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Working at STScI
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Space Astronomy Summer Program
Working at STScI

Space Astronomy Summer Program

About the Institute

The Space Telescope Science Institute was established in 1981 as the science operations center for the Space Telescope (later named the Hubble Space Telescope in honor of Edwin Hubble, a great American cosmologist). STScI has a staff of research astronomers to support the operations of Hubble and the use and knowledge of Hubble's scientific instruments. More recently, STScI was named by NASA to be the science operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a 6.5-meter infrared telescope that will be launched in 2018.

Today the Institute has a total staff of about 500 and is regarded as one of the premier astronomical institutions in the world. Some of our staff are provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), which helps to make STScI an institution with a strong international flavor. The staff of the Institute are engaged in a broad range of activities that support HST, JWST, and other missions as well. As an active research institution, STScI offers many opportunities to learn about the current state of astrophysics and how to successfully run a space-based observatory.

The Institute Environment

As an active research institution, STScI offers many opportunities to learn about the current state of astrophysics and how to successfully run a space-based observatory. During the summer months, various social events (science coffee, talk series, Director's tea) bring staff together to discuss current events in astronomy. Most of the STScI staff are housed in the main Mueller building. Several staff members have offices across the street in the JHU Bloomberg Physics and Astronomy building.

STScI has a first-rate astronomical research library, rich in both on-shelf and on-line resources. The library is a daily gathering point for informal science discussions over coffee, and there are other gatherings every week as well for staff to meet each other. Our colleagues in the Johns Hopkins Physics and Astronomy Department are just across the street and they also offer opportunities to learn about and discuss current research in astrophysics.


In addition to numerous local restaurants, STScI also has an excellent in-house cafeteria, CafИ Azafran.

Access to JHU Facilities

STScI is located at the edge of the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University. STScI is an independent entity, run by a consortium of universities, but employees of the Institute have access to the campus facilities. In particular, students may borrow books from the JHU Eisenhower library and may use the athletic facilities. The library is at no cost, but the athletic facilities charge a fee for use.

SASP Students at the Institute

Workspace and Computers

For the SASP summer internship program we will provide either a shared workspace for summer students, or place students at a desk in their supervisor's office.

Laptop computers will be provided for students. Students are welcome to bring their own laptops as well, but it is not required.


STScI summer students receive a monetary stipend for the time they are employed as interns at STScI. This stipend is comparable to other astronomical summer internships in the US.