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First cross-disciplinary fellowship program to tackle data from massive sky survey

Social scientists, astrophysicists to probe the Universe’s deepest mysteries

First cross-disciplinary fellowship program to tackle data from massive sky survey

Image credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Professor Vicky Kalogera, co-chair of the program’s steering committee

Professor Lois Trautvetter

Professor Adam Miller

Just as an enormous influx of big data is poised to transform the field of astronomy and astrophysics, a new fellowship program is poised to revolutionize the field itself.

The LSST Corporation, a non-profit consortium of approximately 30 research institutions, has received $7 million to establish the LSSTC Catalyst Fellowship Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, which will support early-career researchers in astrophysics and in social sciences as they study big data generated from the soon-to-be-completed Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile.



Announced at the Rubin 2021 Program and Community Workshop last week, the program is the first fellowship of its kind. Researchers from disparate fields — including those from traditionally underrepresented groups and institutions — will converge to pursue an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to science.

Northwestern University astrophysicist Vicky Kalogera co-chaired the new program’s steering committee. Northwestern faculty members Lois Trautvetter and Adam Miller also are involved in the program.

The fellowship is a part of the LSST Interdisciplinary Network for Collaboration and Computing (LINCC) initiative, an ambitious program by LSST Corporation that will lead community efforts to build software infrastructure for big data astronomy.

The fellowship program will fund 10 new astrophysics fellows and several social science fellows, selected from institutions around the globe. One fellow from each cohort will be stationed at a historically underserved institution. Adding to the program’s uniqueness, it also will include structured mentoring by teams of astrophysicists and social scientists as well as leadership training for all fellows.

Continue to the full story on Northwestern News by Amanda Morris.

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