The Alice Palma Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Alice Palma Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Thanks to a gift from a generous donor, the Department of Astronomy offers the Alice Palma Summer Undergraduate Research Program to encourage our majors to undertake research in astronomy. Students are paired with a graduate student or faculty mentor for a 10-week research experience on the Bloomington campus.

The Program is open to IU undergraduate majors in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Students receive a modest stipend for the 10 week program. The program runs concurrently with the Physics REU program so that students can also participate in activities organized by the Physics Department. Some flexibility in dates is possible to meet individual student needs.

Applying to the Alice Palma Research Program

The application period opens in the spring for students interested in participating in the summer program. Watch for an announcement about the application deadline. Application materials include an unofficial College transcript and a one-page personal statement of interest and experience; recommended length is between 250-500 words. The program is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors, although preference is given to rising sophomores and juniors.

At the conclusion of the program, students will give an oral presentation of their research. Opportunities to continue research projects into the fall semester for academic credit may be possible. Students may also be able to attend a meeting of the American Astronomical Society to present their research.

About Alice Palma

Alice Palma grew up in the Chicago area and received a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois. During World War II she served as an industrial chemist looking for impurities in the brass ingots (if any, they would show up with a mass spectrometer), testing the efficacy of newly-discovered penicillin, and testing zinc samples for impurities. She also taught English literature at Day-adult High School in Indianapolis.

Ms. Palma was a life-long learner with a wide range of interests ranging among astronomy, geology, music and even epigenetics. She loved travel, albeit vicariously, to learn about cultures, people, food, geography, history, flora and fauna. She exemplifies the deep curiosity about the world that we hope to encourage in our students. The Department is honored to host the Undergraduate Research Program in her name and we appreciate the support of the Palma family in establishing the program.