Five recent PhDs have just been offered the chance of a lifetime. They have been given three years to focus solely on their Spitzer-related research interests, access to Spitzer Science Center resources, and the option to work at a world-class US-based institution of their choice. Best of all, they'll be getting paid, thanks to the Spitzer Space Telescope Postdoctoral Fellowship program.
The new fellows were chosen from a pool of 85 applicants and represent some of the brightest young astronomers in the world. A selection committee of ten scientists met in January to recommend this year's new fellows.
"We had an incredibly competitive and impressive set of applications this year... the accepted fellows are some of the most talented recent astronomical PhDs out there," said Spitzer scientist Dr. Lisa Storrie-Lombardi.
According to Storrie-Lombardi, the Spitzer fellowship program is so competitive because it allows scientists to conduct independent research in their field of interest, with the only stipulation being that it enhances the overall scientific return of the Spitzer mission.
Thus, the astronomers can choose to conduct new observations with Spitzer, explore the mission's archives, or develop theories that will aid in the interpretation of Spitzer results.
"From Spitzer's end, we get a great return on our investment because the work that these fellows do will greatly benefit our overall mission," said Storrie-Lombardi. "Astronomers rarely get a chance to focus solely on their independent research and the fellowship program is yielding fantastic results."
The new fellows are: