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Graduate Student Visitor Program

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Gemini Graduate Student Visitor Program

Gemini is beginning a new graduate student visitor program, starting in the 2024A semester, intended to bring interested graduate student Gemini users at all levels to meet our staff, give a talk, learn about the telescope, observatory operations, and data reduction, and to get to know the data better.  Gemini will cover all travel expenses for 3-4 students total in the 2024A semester, 1-2 each at Gemini North (Hilo, Hawaiʻi) and South (La Serena, Chile), with the potential for more students in future semesters pending availability of funding.  The duration of the stay is envisioned to be ~a few days to a week.

Application Form

Students who wish to visit the observatory should fill out the following application form by the phase II deadline for the current semester.  The next deadline is January 18, 2024.

Selection Process

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of students we can support, applications will be assessed on the following criteria (in no particular order): students that act as PIs, non-PI students with Gemini-related thesis projects, students with highly ranked programs as a PI/co-I, diversity of geographical location (including partner country) of accepted proposals,  and students affiliated with institutions with limited access to observing resources.  Applications will be evaluated by a committee consisting of Gemini staff scientists.  Successful applicants will be informed by the beginning of the observing semester.


Before travel

1. Following an approved request, the traveler shall work with Gemini travel services to develop a Travel Request. Gemini can book and pay for travel directly, or can arrange to reimburse expenses to the traveler. Either way, the Gemini travel coordinator will submit a Travel Request, which will serve as the basis for all reimbursement or direct payment.

2. The travel coordinator will inform the traveler and advisor of the Travel Request status. If the Travel Request is approved, the travel coordinator will work with the traveler to develop a specific itinerary and other arrangements.

Eligible expenses and policies

All Gemini travel and procurement policies must be followed in order to use Gemini funds. Some highlights are listed here; additional information is provided in the student travel policy. All expenses to be paid for or reimbursed must be planned in advance, through an approved Travel Request.

  • Gemini requires the use of US flag air carriers under the “Fly America Act” with limited exceptions.
  • A Travel Expense Report will be provided by the Gemini travel coordinator, and the traveler must file it within 10 days after completion of travel.
  • Receipts are required for all expenses except meals and incidentals that are part of per diem policies or those charged directly to Gemini.
  • Gemini will not pay for expenses related to personal travel or user preference that are not essential to the scientific program.

Eligible expenses include:

  • airfare or other transportation to Hilo or La Serena;
  • mountain lodging and meals;
  • shared transport to Cerro Pachón;
  • rental of cold-weather gear (Gemini North only).

After travel

The traveler is responsible for filing the complete travel expense report including providing original receipts, within 10 days of completion of travel. These should be submitted to the local travel coordinator.

Additional Information

General instructions for visitors

Student visitors to Gemini should also be familiar with standard visitor procedures, and they must complete the standard safety forms at least four weeks prior to the visit. Information and links to forms are available from

Graduate Student Visitor Program | Gemini Observatory


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