The 2021 GRAD-MAP Winter Workshop will take place online on January 4 - 10, 2021.


Note that all the meals, lodging, and transportation expenses are not applicable to 2021 Winter Workshop, as the workshop will be held online.

The Winter Workshop has no fee, and all meals, lodging, and transportation during the Workshop are covered by our sponsors (the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the NSF CAREER Program). Participants need only get themselves to and from College Park at the start and end of the Workshop, though we do have limited funding available to support some non-local travel. 


Any undergraduate student at a US institution potentially interested in pursuing a career/graduate school in physics or astronomy and who supports the GRAD-MAP mission may apply. Preference is given to students from institutions without significant undergraduate research opportunities, including community colleges, and students in the mid-Atlantic region. Students who identify as underrepresented minorities (including African-American, Latinx, and Native American) are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The application deadline for Winter Workshop 2021 is November 16 11:59 PM EST.



The Winter Workshop 2016 cohort. From top to bottom, left to right: Rebecca Rothhas, Francisco Martinez, Kevaughn Johnson, Rishap Lamichhane, Cristian Garcia, Jackie Erazo, Prakash Regmi, Ian Stringer, Christina Walker, Shayan Hajiabadi, Jp Ventura, and Madison Smith

Where and When


Professional Development

Perhaps the most important component of the Workshop is the professional development the students take part in.

  • Practical, honest discussions about getting internships, getting into graduate school, and career options with a PhD in astronomy or physics.

  • Development of skills beyond research, like writing application essays or giving good presentations.

  • Discussing the real, and different, challenges underrepresented minorities may face.

We navigate these discussions through facilitated seminars or panels and through informal conversations throughout the Workshop. 

Scientific Computing with Python

We lead tutorials and breakout sessions on the open-source, high-utility language Python, using the Anaconda distribution and  the Jupyter notebook system. Our tutorials are interactive, geared toward the new-to-coding learner, and adapted from the Goddard Python Bootcamp. Our tutorials are meant to introduce students to Python, show them examples of its application, and empower them to continue to practice it on their own, either independently or as part of a research project. 

Research Projects


All Winter Workshop participants carry out a mini-research project under the mentorship of physics and astronomy researchers. Past projects have ranged across many sub-disciplines, including cosmology, stellar astrophysics, planetary science, materials science, atomic physics, plasma physics, and  high energy astrophysics. All mentors and students are given guidance on building solid mentor-mentee relationships based on the University of Wisconsin's Research Mentoring resources. At the end of the Workshop, students give a final presentation summarizing what they did and learned.

Tours of Local Scientific Facilities

All tours will be held virtually for Winter Workshop 2021. The Washington, DC area is home to many laboratories and scientific facilities, which offer many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research for UMD students, summer internships, and even careers. We visit the following facilities:

  • National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)

  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank