NASA/Gamma Ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST)

General Dynamics C4 Systems - Artist Concept of GLAST

GLAST FELLOWSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT (October, 2007)

OVERVIEW

The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission announces a new fellowship program to support outstanding postdoctoral scientists who endeavor to advance our understanding of the gamma-ray universe. The goal of the program is to stimulate an infusion of new ideas, techniques, and approaches that will enhance the scientific return of GLAST, which will survey the high-energy sky with unprecedented sensitivity.

GLAST will perform 20 MeV to >300 GeV gamma-ray measurements over the entire celestial sphere, with sensitivity a factor of 30 or more greater than obtained by earlier space missions, and will study transient gamma-ray sources with energies extending from 10 keV to >300 GeV. GLAST is scheduled for launch in 2008. Combined, these capabilities will provide a watershed in our knowledge of the high-energy universe.

The GLAST Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for highly qualified and creative postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the goals of GLAST. This research can include GLAST data analysis as well as related theory and studies of gamma-ray discrete and extended sources with space-based or ground-based observations at gamma-ray or at other wavelengths.

The fellowship provides support for up to three years at an annual stipend of approximately $56,000 plus benefits (as described below), and some allowance for travel and other research costs. Contingent upon National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) funding, up to 3 GLAST fellowships will be awarded in 2008. A fellow's progress will be appraised annually. Awards will be made to support each GLAST fellow through a U.S. host institution designated by the fellow.

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of scientists. The fellowship program is administered by the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST) for NASA. CRESST is a collaboration consisting of the University of Maryland campuses at College Park (UMCP) and Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

An application for the fellowship consists of a research proposal and supporting documentation, as described below. The deadline for receipt of applications and all supporting materials is FRIDAY, December 7, 2007 (5:00 pm EST). Award offers will be made by February 7, 2008, with the fellowships expected to begin in or around September, 2008.

TERMS OF THE GLAST FELLOWSHIP

1. Eligibility

Applicants must have received a Ph.D., Sc.D., or equivalent doctoral-level research degree in astronomy, physics, or a related discipline before the start of the fellowship, nominally in September 2008, and no later than December 28, 2008. Graduate student awardees who have not received their doctoral degrees at the time of application must present evidence of having completed all requirements for the degree before commencing the fellowship.

GLAST fellowships are open to scientists without regard to citizenship. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, or national origin. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

2. Host Institution

Contingent upon the availability of funding from NASA, GLAST fellowships are awarded through subawards to host institutions. Applicants may select any United States institution for carrying out their research as long as the choice is suitably justified in their proposal and the institution agrees to serve as host. Justification is particularly important in cases where the selected institution is the institution at which the applicant earned his/her degree, or is the current home institution of the applicant.

A faculty member or a member of the scientific staff of the host institution shall serve as the principal contact for scientific purposes and will be the Principal Investigator of the Fellow's grant for administrative purposes.

To avoid a concentration of fellows at any one institution, only one fellow from each annual competition will be approved for any single institution. (A separate institution can also be a completely separate department within the same university campus and/or separate campuses as part of the same university system). For this reason, applicants are asked to propose three prospective host institutions, in order of preference. As part of the application procedure, an endorsement letter from the first-choice host institution is required. No prior endorsement from the two alternative institutions is required in the initial application.

The purpose of designating second- and third-choice institutions in the application is to provide the program with flexibility should there be an oversubscription of winners at any single institution. Barring this circumstance, it is expected that winners will utilize their fellowships at their first-choice institutions.

Host institutions must agree to negotiate in good faith with CRESST to be issued a subaward to cover allowable expenditures for the fellow. Fellows must be entitled to receive health insurance coverage consistent with that normally afforded to post doctoral appointees at the host institution. Institutional overhead or indirect costs may not be applied to the fellowship stipend or the health insurance premium expenditures.

In general, fellows will work full-time on the research programs proposed in their applications and will be in residence at the proposed host institution during the entire period of the fellowship. However, should a fellow desire to work at an institution other than the original host institution, the fellow can request a change of institution and, if approved by the GLAST Fellowship Program Office (GFPO) in consultation with the GLAST Project Scientist and the GLAST Program Scientist, the grant to the host institution will be closed on an equitable basis (termination for convenience), and a grant awarded to the new host institution.

3. Remuneration

Stipend: $56,000 initially, subject to annual review and adjustment,

Health Insurance: coverage will be provided to the fellow - consistent with that normally afforded to post doctoral appointees at the host institution,

Relocation: reimbursement will be provided, as required, in the first year of the fellowship, up to a maximum of $5,000, and

Research Allowances: reimbursement is allowable for travel, computing services, publications and other allowable direct costs, up to a maximum of $18,000 in year one and $13,000 in years two and three.

It is expected that fellows will devote full-time effort to their research programs. No additional stipend, salary, or other remuneration may be accepted from another appointment, fellowship, or similar grant during the period of the GLAST fellowship.

4. Duration of Fellowship

Contingent upon the availability of funding from NASA, GLAST fellowships are awarded through subawards to host institutions for up to a three-year period subject to an annual review.

5. Status

These fellowships are analogous to research fellowships or similar temporary programs at the postdoctoral level at universities. They are not intended to be, nor to compete with, permanent professional career positions.

It should also be understood that a GLAST fellowship carries with it no guarantee of GLAST observing time and implies no change in the way GLAST observing time is awarded. For details on the data policy see http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/data/policy/

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

1. The Panel Review

The GFPO will receive all application materials and supporting documents. These will be reviewed by the GLAST Fellowship Evaluation Panel. The evaluation and recommendation by this external review panel forms the basis on which the selecting official (the NASA Headquarters GLAST Program Scientist) grants the GLAST fellowship awards.

Offers for GLAST 2008 fellowships will be made by the selecting official on or about February 7, 2008, and acceptance or refusal must be made on or before February 21, 2008. After this date other offers may be made if some fellowships are not accepted.

2. Commencement of the GLAST Fellowship

The GLAST fellowship should generally begin by September 1, 2008, but other starting dates may, in individual cases, be jointly negotiated with the fellow, the host institution, and the GFPO. All fellowships must in any case commence by the end of 2008.

3. Visa Requirements

Non-US nationals must be eligible for a non-immigrant visa sponsored by their host institution or be a permanent resident of the United States. Non-U.S. nationals will normally apply for an Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa sponsored by their host institution. US Work authorization arrangements are the responsibility of the fellow - in conjunction with their chosen host institution.

4. Taxes and Insurance

The host institution and the individual GLAST fellow are responsible for complying with matters related to income taxes.

A health insurance program must be provided by the host institution for the fellow. Funding for this purpose may be requested in the submitted budget, consistent with the host institution policies on this matter.

It is the responsibility of the fellow to become familiar with the policies of the host institution concerning these matters.

5. GLAST Fellowship Budget

After the selection process, fellows and host institutions will be notified of the intent to award a fellowship grant to the host institution. The host institution will be requested to submit a formal budget, signed by an authorized official, to the GFPO. Allowable budget expenses include the annual stipend, employer health insurance premium costs, relocation expenses (up to a maximum of $5,000 in the first year only), and research allowances, such as expenses for the fellow's professional travel during the appointment, computing services, publication costs, and other allowable direct research costs. A maximum of $13,000 per year ($18,000 in year one) can be billed for the sum of these research allowances. The additional amount in the first year is intended to offset start-up costs.

In preparing the budget, an institution's indirect cost rate may not be applied against either the fellowship stipend or the health insurance.

Note: A budget should not be submitted with the fellowship application. Detailed budget instructions will be mailed to successful applicants and their host institutions following acceptance of the fellowship.

6. Publication

When publishing results, GLAST fellows should identify themselves as such and should acknowledge the GLAST fellowship grant as follows: "Support for this work was provided by NASA through the GLAST Fellowship Program, NASA Cooperative Agreement: NNG06DO90A."

7. Fellows Symposium

Approximately annually the GLAST Project Scientist, in consultation with the GLAST User's Group, will schedule a GLAST Fellows Symposium in conjunction with a relevant science meeting. GLAST fellows will each be required to present a report on the results of their GLAST-related research. The symposium will be organized by the GFPO.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS SUMMARY AND CHECKLIST

DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF ALL MATERIALS, INCLUDING LETTERS OF REFERENCE AND HOST INSTITUTION ENDORSEMENT, IS FRIDAY DECEMBER 7, 2007 (5:00 pm EST).

Any questions or comments about the GLAST fellowship program should be directed to Ms. Sandy Barnes (301-286-7780, Sandra.L.Barnes@nasa.gov).

Any questions about GLAST generally should be directed to the Project Scientist (steve.ritz@nasa.gov) and/or to the GLAST helpdesk (http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/help/).