Engineers Week 2021

2021 Research Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Breakthrough Listen sponsored Summer Internship with I-LOFAR

Would you like to spend the summer conducting research at a world-class radio telescope located in the beautiful historical setting of Birr Castle Demesne? Are you interested in the quest for a scientific answer to one of humanity’s oldest questions: Are we alone in the Universe?

If so, the I-LOFAR Summer Research Internship with Breakthrough Listen is for you!

Breakthrough Listen (BL) is a world-leading, comprehensive program to search for intelligent life in the Universe.  Successful candidates will get an opportunity to participate in conducting experiments with the recently installed instruments at I-LOFAR in collaboration with the BL team.  Over the course of 12 weeks, candidates will gain experience in radio astronomy, data analysis, and instrumentation, and will also have the opportunity to take observations with the I-LOFAR telescope and work with the wider LOFAR research team. They will draw on their knowledge of physics, specifically astrophysics and radio astronomy, to engage with a wide range of visitors to the I-LOFAR Education Centre and through online channels.

The successful candidates will be supervised and mentored by Dr. Evan Keane, National University of Ireland, Galway, and collaborate with the team at Berkeley by participating remotely in team meetings.

Tour group in the I-LOFAR Control Room

I-LOFAR Summer Interns checking out the Control Unit











This is a 12 week placement running from June to August 2021 (7th June – 27th August), with a stipend of €400 per week.

To apply, please see additional information and application form at Applications are open until Friday 12th of February 2021.

This is open to second, third and final year undergraduate students registered at Irish third level institutions or who have freedom of movement to Ireland. Applications will be accepted from students of physics, astrophysics and related disciplines.

NOTE: This position is based at the I-LOFAR Education Centre in Birr Castle Demesne, Birr, Co Offaly – COVID restrictions permitting.



Winter Solstice 2020

New Telescopes

Science in the Movies: Fact vs Fiction with OFFline

I-LOFAR are delighted to team up with OFFline Film Festival here in Birr to bring this event to life as part of Space Week 2020.

On Saturday 10th October join us online at 20:30 for an evening of ‘Science in the Movies: Fact vs Fiction‘.

We will be joined by a panel of researchers discussing some of their favourite and most irritating scenes in a range of science fiction movies. Dr Laura Hayes at NASA’s Space Flight Centre, Dr Oisin Creaner at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in the USA, and I-LOFAR’s own Pearse Murphy at Trinity College Dublin and DIAS, will be chatting to I-LOFAR’s Education and Public Engagement Manager Áine Flood about science on the big screen – when they got it right and when they got it very, very wrong.

Join the live stream on Saturday 10th at 20:30 (Irish time) here.


For more information, and to see other events in the OFFline Film Festival 2020, check out their website, and for more about Space Week and the many events on around the country, see


This event is made possible with support from Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland.

Culture Night 2020: Astronomy in Birr Virtual Tour

Explore the historic and modern astrophysics research happening in Birr, in the heart of the Irish Midlands! 

Join us for Culture Night 2020 on a virtual tour to discover the engineering and science behind the 19th century Leviathan telescope, before journeying nearly 200 years into the present day to the 21st century Irish Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) radio telescope. Learn about the astronomical discoveries made here at our observatory in Birr Castle Demesne and Ireland’s role in the future of radio astronomy.

The tour will be followed by a live question and answer session with I-LOFAR staff and researchers to answer any queries from attendees on the operation of and discoveries with I-LOFAR.


Suitable for all, registration required via Eventbrite.


This event will be hosted online via Zoom. The link to join will be sent to ticket holders by 15 minute before the start of the event. Should you have any questions please email


Presented by the Astronomical Midlands team at I-LOFAR, a Science Foundation Ireland Discover Project led by Trinity College Dublin, in collaboration with ESERO Ireland.