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Galaxies & Cosmology

Galaxy Formation, Intergalactic Medium, Active Galactic Nuclei, Galaxy-Black Hole Coevolution, Galaxy Clusters, Early Universe, Dark Matter

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MSSL/R.Soria et al, Optical: AURA/Gemini OBs

The most obvious large structures in the Universe are the galaxies, which over the span of cosmic time have been the nexus for both the evolution of stars and large-scale structure in the Universe. CIERA researchers are engaged in understanding both the evolution of the galaxies and the environments they are embedded in, as well as the stellar populations they are comprised of and the supermassive black holes they host.

Research at CIERA


CIERA researchers work on understanding the origins of structure in the Universe. Professor Faucher-Giguère’s group develops sophisticated cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation. The simulations are used to answer a wide variety of science questions, including how star formation is regulated in galaxies, how galaxies interact with the circum-galactic medium and the intergalactic medium, and how galaxies and their black holes co-evolve.



Astronomy PhD Program

Deadline: 11:59pm, December 15, 2023

The Northwestern Astronomy PhD is designed to provide students with a broad training in astronomy while enabling them to get started quickly with their graduate research. The Astronomy PhD is a flexible program that allows students to complement their astronomy training with a selection of physics courses or courses from other quantitative disciplines such as

Physics PhD Program

Deadline: 11:59pm, December 15, 2023

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two different PhD degrees designed to best train students in their chosen discipline. For most branches of physics, students should enroll in the Physics PhD. Students interested in astronomy or astrophysics may apply for either the Physics PhD or the Astronomy PhD. GRE score submission is optional for the

NASA Illinois Space Grant Research Program – Summer 2024

Deadline: 11:59pm, March 22, 2024

Funded by an educational grant awarded by NASA to Northwestern University through the Illinois Space Grant Consortium, Northwestern offers a College Summer Research Program for outstanding undergraduates. The program provides an opportunity for college students to work with a professor in one of several areas of space sciences and astrophysics. It is open to students



Core Faculty

Associate Faculty

External Faculty

Sarah Wellons

Visiting Scholar, Tenure-Track Faculty at Wesleyan


Graduate Students