NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Update

A. Fruchter (fruchter[at]

New Fellows Selected

The NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) fellowship provides for three years of salary and research support at a U.S. host institution of the fellow's choosing, subject to restrictions that limit the number of fellows at any one institution. Once selected, fellows are named to one of three sub-categories (informally known as flavors) corresponding to three broad scientific questions NASA has sought to answer about the universe:

In this way the NHFP builds upon the legacy of the three formerly independent NASA fellowships of the same names.

In March, NASA announced the class of 2020 Fellows. The new fellows, their host institutions and their proposed research programs are:

Einstein Fellows

  • Carlos Blanco, Princeton University, Sub-GeV Dark Matter: Novel Models and Detection Strategies Using Molecular Targets
  • Hsin-Yu Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cosmology and Astrophysics with Gravitational Waves from Stellar-Mass Compact Binary Mergers
  • H. Thankful Cromartie, Cornell University, Fundamental Physics with Millisecond Pulsars
  • Maya Fishbach, Northwestern University, Stellar Afterlives and Black Hole Cataclysms: Learning about Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmic Expansion with Gravitational Waves
  • Thomas Holoien, Carnegie Observatories, Stellar Scouts: Tidal Disruption Events as Probes of Black Holes
  • Lucas Johns, University of California, Berkeley, Oscillating Neutrinos in Core-Collapse Supernovae
  • David Jones, University of California, Santa Cruz, Supernova Cosmology in the Era of Cosmological Tensions
  • Katelin Schutz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dark Sectors in High-Redshift Observations

 Hubble Fellows

  • Shany Danieli, Institute for Advanced Study, Exploring the Nature of Dark Matter Using Low Surface Brightness Galaxies
  • Ylva Götberg, Carnegie Observatories, Finding and Characterizing the Missing Stars Stripped in Binaries – From Gravitational-Wave Events to the High-Redshift Universe
  • Marc Teng Yen Hon, University of Hawaii, Unraveling the History of the Galaxy with TESS Asteroseismology
  • Sarah Pearson, New York University, Decoding Extragalactic Stellar Streams: What Will They Teach Us About Dark Matter?
  • Ryan Sanders, University of California, Davis, Accurate Galaxy Metallicities and a Robust Interpretation of Emission Lines at High Redshifts: Crucial Preparatory Work for JWST
  • Siyao Xu, Institute for Advanced Study, Cosmic Ray Diffusion in the Multi-Phase Interstellar Medium
  • Michael Zevin, University of Chicago, Deciphering the Biography of Massive Stars: Compact Object Mergers as a Rosetta Stone

 Sagan Fellows

  • Peter Gao, University of California, Santa Cruz, The Role of Aerosols in the Formation and Early Evolution of Giant Planets
  • Jane Huang, University of Michigan, Mapping the Evolving Conditions of Planet Formation
  • Aleksandra Kuznetsova, American Museum of Natural History, Uncovering Planet Formation in Embedded Disks
  • David Martin, The Ohio State University, Two Projects with Circumbinary Planets – Using the Planets to Solve Super-Earth Formation, and the Binaries to Empirically Constrain M Dwarfs
  • Sarah Millholland, Princeton University, Formation and Dynamics of Short-Period Exoplanetary Systems
  • Emiel Por, Space Telescope Science Institute, Integrated Coronagraphy and Wavefront Sensing for Future Giant Segmented Space Telescopes
  • Arpita Roy, California Institute of Technology, Of Worlds to Come: Delivering on the Promise of Extreme Precision Spectroscopy for Exoplanets
  • Zoe Todd, University of Washington, From Astronomy to Chemistry: Towards a Continuous Path for the Origins of Life
  • Kevin Wagner, University of Arizona, A New Era of Exoplanet Imaging: Mid-Infrared Exploration of the Habitable Zones of Nearby Stars

Originally, the Einstein, Hubble, and Sagan programs were run separately by the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI), respectively. Beginning with the class of 2018, the programs were merged into the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program and are now administered by STScI, in cooperation with CXC and NExScI.  Three leads, Dawn Gelino of NExScI, Paul Green of CXC, and myself, Andy Fruchter at STScI cooperatively guide the application and selection process, symposia, and science policies.

The Fellows Symposium

Until this academic year, the Einstein, Hubble, and Sagan programs have held separate symposia. This past October, however, we brought all the fellows together for a symposium which included the fellows from the first two classes of the NHFP as well as the final class of "Classic" Einstein, Hubble, and Sagan fellows. The meeting was held in Washington, DC adjacent to NASA Headquarters. In addition to visitors and speakers from NASA, the fellows brought in special guests to address environmental and social issues confronting astronomers, and to discuss career opportunities and challenges. However, it was the Fellows' talks that really stole the show. Nearly every area of astrophysics was discussed, from the first galaxies and fuzzy dark matter to observations of the closest star, our Sun, as a means to better understand radial velocity variation in extrasolar planetary systems. Read the full symposium agenda and abstracts

In order to keep the length of the symposium to three days, we scheduled a mixture of plenary sessions and topical breakouts. However, the fellows decided that they did not want to miss any of the other talks. So this year, all talks at the NHFP Fellows Symposium will be plenary. The meeting will span the entire week of 21 September, and circumstances permitting, will be held in person at STScI in Baltimore, MD.