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Becoming a Lasker Fellow

The Lasker Fellowship is named in honor of Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) astronomer Barry Lasker, who led the creation of the Digitized Sky Survey. The fellowship provides up to three years of support at STScI for promising postdoctoral researchers working on innovative scientific studies involving large astronomical databases, massive data processing, data visualization and discovery, and automated classification and clustering algorithms.

Emphasis on astronomical studies that take significant advantage of cloud computing opportunities such as Amazon Web Services and/or explore the potentials offered by the upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope are preferred.

The fellowship includes a competitive salary, generous benefits, and a budget to cover research expenses. The selection is based on applicants’ accomplishments and proposed research. You must have received (or expect to receive) your PhD before the commencement of the fellowship.

Selection Criteria and Weightings

The following selection criteria and weightings will be used for all applications received before the deadline. Please tailor your application and cover letter to address these criteria to the best of your ability. Selection committees account for career length and opportunities available when scoring applications.

Proposed Data Science Research and Potential (40%)

STScI identifies data science as a key strategic area of development. Data science is defined as the interdisciplinary application of modern and new data science methods, and includes, but is not limited to, machine learning methods, modern statistical methods, big data problems, high-performance computing applications, and cloud computing such as Amazon Web Services. Does the applicant have a demonstrated potential for creating a successful research program at STScI? Does their proposed research have the potential for lasting impact? Is there a feasible and technically accurate plan for the work? Are the data science methods well described, well motivated, and well integrated into the research plan?

Preparation and Past Research (30%)

Preparation encompasses the applicant’s education, experience, technical abilities, past research, productivity, scientific impact, and publication record.

Leadership Potential (30%)

STScI seeks future leaders who embody the core values of the Institution, such as service, integrity, and excellence. The overall application includes evidence for the applicant’s independence, creativity, capability, grit, and potential to be a leader during their tenure at STScI or within the larger astronomical community. Special emphasis is placed on those areas that align with STScI’s strategic values and goals.

Application and Past Fellows

  • Lasker Fellows

    Cassiopeia Supernova

    Find the names of previous fellowship recipients.

Contact Information

Have Questions?

Email requests for additional information to our team.