What to Expect

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NAC Summer Experience

What to expect

The NAC cohort program consists of the following key ingredients:

  • While at the cohort sites, the students participate in weekly NAC group meetings and NAC activities. Summer schedules include, with some customization at each site, the following:
    • professional development workshops
    • "nag-and-brag" check-ins
    • opportunities to meet with inspirational and influential professionals in the field of astronomy
    • conversations with representatives from a variety of career areas in astronomy (e.g. scientists, data analysts, EPO, human resources, etc.)
    • public speaking, networking, and talking about your science training
  • Following the summer internship experience, students attend the NAC workshop (typically held in September in Washington, DC), where they present their research to each other, and to representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, professional societies, and universities from around the country.

Beyond the Summer

  • Over the fall semester, the students are expected to continue their research at their home institution in collaboration with their home faculty member and the NAC mentor in preparation for the AAS meeting. 
  • Additionally the students are encouraged to remain actively involved with the NAC via events arranged by the NAC CORE (cohort alums who help facilitate peer-engagement among NAC alums).
  • NAC students are expected to present a poster, describing their summer research, at the Winter AAS meeting. Students will work with their mentor to design a poster, and submit an abstract in late September to the AAS. The NAC program provides full travel support for students who present at the AAS meeting.
  • The NAC program offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities to NAC alums well beyond their summer experience (see Resources for NAC Alumni tab).