Blue Dots

Sagan Program and 2009 Sagan Fellowships

The Sagan Program has been announced through the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech. See details in the following pages.

The Sagan Program seeks to further both the technical development and broad scientific application of exo-planet-related technologies such as optical/near-IR interferometry and coronagraphy. The Sagan Program is administered for the Exoplanet Exploration Program by NExScI, and it includes both the Sagan Fellowship Program and the Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop.

The Sagan Fellowship Program administers an annual series of fellowships for young scientists and engineers working in disciplines related to exo-planetary research. Fellowship recipients receive financial support to conduct research at a host institution in the US for a period of up to three years (subject to annual review and availability of funds from NASA). Find application and other information here. Of special interest may be the 2005 Michelson Fellows Symposium, featuring presentations by previous fellows, and the Michelson Educational Award recipients.

The Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop series are annual topical workshops that provide opportunities for students, postdocs, and staff alike to learn about the engineering and scientific application of exo-planet-related techniques used in the Exoplanet Exploration Program.

2009 Sagan Fellowships

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute announces the introduction of the Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and solicits applications for fellowships to begin in the fall of 2009.

The Sagan Fellowships support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration area. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

The proposed research may be theoretical, observational, or instrumental. This program is open to applicants of any nationality who have earned (or will have earned) their doctoral degrees on or after January 1, 2006, in astronomy, physics, or related disciplines. The fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows’ choice, subject to a maximum of one new fellow per host institution per year. The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

We anticipate awarding 3 - 4 fellowships in 2009. Please note that these are postdoctoral Fellowships only. Previous Michelson Fellowship holders are fully eligible to apply.

The Announcement of Opportunity, which includes detailed program policies and application instructions, will be available here by September 15, 2008. Applicants must follow the instructions given in this Announcement. Inquiries about the Sagan Fellowships may be directed to Dr. Dawn Gelino (

The deadline for both applications and letters of reference is Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4 PM PST. Offers will be made before February 1, 2009, and new appointments are expected to begin on or about September 1, 2009.

Friday 12 September 2008 by Vincent Coudé du Foresto