22 May 2019

Summer 2019 Fundraising: Focus on Early Career Scientists

Diane Frendak, American Astronomical Society (AAS)

You’ve probably been there: finishing up a degree and wondering, "What next?" There are many challenges facing early career practioners of astronomy and related sciences, including some that reach into the philosophical. How did you overcome your obstacles? It could be that you needed a little help getting to a meeting to share your research or finding the time and space to explore new career paths. Maybe it was a small yet significant boost of confidence that nudged you in the right direction.

Summer 2019 Campaign

As the centerpiece of our Summer 2019 Campaign, we feature Society funds that support and recognize colleagues and students at the outset of their careers as researchers and advocates for the astronomical sciences. We invite you to give to the funds which have “game changer” potential to early career scientists:

  • The John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship was created in 2006 to introduce early career astronomers to the world of science policy in Washington, DC. During their two-year postdoctoral-level appointment, the Fellow works in partnership with the Deputy Executive Officer & Director of Public Policy to coordinate the advocacy activities of the AAS. The Fellowship honors John N. Bahcall, who chaired the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 1990s. His consistent engagement with Congress ensured that all the high-priority recommended programs were funded.
  • The Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy celebrates outstanding research and the promise for future exceptional work by a postdoctoral woman researcher. The 2019 recipient is Blakesley Burkhart (Flatiron Institute/Rutgers) for her leadership in studies of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence on all scales and in diverse astrophysical environments, using innovative techniques to carefully compare observational data with numerical simulations.
  • The Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize provides funding for new and upcoming PhD recipients to present their dissertation research at a winter meeting of the AAS. Since 2012, when the prize was established through the support of Rodger Doxsey’s father, family, colleagues, and friends, more than 100 early career members have received support to attend a January AAS meeting.

Several AAS Divisions also have programs recognizing the work of early and mid-career scientists. These include the Vera Rubin Early Career Prize (Division on Dynamical Astronomy), the Harold C. Urey Prize in Planetary Science (Division for Planetary Sciences), the High Energy Astrophysics Division’s Mid-Career Prize and Dissertation Prize, the Laboratory Astrophysics Division’s Early Career Award and Dissertation Prize, and the Karen Harvey Prize (Solar Physics Division). Divisions without dedicated funds for these recognition programs welcome gifts to their Prize Funds or General Funds.

Your response to this appeal will help ensure that the AAS continues to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe. Donations may be made online or mailed to the AAS Executive Office at the following address:

American Astronomical Society
1667 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20006

As always, we appreciate contributions to the AAS General Fund, which supports advocacy efforts, operations, and membership services; to the AAS Membership Emergency Fund, which makes limited, low-interest, short-term loans to active members and affiliates who are undergoing financial hardship because of a recognized emergency; and to the AAS Initiative Endowment Fund, which will be your legacy to the astronomers of tomorrow.

Donate Now!

Thank you for your commitment to the astronomical sciences!