Program Benefits and Boundaries

NINE participants study in-person at a NRAO United States-based site for 6-9 weeks (unless the Observatory is only offering the program virtually), developing relationships with mentors and peers.

For in-person activities, NRAO facilitates and provides funding for travel, housing, and per diem. Participants are required to provide proof of health and travel insurance and must obtain an entrance visa. Interim travel to home site is not included.  Between 2019-2023, as we focus on developing a network of Hubs in the Central America-Caribbean region, new partner Hubs are developed through our partnership with Alpha-Cen. The application process below will resume ~January, 2024.  

Application Process

  • Until January 2024, applications are accepted only through our partnership with Alpha-Cen 
  • Meet with Anja Fourie, NINE Program Director ( or Lyndele von Schill, ODI Director (
  • Contact Information
  • Name (First, Middle, Last)
  • E-mail Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Web Page URL (if appropriate)

Background Information

  • US Citizen/Perm Resident Status (Yes/No) If non-US Citizen, will a Visa be required (Yes/No):
  • Educational Information (Please list current trade school, college, or university first)
  • Work Experience (Please list most current experience first)
  • Languages spoken and fluency (NOTE: English fluency is an important success criteria for this program)
  • How did you learn about the NINE Program
  • References will be requested during the initial pre-selection process. Do not include at this time.

Personal Essay

Please include:

  • Your background as it relates to your interest in this program
  • Why you feel you would be a good candidate for this program
  • What you hope to learn from this program
  • How you will use the experience to implement and/or improve the radio astronomy environment in your home location
  • How you anticipate acting in the role of the trainer upon your return home
  • Your vision for how you will implement the NRAO NINE hub at your site upon your return home
  • Anything else that you would like us to consider

Contact information & Letter of Agreement

  • Full name and title of sponsor at your home institution (someone who is authorized to sign the MOU, or can ensure that it is signed by the proper authority)
  • IMPORTANT: A letter of agreement confirming that your home institution is prepared to support your efforts to create a Hub is required for acceptance into the program. While it will not be required unless you are one of the finalists, we strongly recommend that you include this letter -signed by an authorized institutional representative – in your application packet.  Selection to the program is dependent upon your ability to form and sustain a hub at your home institution, so proof of this ability, early in the process, is a plus. The template is below:

Example Letter of Agreement

IMPORTANT:  Letter must be on official institutional letterhead