Skip to main content

Heliophysics Summer School Recruitment Announcement

Remote phase of NASA Heliophysics Summer School from July 17-21, 2023, and In-Person phase from August 7-11, 2023

"Observational Heliophysics"

Applications for the 2023 Summer School have closed. Please check back next fall for the class of 2024 application deadline.

CPAESS partners with NASA to hold the Heliophysics Summer School each year. We invite you to apply for the 2023 NASA Heliophysics Summer School, which will be held both virtually and in-person this year. We are seeking students to join us this coming summer for a unique professional experience. They will learn about the exciting science of heliophysics as a broad, coherent discipline that reaches in space from the Earth’s troposphere to the depths of the Sun, and in time from the formation of the solar system to the distant future.

The Heliophysics Summer School focuses on the physics of core processes that describe the domains of the heliosphere (solar interior and corona, solar wind, magnetospheres, ionospheres, and the heliosphere boundary) and emphasizes the unifying concepts between these domains. The 2023 Summer School will focus on Observational Heliophysics. In the last two decades, observations of the space environment and the broader heliosphere environment has grown tremendously with dozens of spacecraft missions, and a full range of ground based efforts. Individual instruments use a variety of fundamental techniques and understanding the details of these measurements are important to interpreting the results and building a model of the space environment. This summer school will review those techniques including: spectroscopy, plasma measurements, magnetometers, radio astronomy and ionosondes, energetic particle detectors, and energetic neutral atoms and others. During the summer school, participants will learn about the fundamental physics of these measurements, how they are implemented in spacecraft and ground based instruments, practice critical analysis of data with an eye towards uncertainties and errors, consider the stakeholders and consumers of the data sources, and discuss the tension between intellectual property and open science with respect to this data. 

The lecture series will include a core set of lectures covering the fundamentals of Heliophysics and the underlying plasma physics using a lecture tutorial approach.  In addition, leading researchers will provide insights into the relationship between global models and observations. The lectures will be supplemented with hands-on laboratory exercises that explore the fundamentals of the Sun-Earth system and compare the output of various models to observations. The aim of the summer school is to provide students with the background and understanding needed to do research and make discoveries about the interconnected Heliophysics system in their professional careers. Another aim is for participants to build a network of colleagues from the summer school.

The school will be based on lectures, laboratories, and recitations from world experts, and will draw material from the textbook Principles of Heliophysics: a textbook on the universal processes behind planetary habitability, available online with free access. It will also make use of model results from the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC).

Approximately 50 students will be selected through a competitive process organized by the UCAR Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science. The school will be broken into two sections a Virtual Week from July 17-21, 2012 to enable more participants; and an In-Person week in Boulder, Colorado from August 7-11, 2023. Each in-person participant receives full travel support for airline tickets, lodging, and per diem costs.

Student Application Requirements

  • Currently enrolled as a graduate student in any phase of training, or first or second year postdoctoral fellow
  • Major in physics with an emphasis on astrophysics, geophysics, plasma physics, and space physics, or experienced in at least one of these areas.
  • Pursuing a career in heliophysics or astrophysics


For further information please e-mail or

The Living With a Star program of the Heliophysics Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate sponsors the Summer Schools. The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) CPAESS collaborates with NASA in administering the schools.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is an EE/AAE who values and encourages diversity in the workplace. Images courtesy of NASA.