IPAC Visiting Graduate Fellowship

Program Description

Established in 2013, the IPAC Visiting Graduate Fellowship (VGF) offers several six-month positions  to graduate students who want to conduct PhD-level astronomical research in close association with IPAC scientists. Students from U.S. and international institutions gain applicable research experience with leaders in the scientific areas of exoplanets, galactic and extra-galactic studies, stellar formation, cosmology, and more.
If selected, you will enjoy the following benefits of being an IPAC Visiting Graduate Fellow:
  • gain hands-on learning and experience while augmenting your own post-graduate work,
  • leverage opportunities to work with data from high-profile missions and surveys, including Spitzer, TESS, WFIRST, SPHEREx, Euclid, GOALS, PHANGS-HST,  and Herschel, and
  • make connections with the professional astronomical community in Pasadena, California, home of Caltech (where IPAC is based) and nearby NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Visiting Graduate Fellows work at the IPAC office on the California Institute of Technology campus in Pasadena, California. The program duration is nominally February to August, with some flexibility on the start and end dates, during which a monthly stipend is provided. The exact number of fellowships awarded each year is decided based on available funding.

Application Deadline

The call for 2020 applications is now open. Applications are due by August 23, 2019.
Contact: Dr Patrick Lowrance (lowrance at ipac dot caltech dot edu)
For more info: https://www.ipac.caltech.edu/page/graduate-fellowship

Apply Now

Application Instructions

Eligible applicants should have completed preliminary course work in their graduate program. Each applicant must submit:

  • A brief letter of introduction indicating your interest in a particular research area connected with IPAC research. The letter should include the following information:
  • A brief description of your current status as a graduate student, including relevant course work completed.
  • A brief description of how your current research interests might match one of the IPAC research projects described below. Please rank the top 3 projects that you might like to participate in. 
  • Please list any research experience you may already have in astronomy. In addition, please tell us of any experience you may have with astronomical and image processing software packages (e. g. IRAF, IDL, HIPE, AIPS etc).
  • The approximate start-date of your visit (nominally February 2020).
  • A one-page CV

In addition, we ask that a current professor or academic advisor familiar with the applicant’s work upload a letter of reference (PDF) using this page. This letter should also indicate that the applicant is available to visit IPAC during the proposed period, and address how well the visit would mesh with the applicant’s graduate education.

Submit Letter


For more information please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Patrick Lowrance, lowrance [at] ipac.caltech.edu