The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Predoctoral Program welcomes applications throughout the year from current graduate students pursuing thesis research in astrophysics or related fields. Applicants in theory, observation, instrument development, or laboratory experiments at a university or college are strongly encouraged to apply to this program that accepts applications on a rolling admissions basis. Online applications are due 6 WEEKS BEFORE THE INTENDED APPOINTMENT START DATE. For application instructions and a login to the application, please see the Admissions page.
Started in 1985, the Program has welcomed graduate students from universities around the world interested in carrying out all or part of their research under the guidance of SAO Scientists.
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics creates a rich environment for collaborations among future colleagues by bringing together over 300 SAO scientists across a broad spectrum of scientific endeavors in nearly all areas related to astronomy, including: atomic and molecular physics, geophysics and atmospheric physics, the solar system, solar physics, planetary systems, the interstellar medium, stars and star formation, supernovae, compact objects, galaxies, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.
Facilities include the MMT Observatory, Magellan, and other optical and infrared telescopes; radio telescopes, especially the Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii; a large Beowulf cluster and network of workstations; a number of specialized laboratories; an outstanding library system; and access to data from a wide range of space missions, especially the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Fellowship Program Office/Contact Information
The Fellowship Program Office is located in Room B-218 on the Observatory grounds at 60 Garden Street in Cambridge.
Mailing and Contact Information:
Ms. Christine Crowley
Fellowship Program Coordinator
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Telephone: (617) 495-7103
Fax: (617) 496-7589
Help with Specific Questions
Division Administrators (or their designees) handle many of the administrative support details for visiting fellows and scientists. Please check with them for help with any work-related issues. For questions on the provisions of your award or tax status, contact Christine Crowley. In some cases, you can go directly to your Advisor. If you are unsure of whom to ask, contact the Fellowship Program Coordinator.
The program is open to US citizens and Non-US citizens. Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English. All application materials must be presented in English (foreign transcripts may be translated).