31 March 2021

NASA Awards Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2021

This post is adapted from a Space Telescope Science Institute press release:

NASA Hubble Fellowship ProgramNASA has selected 24 new fellows for its prestigious NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP), and among them are 10 AAS members. The program enables outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrument development. More than 400 applicants vied for the fellowships. Each fellowship provides the awardee up to three years of support.

Once selected, fellows are named to one of three subcategories corresponding to three broad scientific questions NASA seeks to answer about the universe:

  • How does the universe work? – Einstein Fellows
  • How did we get here? – Hubble Fellows
  • Are we alone? – Sagan Fellows

“The annual selection of NASA Hubble Fellows always fills me with hope,” said Paul Hertz, Director of Astrophysics at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These outstanding young scientists are the future of astrophysics, and their impact on our understanding of the cosmos will be felt for decades to come.”

The newly selected NHFP Fellows will begin their programs in the fall of 2021 at a university or research center of their choosing in the United States. The following lists include the names of the AAS members among the 2021 NHFP awardees, their fellowship host institutions, and their proposed research topics.

Einstein Fellows:

  • Kishalay De, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Unveiling the Local Stellar Graveyard
  • Lea Marcotulli, Yale University, Unveiling the Hidden Connection Between Supermassive Black Holes and Jet Triggering Mechanisms

Hubble Fellows:

  • Erika Holmbeck, Carnegie Observatories, The R-Process Refinery: Distilling Stellar Signatures to Characterize the Astrophysical Production Site of the Heavy Elements
  • Sinclaire Manning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Revealing Optically Invisible Dusty Star-Forming Galaxies in the Early Universe
  • Melinda Soares-Furtado, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Devoured Worlds: The Signatures of Substellar Ingestion
  • Catherine Zucker, Space Telescope Science Institute, Knitting Together the Milky Way: Tracing Gas Flows in the Era of Big Data

Sagan Fellows:

  • Marta Bryan, University of California, Berkeley, Celestial Movers and Shakers: Gas Giant Planets Provide Key Insights into the Formation Histories of Exoplanet Systems
  • Diana Powell, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Origins: Relating Protoplanetary Disks to Planetary Atmospheres
  • Luis Welbanks, Arizona State University, High-Definition Exo-Atmospheric Characterization with Transit Spectroscopy
  • Jon Zink, California Institute of Technology, Expanding Exoplanet Demographics to Identify Key Components of Planet Formation

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) administers the NHFP on behalf of NASA, in collaboration with the Chandra X-ray Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California.

Photos and short bios of all the 2021 NHFP Fellows are available on the STScI website.