Research and Training Programmes for External Students:
Besides the doctoral programme, NCRA-TIFR also runs a number of shorter term programmes for external visiting students. These include the Visiting Students' Research Programme (VSRP), the Students' Programme (SP), the Radio Astronomy Winter School (RAWS), the Radio Astronomy School (RAS), and the Pulsar Observatory for Students (POS).
The Visiting Students' Research Programme:
The VSRP is an annual summer programme for students entering the final year of a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Physics, Mathematics, Electronics or Engineering. The programme runs from the second week of May every year until the first week of July, with an application deadline in February. Selected students carry out a 2-month research project with an NCRA-TIFR faculty member. At the end of the project, students give a seminar on their research project and face two interviews. Based on their performance, outstanding students are pre-selected for NCRA-TIFR's doctoral programme.
The Students' Programme:
The SP is a more informal programme under which pre-doctoral (usually under-graduate) students may carry out a research project with an NCRA-TIFR faculty member for up to a year. Projects under the SP scheme may begin at any time of the year. Projects upto three months duration only require the agreement of an NCRA-TIFR faculty supervisor, while those extending beyond three months typically require a brief interview at the beginning of the project.
The Radio Astronomy Winter School:
The RAWS is an annual ten-day winter school for under-graduate students in the B.Sc. (Physics/Electronics/Mathematics) or B.E./B.Tech. streams. It is conducted jointly by NCRA-TIFR and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), under the aegis of the Radio Physics Laboratory (RPL). The RAWS takes place during the last two weeks of December every year, with an application deadline in the preceding September. During the RAWS, students learn the basics of radio astronomy and the working of radio telescopes through a set of lectures and hands-on radio astronomy experiments.
The Radio Astronomy School:
The RAS is a two-week bi-annual summer school on advanced radio astronomy, for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in astronomy. It usually takes place in August, with an application deadline in April, and consists of a set of lectures on radio techniques, instrumentation and astronomy, as well as tutorials on the analysis of data from different telescopes, using standard packages.
The Pulsar Observatory for Students:
The POS is conducted jointly under the RPL by IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR at the Radio Astronomy Centre, Ooty. The POS consists of two parts. The first is a 2-day summer workshop (usually in June) in which pre-doctoral (again, mostly under-graduate) students are taught the basics of radio and pulsar astronomy, through lectures and hands-on experiments. This is followed by short observations of selected pulsars between June and December, by workshop participants with the Ooty Radio Telescope.