research and Scientific Support Department at ESTEC consists of approximately 40 staff scientists, with research interests ranging from the geology of planets in our solar system, to plasma physics in the magnetosphere of the Earth, space weather, to observational astronomy with ESA's space missions such as Planck, Herschel, GAIA and EUCLID. Due to tight security requirements for entry to the ESTEC complex, students who work in collaboration with the ESTEC Research Fellows will be based primarily at Leiden Observatory and their advisor will meet with them on a regular basis.
Students accepted into the LEAPS program will be provided with travel costs to/from Leiden. We will also provide housing accommodations near the observatory, as well as a modest stipend to help with living costs during the internship. Leiden is a small, picturesque university town located between the major cities of Amsterdam and The Hague. Summer is a beautiful time of year to be in Leiden, and we encourage LEAPS students to socialize and use their free time to enjoy the numerous summertime activities available in Holland. English is widely spoken throughout the Netherlands and international students should find it easy to live in the Leiden area. We are planning several field trips for LEAPS students including visits to the ESTEC complex where many ESA satellites are being built, and potentially to the LOFAR radio array, the world's largest low-frequency radio telescope.
The program is open to all international students provided they are not currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program. ESA projects are only available for students from ESA member or affiliate states (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada). Students from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia (affilliate members) can also apply for ESA projects. The working language of the observatory is English, and students should be sufficiently proficient in English to perform a research project.
Apply here: web submission formDeadline for applications: February 23, 2018, 23:59 CET
These are the proposed research projects for LEAPS 2018. Please note that not all projects will go ahead and some may still be added in the near future. Final funding decisions lie with the Faculty sponsors. And please make a note that if you are interested in an ESA project, to check if your state is an ESA member or affiliate state.
Please note that the ESA projects are only available for students from ESA member or affiliate states (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Canada). Students from Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Slovenia (affilliate members) can also apply for ESA projects.
LEAPS 2015 was a great success! Twenty-two students from four continents spent their summer in Leiden doing astrophysics research.
The 2013, and 2014 groups of LEAPS students also performed very well and the first scientific publications are out!
ESTEC group picture (joint tour with ASTRON summer school).
The rain could chase us away from LOFAR! (not quite drenched yet in this picture).
The 2013 LEAPS students (and some supervisors) on their visit to the Westerbork Radio telescope in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands.