UCL Careers


Internship at the UCL Observatory

Read one student's account of their internship at the UCL Observatory.

Image of Gregor standing next to a telescope.

29 September 2022

What is your name? 

Gregor Cavlovic.

What are you studying? 

Astrophysics 2nd Year student. 

Why did you apply for this internship? 

Last year I interned at the Planetarium within the Nikola Tesla Science Museum in Zagreb, Croatia as an astronomy presenter which I really enjoyed. I am thinking about a career within research, so I thought this would be a great opportunity. 

How often were you on site?

Part time 3 days per week

Tell us about the project: 

The project aim is to build a mini fibre-spectrometer for the telescopes at the UCL Observatory. 
At present the C14’s are the most used telescopes due to their robotic nature. The only observations which can be conducted are photometric as they only have an imaging camera installed. 

This will help all Astrophysics students at UCL, opening the opportunity of another existing port of a small spectrometer, which would allow spectroscopy to be performed on the same units, opening a number of applications for many first-year students (who encounter spectroscopy in year 2 or 3 without having experienced it). 

What have you enjoyed whilst undertaking this internship? 

I have enjoyed using the knowledge that have learnt on my degree so far, putting it in to practice. It has been great to be part of this project, gaining experience and giving me an amazing insight. 

I am thinking about a possible career in research, and this has really helped show me what it is like. 

What have you learnt whilst undertaking this internship? 

I have learnt project and budget management and engineering skills, which are all skills that are helpful for my future career. 

What are your career plans?

I came to the UK to study Astrophysics, as in Croatia the field of Astrophysics is not as strong. 

I am not sure yet about where I will continue my studies or if I will work abroad, but undertaking this internship at UCL has helped inform me of what a career in research science could be like for me. 

What is your advice for students who are thinking of applying for a MAPS Summer Research Internship if it runs in future years? 

If you are thinking about a career in research but not 100% sure, this is a great way to gain experience and gain perspectives on research. 

My advice for future UCL students looking to apply, plan ahead, use the support available to you from the UCL Careers team to support you with your application and interview.