Education and Outreach: November 2010

The NAI has awarded the following students and postdoctoral fellows with travel awards:

Chris Glein, a graduate student at Arizona State University, will present a paper at the European Planetary Science Conference in Rome, Italy.

Weifu Guo, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, will travel to JPL to use the tunable laser spectroscopy facilities.

Amy Kelly, a Postdoctoral Fellow will travel between the University of California, Riverside and Arizona State University to continue her research by measuring transition metal isotope ratios in ancient rocks.

Anna Roussanova, a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, will attend the Saas-Fee Winter School, "From Planets to Life", in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland.

For more information on the NAI Research Scholarship Program: [Source: NAI Newsletter]

NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2011-2012 academic year. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities.

The deadline for NEW applications is February 1, 2011, and the deadline for RENEWAL applications is March 15, 2011.

The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF 11 solicitation index page at - click on "Solicitations" then click on "Open Solicitations" then select the "NESSF 11" announcement. Also refer to "Proposal Submission Instructions" and "Program Specific Questions" listed under "Other Documents" on the NESSF 11 solicitation index page.

All proposals must be submitted in electronic format only through the NASA NSPIRES system. The advisor has an active role in the submission of the fellowship proposal. To use the NSPIRES system, the advisor, the student, and the university must all register. Extended instructions on how to submit an electronic proposal package are posted on the NESSF 11 solicitation index page listed above. You can register in NSPIRES at

For further information contact Ming-Ying Wei, Program Administrator for NESSF Earth Science Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0771, E-mail: or Dolores Holland, Program Administrator for NESSF Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research, and Astrophysics Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0734, E-mail: [Source: NAI Newsletter]

- Student & Young Scientist Meeting Grants

Deadline: 19 February, 2011.

Eligibility: This program provides financial assistance to young scientists and students with little or no support from research contracts or grants who will give an oral or poster presentation as first author at the Origins 2011 meeting. Requests should be sent to .

- David White Research Award.

Deadline: 15 December, 2010.

Eligibility: This award recognizes one or more scientists for outstanding contributions in experimental and/or theoretical studies in Astrobiology. Nominees must be members of ISSOL at the time of the award.

- Stanley L Miller Early Career Research Award

Deadline: 15 December, 2010.

Eligibility: ISSOL recognizes outstanding contributions of young scientists who are engaged in experimental and/or theoretical studies in Astrobiology. For more information on these grants visit

[Source: NAI]

The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University is seeking new faculty expertise in the study of the nature, formation, and evolution of extrasolar planets. Applicants with both observational and theoretical interests are being sought. Specific research areas might include but are not limited to: spectroscopy of planets and their host stars, novel techniques for searching for and characterizing exoplanets, planetary interior modeling, and planetary dynamics. The School is particularly interested in hiring faculty at the Assistant or Associate Professor level who aspire to leadership positions in large-scale space- and/or ground-based research initiatives like those recently articulated in the 2010 NRC Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics ("New Worlds, New Horizons"). The successful candidate's appointment may begin as early as August 15, 2011.

Established in 2006, SESE is one of the fastest growing academic programs at one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the United States. An essential part of its mission is a transformative integration of disciplines such as biogeochemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, cosmology, volcanology, hydrology, geology, and systems engineering to address the grand challenges in earth and space sciences. Faculty in SESE have full access to the Arizona Observatory facilities, including the 6.5m MMT at Mt Hopkins, the two 6.5m Magellan telescopes in Chile, the 2.3m Bok and 1.8m VATT telescopes, the 2x8.4m LBT at Mt Graham, and the 10m Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope. Access to the 22m Giant Magellan Telescope is anticipated upon its completion. In addition, SESE faculty benefit from a variety of state-of-the-art facilities on the Tempe AZ campus, including high-bay assembly clean rooms, in the School's new building opening in Spring 2012.

Applications should include: 1) a cover letter that includes a description of the applicant's research and teaching interests and experience; 2) a current CV; and 3) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references. All materials should be submitted electronically, in PDF format, through the school's website: Application reviews will begin on November 1 and continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, we encourage submission of complete applications no later than December 1, 2010. [Source: NAI]

Frontiers Project at ASU

Building from recently completed and upcoming decadal surveys of emerging research priorities, the Frontier Project will establish research teams in the School of Earth and Space Exploration to take full advantage of federally funded research opportunities. These research teams will be led by newly hired senior faculty members, and typically will include newly hired junior faculty and technical staff as well as postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The operational base for these teams will be a 162,000 sq. ft. research building currently under construction on the ASU Tempe campus and scheduled for occupancy in Spring 2012.

We seek expressions of interest from senior faculty members at other universities or senior scientists and engineers at federal or industry laboratories who may be open to relocating to ASU and establishing a team as part of the project. Inquiries should include:

* A prospectus of the proposed research focus;
* An estimate of the initial size of the proposed research team and, if appropriate, the names and curriculum vitae of potential team members.
* A description of current sponsored funding that could support such research and of emerging funding opportunities;
* An exploration of how the research functions of the team might be integrated into the educational mission of SESE. The School regards graduate, undergraduate, K12, and informal science and engineering education as essential activities.

Letters of inquiry will be kept confidential and can be sent directly to the attention of Professor Kip Hodges, Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration . [Source: NAI]

The Australian Centre for Astrobiology and the Natural Products Research Laboratory in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science at the University of New South Wales are offering several PhD scholarships for both Australian and overseas PhD students.

To qualify you must have honours or Masters degrees or previous research experience in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or bioinformatics to work on research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, the University of New Wales, as well as a variety of industry partners. Particular research interests and strength are in the fields of environmental microbiology and genomics, biotechnology, molecular evolution, functional genomics, drug discovery and development, astrobiology, and extremophiles.

Scholarships include a stipend of up to AUD $30,000 per annum tax-free, international travel support (AUD $5,000), office and/or laboratory expenses. Non-Australian or New Zealand applicants may also be eligible for tuition waivers (valued at AUD $22,000 per annum). Qualified applicants may be invited and funded to visit the facilities. For more information: [Source: NAI]

Dates: 5-8 June 2011

Location: Montana State University, Bozeman Montana

Eligibility: Graduate students, post-doctoral students, early-career astrobiologists (2-5 years past PhD).

The 2011 Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon) will be held at Montana State University, from 5-8 June, 2011. The schedule will include two full days of talks and poster sessions, one day of public outreach and educational activities, and a full-day field trip to Yellowstone National Park. The conference application will be available online in January 2011.

For more information: [Source: NAI]

The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University invites applications for the Exploration Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. SESE's core mission is to integrate science and engineering to provide a better understanding of our world and beyond. Research areas within SESE encompass astrophysics, cosmology, Earth science, climate science, planetary science, exploration systems engineering, and science education. The Exploration Fellowship Program aims to provide opportunities for conducting research on cutting-edge topics and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

Applications must include a brief research proposal that has been discussed with prospective faculty sponsors. Preference will be given to proposals that include multiple focus areas within SESE and that will involve new collaborations. Potential research topics span the full range of research interests of our faculty ( ), including key initiatives in the origin, evolution, and fate of the Universe, planetary bodies, Earth's surface environment, and life; and lifelong science and engineering education. ASU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that actively seeks diversity among applicants and promotes a diverse workforce.

Applications are due by December 31, 2010. A full description of the application process is available at We expect to award up to 2 fellowships this year. Typically, appointments will start between July 1 and September 1, 2011. [Source: NAI]