Home



Welcome to the online home of TAURUS (Texas Astronomy: a University Research experience for Undergraduate Students). We are very excited to begin our first summer of the TAURUS program in the University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory! This program will introduce undergraduate students to the basics of astronomical research through individually designed projects and one-on-one mentorship. 

Mission Statement:
The TAURUS program is a full-time, 9-week summer research experience for highly-motivated undergraduate students from underserved and traditionally marginalized groups.  We prepare these excellent students to enter graduate school in top-rated astronomy programs or the STEM workforce by providing authentic research experiences, ongoing professional development, and community support beyond the conclusion of the summer program. We are committed to addressing structural and cultural marginalization (people of color, LGBTQIA, those with disabilities, intersectional groups) within academic research through discussion and building a strong sense of community via mutual respect as scientists, learners, and individuals.
Research topics available to students range from planets around other stars and stellar evolution, to galaxy formation and evolution and astronomical instrumentation. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will host a number of mini-workshops throughout the summer for TAURUS students to discuss topics related to astronomy careers, programming, research, scientific writing, and much more. Students will also take a trip to McDonald Observatory, a cutting-edge astronomical facility in West Texas. 

Students in the TAURUS program are provided housing on the University of Texas at Austin campus as well as travel funds for their trip to and from Austin. In addition, the students will receive competitive stipends. Pending supervisor approval, students will also get the opportunity to attend a winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society to present a poster on their work. 

This site will contain extra resources related to the seminars given to students throughout the summer. Check back often. This page will be updated frequently with information from the latest seminars. 

The inaugural year of the TAURUS program is generously supported by the Department of Astronomy though the Cox Endowment and Board of Visitors Funds.