Newkirk Fellowship

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What Is the Newkirk Fellowship?

The Newkirk Fellowship is named in honor of Gordon A. Newkirk Jr., astrophysicist, creator of the HAO white-light coronagraph and a former HAO director. Newkirk's balloon observations laid the groundwork for successful spaceborne experiments by the observatory. This fellowship program has supported graduate research at HAO for decades.

The Newkirk Fellowship provides financial support for research visits to HAO allowing for 3–6 months per year in a single visit. The total supported length is 9 months, which can be spread out over up to 3 years. A visit within one year of program acceptance is mandatory. HAO provides travel support for 1 visit per year, including airfare and temporary living per diem at a rate of $2,000 per month. In addition we provide a stipend of $2,000 per month. One trip of up to 2 weeks for the university advisor/mentor to visit HAO will be covered (the visit is not mandatory, but is highly recommended and has to occur while the student is present at HAO). All visits to HAO must occur while the student is enrolled in a graduate program.


The student must be enrolled full time in a university graduate program having common interest with HAO research goals. Eligible candidates are not required to have already passed their comprehensive exams. Newkirk Fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, scientific potential, and compatibility of the student’s interests with current HAO research pursuits

How It Works

HAO Newkirk Fellows will work with guidance from HAO scientists and engineers on projects related to their thesis, qualifying exams, or other research projects. During this time Newkirk Fellows will have access to state-of-the-art observational and computational facilities in their thesis work. These include the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC), as well as local Unix workstations, data archives, and libraries at HAO/NCAR. HAO Newkirk Fellows are encouraged to participate in a wide range of active research ventures, including study of the Earth’s ionosphere, thermosphere, and magnetosphere, observations and simulations of coronal mass ejections, spectro-polarimetric observations and interpretation using HAO instrumentation and data inversion tools, probing solar magnetism through observations and modeling, and instrument development. For further details see

How To Apply

Applications for this program are accepted once a year. We are no longer accepting applications for fellowships starting during 2018. The next recruitment period will begin later this year. Please check back to our website in fall 2018.

A complete application will include the following:

  • Statement (up to 3 pages) from the student describing their proposed research project along with any relevant work experience of which the evaluation committee should be aware of. It is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, that the students reach out to prospective HAO research mentors prior to submitting their application.
  • Letters of recommendation from two university faculty members or research supervisors who are familiar with the student's work must accompany the application. Please note that it is the student's responsibility to request that the letters be sent to HAO.
  • Transcripts of undergraduate and graduate courses. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.


Materials listed above should be sent by e-mail to:
Caitlyn Quinn Erdesz
HAO Visitor Commitee
High Altitude Observatory, NCAR

Links to other NCAR Fellowship Programs

NCAR Advanced Study Program