REU Program

CTIO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program

The 2015 REU and PIA students in front of the 4-m Blanco Telescope on Cerro Tololo

The 2015 REU and PIA Students in front of the 4-m Blanco Telescope at CTIO 

The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO), located in La Serena, Chile, offers 10 week Undergraduate Research Assistantships to qualified undergraduates as part of the National Science Foundation funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The program is run during the Chilean summer, January through March, both to offer students an alternative to the more common northern summer programs, and to encourage interaction with Chilean students visiting and working at CTIO throughout these months as a part of the Práctica en Investigación en Astronomía (PIA) Program.  The 2016 CTIO REU program will run from January 8th to March 19th, 2016.  You can find answers to common questions about the CTIO REU program on the Frequently Asked Questions page: REU/PIA FAQ.

We do not offer the REU program during the northern summer months of June through August. Students interested in programs during this period should investigate the opportunities provided by the Kitt Peak National Observatory REU program and at other REU sites, as well as the listings of summer programs maintained by the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society, and on the Pathways to Science website.

More information on how to apply to the CTIO REU program can be found in the application instructions. The application deadline for the 2015 program has passed.  The application form for the 2016 program will be available after August 7, 2015, and applications for the 2016 program will be due October 1st, 2015. Our 2015 program accepted 6 REU students from U.S. institutions, and 2 PIA students from Chilean institutions.

The 2016 REU program advertisement flier can be downloaded here.

If you have any questions about the CTIO REU Program, please send email to

CTIO PIA Program 

Current and Past REU/PIA Programs


CTIO REU & PIA Programs Publication List