Hubble Fellowship News

Ron Allen, rjallen@stsci.edu

The Hubble Fellowship Program awards postdoctoral fellowships to candidates of exceptional research promise in astronomy and astrophysics. More than 310 of the most prominent and active scientists in the field have been supported at a crucial phase in their careers by the Hubble Fellowship Program, and the program continues to be one of the highlights of NASA’s pursuit of excellence in space science. The program is presently in its 23rd year, and the impact of its “graduates” on the direction of astronomy and astrophysics in the U.S. continues to grow. Former Hubble Fellows can increasingly be found among the ranks of the faculty at college and university campuses and the professional staff of research institutions across the nation and beyond, as well as among the membership of prominent national advisory committees.

The scientific scope of the Hubble Fellows Program includes goals addressed by any of the missions in NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program. These missions presently include: Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, Herschel Space Observatory, and James Webb Space Telescope. The program is funded by NASA and managed by the Institute. It is open to applicants of any nationality. Fellows may choose their host institution virtually anywhere in the U.S., subject to a maximum of one new fellow per institution per year. The duration of the fellowship is up to three years. More details are available here.

Selection of the 2013 Hubble Fellows

The selection process begins with the recruitment of a selection committee, which is charged with providing a ranked list of the top ~10% of all applicants. Applications for the 2013 Hubble Fellowship Program were accepted through 5 November 2012, and the 2013 selection committee began its work shortly thereafter. The committee met at the Institute on January 17–18, 2013, to consider the 283 applications received by the deadline. Prof. Pieter Van Dokkum (Yale) chaired the 18-member committee of expert researchers from the astronomical community. As in previous years, the selection criteria were based primarily on the scientific excellence of the research proposals, and also as in previous years the high quality of the applicant pool made it difficult for the committee to identify the most outstanding candidates. Offers were made to short-listed candidates in early February, and the 17 new Hubble Fellows (see Table 1) are set to take up their fellowships in the fall of 2013.