The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of 51 Pegasi b Fellows. Named after the first exoplanet discovered in 1995, the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship recognizes exceptional postdoctoral scientists with great potential to advance scientific research in the field of planetary astronomy.
This relatively new field bridges planetary science and astronomy to further our understanding of the origin and evolution of planetary systems, both solar and extra-solar. Its rapid growth attracts many creative young scientists working on fundamental science questions, including: How do planetary systems form and evolve? What is the atmospheric composition of exoplanets? How do we explain the diversity of exoplanets? Is there life elsewhere in the universe?
The Foundation aims to make a difference in this field by investing in exceptional early-career scientists tackling these challenging questions.
There are several exciting and unique aspects to this fellowship. Each fellow will receive up to $375,000 over three years to conduct research at a top-ranking research institution in the United States. The financial support of the fellowship will provide each recipient with the autonomy to explore and test novel research ideas at their respective host institution.
In addition, each fellow will be mentored by an established faculty member to support them in the development of their research ideas and ensure a rich postdoctoral experience.
Finally, the Heising-Simons Foundation will also host annual 51 Pegasi b summits bringing together students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members who are working in the field of planetary astronomy. These summits are designed to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, and to build a community of researchers that promotes collaboration.
We believe that having access to these key ingredients – research autonomy, supportive mentors, and a network of colleagues – will empower each fellow to maximize their potential and make ground-breaking contributions to the field of planetary astronomy. We are inspired by the creativity and dedication of these young scientists, and we look forward to seeing them flourish in their research endeavors.
The inaugural 51 Pegasi b Fellows and their host institutions are:
Jason Dittmann – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Katherine de Kleer – California Institute of Technology
Peter Gao – University of California at Berkeley
Songhu Wang – Yale University
Click here to learn more about the fellows and their research.