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Graduate Fellowship


The Center for AstroPhysical Surveys (CAPS) at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is pleased to announce the third annual Graduate Student Fellowship competition. This one-year fellowship is meant to support graduate research on topics of direct relevance to CAPS (see CAPS mission statement). The fellowships will start on August 16, 2021 (Fall 2021 semester) and run for 1 year (through Summer 2022). Applications must include a brief research proposal and two letters of recommendation that must be submitted by 3pm, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. 

This year, we anticipate awarding a total of five fellowships, four that will be devoted exclusively to CAPS, and one which will be devoted to theoretical work with synergistic overlap between CAPS and the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (see ICASU mission statement). The evaluation criteria for the pure CAPS fellowships will be based on scientific merit and relevance to astrophysical survey projects on campus. The evaluation criteria for the joint CAPS-ICASU fellowship will also be based on scientific merit, but will put special emphasis on theory proposals that can strengthen the mission of both centers. 

Details of the Fellowship:

The graduate fellowship includes one year (12 months) of funding at $30k/yr for a stipend (with tuition remission) starting Fall 2021 and extending through Summer 2022. There will be computing resources available for the graduate fellows. There will also be travel funds available for work related to NCSA survey science projects.

Application Materials:

  • Research Statement: The research statement consists of two pages. The first page will describe the scientific context, motivation, and synergy with the CAPS mission for the research proposal (and when necessary the ICASU mission). The second page will describe the technical plan and details for the one year fellowship. The application must contain the full name, email, year of study, and home department of the applicant. Figures and references are encouraged, but do not exceed the page limit. The text layout should be standard 1-inch margins and 10 to 12 point font. The proposal should be concise and clear.
  • CV and List of Publications: A brief 1-page CV and an additional list of publications (including full author lists and publication titles).

The two page research statement should be combined with the CV and publication list as a

single pdf document with the file name: research_statement_<lastname>_<firstname>_2021.pdf

  • Letters of Recommendation: The candidate must arrange for two letters of recommendation to be delivered by the deadline. These letters will remain confidential. Like the research statement, we would encourage the letter writers to be concise and objective. One letter must come from the applicant’s research advisor. A second letter should come from another person familiar with the applicant’s research proposal, e.g. another faculty member on campus, NCSA scientific staff, or external collaborators. The letters should be emailed to Deanna Spivey ( with the file name: letter_<lastname>_<firstname>_2021.pdf

All materials are to be emailed to Deanna Spivey ( and cc’ing Prof. Joaquin Vieira ( in pdf form by 3pm, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. The subject heading of the email must be “CAPSFellowship2021”. Applications that do not conform precisely to these instructions will be rejected without review.

Any questions can be directed to Prof. Joaquin Vieira (