Research Experience for Nontraditional Undergraduates

2019 RENTU group with advisors
Left to right: Danny Jacobs (advisor), Bryanna Gutierrez-Coatney (student), Shanika Davis (student), David Lewis (student), Ruben Ortiz (student), Nivedita Mahesh (mentor), and Adam Beardsley (advisor).

About the Program

RENTU is a program at ASU’s Low-Frequency Cosmology Lab (LoCo) that funds a local stipend paid internship to nontraditional students. Nontraditional is a broad term and can include (but not limited to) underrepresented minorities, women in STEM, first generation students, veterans, or students returning to school after working.

The LoCo group has led several exciting projects that use radio telescopes to explore our Universe. Past projects in RENTU include the Experiment to Detect the Global Epoch of reionization Signal (EDGES); the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA); the External Calibrator for Hydrogen Observations (ECHO) drone project; development of new instruments; and the Completely Hackable Amateur Radio Telescope (CHART) — a small scale platform that will enable citizen radio science around the world. No prior experience is required to get your feet wet and work on these experiments! 

This program is run during the summer term and requires the applicant to work in the LoCo lab for 30-40 hours a week. We will release an application form every year during the spring semester, so check in periodically to keep up with the application process.

Past Projects

Students from past years have taken part in a diverse set of radio astronomy research. Check out some of their experiences below.

“[The fact that this internship is local] makes a huge difference! I was looking at internships at NASA, which is a place I aspire to work, and would have had to provide my own housing and transportation I were to get accepted, and I wasn’t prepared to do that at the time. I live 15 minutes away from campus so commuting is really easy and convenient. The fact that it’s paid makes it even better because I would have still needed to work my regular job in order to pay bills, and that would put a lot on my shoulders, especially since I’m also taking a summer class.”
-Shanika Davis RENTU participant in the ECHO and CHART projects 2019
“[If I wasn’t apart of this internship] I would be working full-time in an industry unrelated to my field of study. RENTU provides a bridge of momentum to keep the mind focused between the spring and fall semesters.”
-Ruben Ortiz participant in Fast Radio Imaging project 2019
 “Thanks to the RentU program, I have gained valuable experience working in a lab environment and working with real-world scientific problems. The mentorship provided by the professors and grad students have been invaluable for learning to solve problems and work with data in a professional setting. The program has given me the skills and experience to continue my education and prepare for graduate studies in Astrophysics.” 
-David Lewis participant in the EDGES project  2018-2019 
“RENTU gave me the opportunity to immerse myself into my first research environment, while earning a wage that I can live on. The skills I learned in the LoCo lab helped set up the foundation for my future professional career in science education.”
-Bryanna Gutierrez-Coatney participant in the CHART Project 2019
2018 RENTU Group
Top left: Danny Jacobs (advisor), Top right: Adam Beardsley (advisor)
Bottom left: Karishma Albal (student), Bottom center: Edgar Escalante(student) Bottom right: David Lewis (student).
David Lewis presenting his research from summer 2018 at the American Astronomical Society.
Karishma Albal showing the lab her research in a weekly update meeting


If you have questions about the RENTU program or the LoCo group, please contact Danny Jacobs ( or Adam Beardsley (