Our beginning:

The University of Texas at Austin sits at one of the most socioeconomically and ethnically diverse regions in the United States, but our history of scholarship in astronomy and astrophysics does not mirror that rich heritage. In late 2015, members of the UT Austin Department of Astronomy launched the TAURUS program. TAURUS aims at combatting social marginalization -- open to applicants who identify as marginalized along many different axes -- in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

The Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Research experience for Under-represented Students (TAURUS) provides essential career ``boosts'' to highly-motivated students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. Our aim is to increase retention of excellent students in astrophysics research by preparing them for graduate study in astronomy or the STEM workforce.

With generous support for our inaugural year from the Cox Endowment Fund and the Board of Visitors at the Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, and in our second year by generous donors to our TAURUS HornRaiser campaign, TAURUS has been running for the past three years (2016-2018) and hosted 17 TAURUS Scholars. Over 40 members of the astronomy community in Austin and in West Texas have contributed their time and effort to ensure the program is successful, and will continue to be in future years.

TAURUS is only getting started, with the hope that we can expand to support more students in the coming years. With a minimum of five scholars in residence each summer, we periodically fundraise for cover Scholars' local expenses. If you are passionate about supporting opportunities in astrophysics research, we invite you to contribute by getting in touch and sharing our promotional videos (shortextended). 

TAURUS is unfortunately currently on hiatus (see more here).

Who We Are

Prof. Caitlin Casey
Assistant Professor, UT Austin
TAURUS Director (2016-2023)

Prof. John Chisholm
Assistant Professor, UT Austin
TAURUS Co-Director (2021-2023)

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