Student looking for (unpaid) work, plans to apply to grad school this fall

Hi - A woman who graduated with a BS in physics in May contacted Kat Volk and me about research opportunities involving comets. I mentioned that LSST was the future in this field, especially for long-period comets. She did an REU a year ago that involved writing code in Python for modeling direct imaging of exoplanets and asked if someone on Rubin Observatory could use her skills. I said she shouldn’t work for free, but she said she makes enough money working 20 hours a week that she could work on a research project/do coding for about that number of hours. I can provide her CV if you’re interested.

She applied to a couple of grad schools last year and didn’t get in. I got the impression that no one gave her good advice. She plans to apply again this fall, although she indicated she might wait a year.

If this isn’t the right category for this post, please let me know.


Hi Luke. I’m with Rubin’s Community Science Team. It seems that the student is based in the United States, is this correct? If so, they have LSST data rights and one thing that comes to my mind is to apply for membership to the LSST Solar System Science Collaboration. Science Collaborations usually have support structures for junior members such as mentoring, networking, and professional development. Let me contact representatives from that SC and follow up.

Thanks so much, Andrés! Yes, she’s in the US.

Great! This is the form to join the SSSC. I got it from the Solar System Science Collaboration website. There are multiple working groups she could join, including the Outer Solar System working group. Each working group has a lead that could be contacted, and there is also an Early Career Representative who could be consulted as well.

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