Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question regarding the ASSURE program? Check to see if your question is answered below. If not, please email with your question and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Who is eligible to apply to ASSURE?

All applicants must be actively pursing an undergraduate degree as of the beginning of the Fall 2024 semester. In most cases, this will mean applicants who are enrolled in a community college, junior college, university or other institution of higher education. Students who are graduating before the beginning of the 2024 Fall semester are not eligible. 

Applicants majoring in physics, engineering, math, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, chemistry, or similar topics are encouraged to apply. They should be interested in the fields of space sciences and engineering. As this program is supported by the National Science Foundation, successful applicants must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents (green card holders). At this time, other foreign nationals are not eligible to apply. 

When is the deadline?

Applications are due 11:59 pm PST on Friday, March 1st, 2024 (23:59 Pacific Time).

What financial support is available to participants?

A stipend of $600 per week for the ten-week duration of the program is available to participants (total of $6000 for the summer). In addition, housing and meals are provided to those who do not have local accommodations, most likely at the International House at UC Berkeley. 

When will I know if I've been selected?

The ASSURE team will begin the selection process once the deadline has passed (March 1, 2024) and expect to be offering places on the ASSURE program by mid-March. You will receive notification via email, so please make sure your email address is entered correctly!

When will I find out what my research project is and who will my mentor be?

Each year we will have a new list of exciting and cutting edge projects for ASSURE interns. Once these are confirmed, we will post the project descriptions. Previous years projects can be found here

In order to ensure that you are matched with a mentor with whom who you can work successfully, the ASSURE program matches students with mentors during the first week of program. The entire cohort will participate in “science speed-dating” where students and mentors can chat directly with each other about their expectations and interests. After this process, students and mentors then select their top research partners for the summer and the ASSURE staff then work to accommodate everyone’s wishes. Participating in ASSURE means that you are open to carrying out a research project in space sciences in general (relating to the Sun, Earth, interplanetary medium, comets, other planets and other topics) and are open to the idea of being placed with a mentor in any of these fields. If this is not acceptable, please feel free to contact us at and we can see what we can do to try to accommodate you, if necessary. 

I really want to apply but I've missed the deadline!

If you are really interested in this program but it is after March 1st, please email

What if I don't know how to code?

While knowing how to write computer programs is not a requirement to participate in ASSURE, it will be beneficial for a number of the projects offered during the program (check out previous years projects here). IDL, MatLab, Python, C and fortran (yes, fortran!) are the most commonly used at SSL. Don’t worry if you haven’t used these before. Learn Python The Hard Way and Code Academy are two great places to begin if you want to learn some programming skills before the summer begins. Many programming languages are transferrable, so start with one (we recommend Python) and get familiar with that to begin with.

I was a community college student but I'm taking a break from studies at the moment. Can I apply?

If you are registered as an undergraduate student for the fall semester of 2024, then you are eligible to apply.

I won't be able to begin the program until a week after it starts. Is this a problem?

We strongly encourage all students to arrive in Berkeley in time to begin with the rest of the cohort on June 4th, 2024. The first week of the program is “Space Science Boot Camp” where interns participate in an intensive week of workshops and training in preparation for conducting their research projects. In addition, you will miss the opportunity to interview the potential research mentors on the first day. If you know in advance that you will not be available to attend the boot camp week, please email with details. 

Do I need research experience to apply?

You don’t have to have any research experience to be successful in ASSURE. For some of our projects, experience with computer programming will be beneficial.

What can I expect from ASSURE?

You can read the descriptions of our past projects here. The 2023 ASSURE interns put together a video to explain what you can expect from the program. Watch it now!