Internships and training

New Technologies for Canadian Observatories (NTCO)


The NTCO program is ideal for students in astronomy, physics, engineering and computer science that are seeking hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies. Student researchers are provided funding, professional training, real-life experience in industry, and connections to researchers at universities and government labs. Through internships at innovative companies across the country, they contribute to the next generation of astronomical instrumentation and bring that experience back to the university.

NTCO is designed to better prepare students for leadership in Canadian astronomy and high-tech industry, while also helping to generate industrial initiatives within Canada. NTCO will elevate Canada's global position in emerging instrumentation technologies, helping to maximize Canadian investments in multi-national ground-based, space-based, remote-orbiting and space-cruising observatories.

Our team includes researchers from four universities, three observatories, two government labs, one astronomy institute, and several Canadian industries. We provide students with unique, hands-on experience in instrumentation technologies, something that is lacking in the standard graduate curriculum. The NTCO program is further enhanced by professional skills training workshops, annual team meetings, co-supervision of all trainees, an integrated thesis or dissertation, and participation in the Dunlap Institute Instrumentation Summer School (or equivalent).

Farbod Jahandar, Stephanie Monty, Jooyoung Lee, & Kim Venn
NTCO students Farbod Jahandar and Stephanie Monty in the lab with Mechancial Engineering student Jooyoung Lee and NTCO Director Dr. Kim Venn

Through direct experience working in industry, NTCO students are exposed to new advancements in detectors, software, optics & photonics, focal plane and manufacturing technologies, and benefit from the supervision of experts in cutting-edge instrumentation laboratories. 
Our program has a growing list of industrial partners- follow the link below for a list of some of the companies that have provided internship opportunities for our students. 

Applying to NTCO

How to apply

Industrial Partnerships

List of our current industrial partners

If you have any questions, contact the Program Coordinator at

Spencer Bialek at NTCO AGM 2017
NTCO student Spencer Bialek at the AGM 2017 Poster Session
NTCO is a national program, with researchers based at:
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Toronto / Dunlap Institute
  • Laval University / Observatoire Mont Megantic
  • McMaster University
  • National Research Council Herzberg
  • Gemini Observatory
  • Joint ALMA Observtory

The NTCO-CREATE program is sponsored by