The fellowship provides an opportunity for recent doctoral scientists to develop innovative instrumentation or to conduct novel theoretical and observational research in planetary astronomy. Planetary astronomy brings together research efforts of two fields—planetary science and astronomy—to characterize planetary systems. The fellowship supports postdoctoral fellows to advance our fundamental understanding of exoplanets, solar system science, planet formation and evolution, planetary atmospheres, protoplanetary disks, or other closely related topics.
The fellowship recognizes early-career investigators of significant potential and provides them with the opportunity to conduct independent research. Each recipient will receive a three-year grant of up to $415,000 to cover salary, benefits, highly-flexible discretionary spending (e.g., travel, family care, moving expenses, research equipment, personal computers, etc.), and indirect costs. Awarded postdoctoral fellows are expected to carry out a strong, coherent research program in planetary astronomy.
The Foundation anticipates awarding six to eight fellowships this year, based on the quality of submissions. The Heising-Simons Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion . Thus, we particularly welcome applications from individuals who belong to groups that have been historically underrepresented in planetary sciences and astronomy such as women, persons with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, and others who may contribute to diversification of the field.
51 Pegasi b Fellowship research must be pursued at one of the following participating institutions. If you have any questions about research collaborations, faculty mentors, resources at these host institutions, etc., please contact the people listed below:
In preparing your research proposal and supporting materials, please consider that fellowship applications will be evaluated based on the following six equally-weighted criteria:
Interested candidates are asked to submit an online application, and will be asked to include:
The funding for your fellowship is routed through your host institution. Temporary working arrangements at external sites (e.g. observatories, national labs, etc.) are permissible if they support your proposed research and are endorsed by your faculty mentor and institution.
The 51 Pegasi b Fellowship has forged a partnership with your host institution to ensure a rich experience by establishing access to faculty mentors and other resources to excel in your research endeavors. Therefore, we highly encourage you to stay at your host institution during the duration of your fellowship term. Should a fellow require a location change, they should notify the Foundation immediately. Each request will be assessed and approved on a case by case basis.
No, the three-page limit does not include references, figures, and tables. An additional 2 pages may be included for references, figures, and tables for a total of 5 pages.
Yes, following the review and final selection process, the excel budget template and guidelines will be shared with the 51 Pegasi b recipient. The budget must be reviewed and endorsed by the host institution’s office of sponsored projects
No, you may only submit two letters of recommendation. These letters must be provided by the candidate’s Ph.D. advisor, a senior collaborator, or a scientific mentor.
Changes to your submitted application can only be made during the open period of the online application platform.
The deadline cannot be extended. There are no exceptions.
All selected applicants will be notified in February.