Enhancing and Nurturing Careers in Astronomy with New Training Opportunities

ENCANTO (2022-2023)

Interested in Astronomy Research Experience? Apply for ENCANTO!
Application deadline: September 15, 2022

Enhancing and Nurturing Careers in Astronomy with New Training Opportunities (ENCANTO) - a year long research/educational program dedicated to the promotion of astronomy and astronomy career paths among students from UCF/Puerto Rican Universities by matching students up with mentors from fields they are interested in and assisting them in building basic astronomy skills and research experience.

Program Higlights

  • Undergraduate physics or engineering students from any university in Puerto Rico or UCF, Orlando, can apply for the program. Students do not need to be from the same institution as their mentor.
  • Year-long research projects mentored by Faculty from Universities and AO Scientists
  • 75-hour long research activity during each semester, plus 10-week long summer program at AO
  • Stipend paid to students for duration - Travel and housing support provided during the summer program
  • A basic course on Radio Astronomy combined with hands-on training with the 12-m telescope at AO
  • Wide choice of research projects/ Opportunity to work on instrumentation projects
  • Access to observing facilities and cutting-edge instrumentation labs at AO
  • AO/UCF seminar series by leading experts in the field of Astronomy
  • Visit to the 100-m class Green Bank Telescope and the Green Bank Observatory
  • Presenting the results of the research project at the AAS meeting + Undergraduate AAS membership for participants
  • A one-day, virtual graduate mentoring workshop
  • Part of initiative to get more women involved in astronomy careers as well
How to Apply

Applications are now closed!!

Who can Apply

Undergraduate physics or engineering students from any university in Puerto Rico or UCF, Orlando, are encouraged to apply for the program. Preference will be given to final year students. To apply for the program visit www.naic.edu/ao/encanto/apply.

Research Project Offered

For information about the research projects, click on the following link

Program Details

ENCANTO is a new partnership to recruit and expand the number of underrepresented students in Puerto Rico and Central Florida in Astrophysics by involving them in an intense research training and educational program and provide them guidance to a path to graduate programs.

The partners are the Arecibo Observatory (AO), the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Central Florida, and the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico. Students will participate in cutting edge collaborative research in galactic and extragalactic astronomy, astrochemistry, heliospheric physics and planetary science. The research projects offered make use of the observing facilities and archival data at AO and fall under the priority areas identified by Astro 2020. The selected final year undergraduate students will choose a research project from a wide range of projects offered by ENCANTO.

Each student will participate in the research during one academic year and then will join a 10 week long summer program at AO where they will continue working on the same research project.

A unique feature of ENCANTO is that the student will have the opportunity to work year long on a research project under the mentorship of both professors from universities and scientists from AO allowing them to go in depth on the project and take it to an advanced stage possibly even a publication. The partnership will have regular virtual meetings for the students to interact, which helps them to work together as a close-knit group of peers. The students will be provided stipend throughout the program and travel and housing expenses during summer. During the program, they will undertake an advanced course in Radio Astronomy, have opportunity for hands-on observing experience with the 12m telescope at AO, visit the Green Bank Observatory, participate in a one day graduate mentoring workshop and a three days partnership meeting at AO as well as attend virtual AO/UCF seminar series. The partners of ENCANTO are uniquely qualified for the task of improving minority access to astrophysics research because of their expertise in mentoring students with diverse backgrounds.

Partner Organizations & Mentors

Arecibo Observatory

  • D. Anish Roshi - aroshi at naic.edu -Interstellar medium, star formation, molecular cloud formation and radio astronomy instrumentation
  • P. K. Manoharan - Periasamy.Manoharan at ucf.edu -Heliophysics, Solar weather prediction
  • Ben Perera - Benetge.Perera at ucf.edu - Pulsars, FRBs, Gravitational waves
  • Allison Smith - Allison.Smith at ucf.edu - Interstellar medium, Intermediate velocity molecular clouds
  • Sravani Vaddi - Sravani.Vaddi at ucf.edu - Active galactic nuclei, VLBI technique
  • Christopher Salter - csalter at naic.edu -Galactic and extragalactic radio astronomy
  • Flaviane Venditti - venditti at ucf.edu - Radar Observations, Orbital Dynamics, Asteroid Modeling, Asteroid Deflection Techniques
  • Sean Marshall - smarshal at naic.edu - Shape Modeling of Asteroids, Radar, Asteroids
  • Max Devogel - mdevogel at naic.edu - Near Earth Objects, Spectroscopic, Photometric, Polarimetric & Radar Observations

  • The University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras

  • Mayra Lebrón - mayra.lebron3 at upr.edu - star formation, spectral line
  • Carmen Pantoja - carmen.pantoja1 at upr.edu - extragalactic astronomy

  • The University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo

  • Abel Méndez - abel.mendez at upr.edu - Stellar Habitability of Red-dwarf Stars

  • The University of Puerto Rico - Humacao

  • Desireé Cotto-Figueroa - desiree.cotto at upr.edu - Physical and dynamical characterization of Near-Earth Objects

  • The University of Central Florida:

  • Christopher Bennett - christopher.bennett at ucf.edu - interstellar medium, astrochemistry, spectroscopy, planetary instrumentation

  • The InterAmerican University, Bayamon:

  • Brett Isham - brettisham at gmail.com

  • Contact Persons
    Dr. Anish Roshi
    Arecibo Observatory
    University of Central Florida
    Head of Radio Astronomy
    aroshi at naic.edu
    Anna McGilvray
    Arecibo Observatory
    University of Central Florida
    Astronomy/Planetary Radar Scientific Teams
    amcgilvr at naic.edu
    ENCANTO is supported through the National Science Foundation (NSF) program, Partnerships in Astronomy & Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE), under the grant AST-2219150