Catalyst Fellowship Host Institutions

There are two categories of host institutions for LSST-Discovery Alliance (LSST-DA) Catalyst Fellowships: member institutions and what we refer to as expansion institutions.

Each institution can only host one astrophysics fellow, so astrophysics applicants will provide a primary and backup host-institution choice on their application. An applicant’s primary and backup choice for a host institution does not need to be from the same category. 

Member Institutions

LSST-DA member institutions have demonstrated their interest in Rubin LSST science and have invested in the scientific success of Rubin LSST by joining LSST-DA. Whether large or small, these institutions (or consortia of institutions) have faculty and staff whose expertise and research interests make them extremely well-suited for hosting postdocs intending to conduct LSST-related research. 

LINCC Hub Institutions

Several of the LSST-DA member institutions listed below – Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Washington – are helping to lead a new initiative called LINCC, the LSST Interdisciplinary Network for Collaboration and Computing. Fellows who sit at those institutions will have the opportunity to get deeply involved in the development, testing, and early use of LINCC software (LINCC Frameworks), collaborating with professional software engineers and data scientists.

Extended Term

We offer fellows at Hub institutions four-year terms (contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funds) so they can participate in tools development and publish their work. The extended Fellowship duration will enable the development of the ambitious software infrastructure necessary to accomplish novel science with the Rubin LSST. The Catalyst Fellow will join and engage with a unique, collaborative environment designed to foster the development of new ideas for Rubin data analysis tools. LINCC professionals are expressly targeting the development of reliable community software. They will collaborate with Catalyst Fellows at LINCC Hub institutions to ensure that major LSST science can be accomplished promptly. 

Proposal Recommendation

Applicants applying for the Catalyst Fellowship at LINCC Hub institutions are advised to include a conceptual description of the analysis tools they consider important in their research statement. The technical details of these tools can extend beyond the current expertise of the applicant. LINCC will provide the fellow with the opportunity to collaborate with professional computer scientists to build the analysis tools envisioned by the applicant. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in LINCC-related activities at the Hub institutions while developing leadership skills in the emerging field of astroinformatics.

Expansion Institutions

In addition to fostering discovery using LSST data, LSST-DA aims to enlarge the networks of researchers and students using these data. In pursuit of these aims, one astrophysics Catalyst Fellow in each cohort will sit at an expansion site — an institution that is not yet a member of LSST-DA and does not typically host prize postdocs. Expansion sites may be a particularly good fit for applicants interested in a future faculty position at this type of college or university.

Proposing an Expansion Site

Astrophysics applicants interested in conducting their research at an expansion site can select from the list below or propose a site of their own choosing. Proposals for expansion sites that have small astrophysics faculty, that are historically Black and indigenous colleges, that are minority-serving, or that are under-resourced will be looked upon most favorably. LSST-DA will help establish a mutually beneficial partnership between each expansion site that ends up hosting a Fellow and an appropriate LSST-DA member institution.

Terms and Research Allowance

While most fellows will have three-year terms, those who sit at expansion sites will have four-year terms as well as a supplemental annual research allowance on top of the standard research allowance for fellows.

Available Host Institutions

Please note: Institutions with an asterisk are only eligible for the social science fellowship.

LSST-DA Member Institutions

Adler Planetarium

Astronomy in Chile

Contact: Médéric Boquien (mederic.boquien AT 

Chile has a vibrant, dynamic, and rapidly growing scientific community, currently consisting of 274 professional astronomers spread over 24 institutions and covering all active research fields. All LSST-DA Catalysts Fellows hosted by a Chilean institution will be eligible to apply for the 10% guaranteed time on all telescopes installed in Chile, such as ALMA, VLT, Gemini-S, Magellan, etc. There are currently 60+ astronomers based in Chile who are members of LSST science collaborations, spread over all scientific topics from cosmology to the solar system. Particularly relevant for potential postdoctoral fellows is the Alerce project, recently selected as one of the LSST event brokers, led by researchers in Chile.

Postdoctoral fellows hosted by Chilean institutions will be eligible to apply for the 10% guaranteed time on all telescopes installed in Chile. Chile has a very active and lively community of astronomy and data science researchers, including all fields of research associated with LSST. 

Potential LSST-DA Fellow candidates interested in having a Chilean institution as a host are encouraged either to establish contact directly with relevant faculty members or email Prof. Médéric Boquien for guidance in selecting a suitable sponsoring institution and general information about Chilean institutions.

Chilean University Contacts

  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) Felipe Barrientos (barrientos AT
  • Universidad de Antofagasta (UA) Eduardo Unda-Sanzana (astro.director AT
  • Universidad Adolfo Ibañez (UAI) Andrés Jordán (andres.jordan AT
  • Universidad Autónoma de Chile (UAUTONOMA) Natalia Inostroza (natalia.inostroza AT
  • Universidad de Chile (UCH) Patricio Rojo (pato AT
  • Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) Max Moyano (mmoyano AT
  • Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC) Nicola Astudillo (nastudillo AT
  • Universidad de Atacama (UDA) Mario Soto (mario.soto AT
  • Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) Mauricio Herrera (mherrera AT
  • Universidad de Concepción (UDEC) Neil Nagar (nagar AT
  • Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) Manuel Aravena (manuel.aravena AT 
  • Universidad de La Serena (ULS) Hector Cuevas (hcuevas AT
  • Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE) Luis Barrera (luis.barrera AT
  • Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) Giuliano Pignata (pignago AT
  • Universidad de Valparaíso (UV) Radostin Kurtev (rudy AT
  • Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) Germán Varas (german.varas AT
  • Universidad Austral (UACH) José Mardones (jmardones AT 
  • Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins (UBO) Maria José Acuña (mjose.acuna AT
  • Universidad Central (UCEN) Christian Nicolai (christian.nicolai AT
  • Universidad Mayor (UMAYOR) Raúl Coto (raul.coto AT
  • Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) Roberto Bernal (roberto.bernal AT
  • Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria (UTFSM) Mónica Pacheco (monica.pacheco AT 
  • Universidad de Tarapacá (UTA) David Laroze (dlaroze AT
  • Universidad de Talca (UTAL) Gonzalo Pincheira (gpincheira AT 

Carnegie Mellon University

Contact: Rachel Mandelbaum (rmandelb AT

Catalyst Fellows at CMU would be hosted by the McWilliams Center, which joins research efforts in astrophysics, particle physics, computer science, statistics, and other disciplines to unravel the mysteries of the universe.  Theoretical and observational studies within the Center cover a wide range of astrophysical phenomena, including galaxy and structure formation, black holes, gravitational waves, stellar evolution, transients, gravitational lensing, dynamical detection of dark matter, and effective field theory in Cosmology. Faculty at CMU are already actively engaged in preparation for LSST through deep engagement with the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) and Informatics and Statistics Science Collaboration (ISSC) and are starting to get involved in other areas.  In addition to the interdisciplinary research carried out within the McWilliams Center, which spans multiple departments, CMU Physics is also the host of the NSF AI Planning Institute for Data-Driven Discovery in Physics

CMU is one of two lead institutions for the LINCC Frameworks initiative, which aims to deliver to the broad LSST scientific community the tools that work at the interface of algorithmic developments and astrophysics, creating robust, scalable analysis frameworks that can deliver new discoveries from massive data streams. As a LINCC member institution, CMU offers Catalyst Fellows four years of postdoctoral funding (one more than Catalyst Fellows at non-LINCC institutions).  Catalyst Fellows at CMU would have the opportunity for sustained, deep engagement with the LINCC Frameworks research scientists and software engineers to collaborate on developing the software that enables the Fellows to become scientific leaders in LSST.

Like other postdoctoral researchers in the McWilliams Center, Catalyst Fellows at CMU will have access to the Vera computing cluster and other resources at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, which provides high-performance computing resources on a variety of scales and works closely with our scientists.  The Center has a regular seminar series, arxiv paper discussions, and other activities, which fellows may participate in and/or help organize, and Fellows are welcome to join the research group meetings of any faculty member. The Department of Physics (which hosts the Center) has active efforts in outreach and in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, from which postdoctoral fellows benefit and in which they are encouraged to engage. Postdoctoral Fellows at CMU are able to be the PIs of grants, and arrangements can be made to permit them to teach if they express interest in doing so. They are eligible to apply for the McWilliams Center Seed Grant Program. Finally, members of the Center are engaged in other surveys such as DES, HSC, DESI, and LISA, which may provide collaboration opportunities for Catalyst Fellows. The supportive environment and varied career development opportunities offered here have resulted in strong career trajectories for former postdoctoral fellows at CMU.

Postdoctoral Fellows will receive standard university onboarding from CMU HR, and the McWilliams Center has an onboarding guide for all new members linked from its website. We will ensure that any Catalyst Fellow who comes to CMU has a faculty mentor within the McWilliams Center whom they can consult with further questions. 

Columbia University

Columbia is an invigorating place to be an astronomer, astrophysicist, or cosmologist. We enjoy the intellectual vibrancy that follows from the diverse nature of our research programs. We sit at the nexus of an explosion of astronomical research in the Tri-State area. We have forged a Big Apple community with our colleagues at Barnard, AMNH, the City University of New York (CUNY), New York University (NYU), and the Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA). Researchers in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Columbia work on a variety of topics related to the the core science goals of LSST:

  • Columbia astronomers and physicists are involved in all aspects of multi-messenger gravitational wave astrophysics, ranging from experimental efforts within LIGO to theoretical work focused on LIGO/LISA/PTA sources and their associated optical transient counterparts. (Haiman, Levin, May, Marka, Metzger, Paerels)
  • We have pioneers in the use of time-series data and machine learning to detect planets and extract fundamental planetary and stellar properties (Agüeros, Angus, Kipping, Ness, Oppenheimer).  
  • We have long-standing interests in the nature of transient sources produced by novae and supernovae (Helfand, Metzger, Patterson, Shara, Sironi, Sokoloski).
  • We study Galaxy formation, interactions and evolution, Stellar Populations, the Milky Way, and the Local Group (Bryan, Johnston, Mac Low, Ostriker, Putman, Shiminovich, van Gorkom)
  • We have researchers exploring the growth of supermassive black holes at galactic centers (Bryan, Haiman, Halpern, Sironi).  
  • Our members are forging new approaches to analyze weak lensing data for insights into cosmology (Haiman, Hill, Hui, May).

At Columbia, there are copious opportunities to present your work, learn from others, and forge collaborations. Columbia Astronomy and Physics hold seminars and colloquia, informal talks and paper discussion, as well as workshops and other meetings resulting in frequent national and international visitors, many of them prominent leaders in astronomy. We have active Outreach programs for our NYC neighbors. There are 15-20 postdocs in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Columbia at present. Mentorship is a priority, with a faculty member specifically assigned to support the postdoc community. In a recent three-year period, 13 postdocs from our program were hired into faculty positions. We would be delighted to welcome an LSST-DA Catalyst Fellow to join us. 

**Any new LSST-DA Catalyst Fellowship offer for Columbia will only have a two-year term because a successful applicant from the first application cycle has been offered a place at Columbia starting in 2025-2026.

FZU – Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Contact: Dr. Michael Prouza (prouza AT

Our group participation in the Rubin Observatory has begun by helping characterize the CCD sensors in the early stages of the project. The scope of our activities developed since then, and now we are involved in camera commissioning, computing, and moving towards data analysis of transients and multi-messenger searches. The latter two topics are done within the Transient and Variable Stars science collaboration. Our plan is to contribute to the identification and characterization of interesting objects, such as GRBs (also choked GRBs), AGNs, and Tidal Disruption Events. Equipped with this knowledge, we would like to perform multi-messenger searches, trying to correlate these observations with high-energy neutrino data or X-ray and gamma observations. A key element will be the variability of the observed objects, which can significantly aid the correlation analyses.

Our group is part of The Central European Institute for Cosmology and Fundamental Physics within the institute. It brings together 15 junior postdoctoral researchers mentored by 9 experienced scientists. CEICO serves as a hub for the development of novel ideas in cosmology, gravity, and string theory. In the field of aspro-particle physics FZU also has a strong group where we participate as well, whose members are active within the Auger and CTA collaborations. They are involved in a wide variety of activities, from hardware development and instrumentation to analyzing observational data. The institute has invested significant resources into creating a modern and friendly work environment, focusing on inclusion, mentoring, and career development, for which we have been awarded the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. Members of our team regularly participate in outreach programs, the form of which had to change during the pandemic but did not come to a halt. We are not an educational institution, nonetheless, teaching is strongly encouraged, and several group members are lecturing at Czech Universities.

Our HR department and our experts on the technical issues (i.e. computing, safety officer) have put together checklists and established procedures to facilitate the on-boarding. In our experience, within just a few days, the new member is able to get everything sorted out (medical check, health insurance, understanding the contract and all benefits, safety training, computing accounts, etc.) and begin working within the team without any limitations. There are opportunities to participate in language courses and soft skills improvement paid by the institute, and last but not least, we have informal Slack channels to organize free time activities or simply get help and assistance with the specifics of living in the region.

Insituto Nazionale di AstroFisica (INAF)

Contact: Massimo Brescia (Massimo.brescia AT

INAF is the Italian research institute that directly organizes and funds the whole Italian research in all astronomical fields. It is organized in 16 different institutes and observatories scattered throughout the entire country and includes more than 700 staff researchers and hundreds of associated university professors. At the national level, it operates in strong cooperation with Italian Universities, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). It has a wide range of international collaborations with institutes and space agencies across the entire world. INAF researchers are active in all LSST-related fields, including in particular objects of the solar system, stellar population, variable stars, transients and high energy sources, galaxy and AGN evolution, cosmology, and machine learning. 

INAF staff and post-docs have access to a wide range of world-class facilities, including national facilities (like VST, TNG, LBT in the optical and SRT in the radio), international facilities (like all ESO telescopes, ALMA, as well as SKA and CTA as they are available), and large computing facilities at CINECA. Post-docs at INAF also have the opportunity to join GAIA, Euclid, and other other ESA scientific missions in which INAF is heavily involved.

Johns Hopkins University*

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology KIPAC/Stanford & SLAC

At the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology (KIPAC), which spans the Stanford campus and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, LSST-DA postdoctoral fellows will find scientific mentoring expertise in a wide array of astrophysics and cosmology research topics, including dark energy, dark matter, gravitational lensing, optical surveys, cosmological simulations, scientific visualization, instrumentation, and data analysis related to Rubin Observatory and LSST.

Many KIPAC members are deeply engaged in the integration and testing of the LSST Camera at SLAC and preparing for observatory commissioning in Chile, offering postdocs a unique opportunity to contribute to verifying and validating LSST data for early science. SLAC is the host DOE laboratory for the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) and manages the Rubin US Data Facility. KIPAC hosts an active LSST Early Science Group to brainstorm a wide range of ideas, and SLAC hosts the LSST-DA-supported “LSST Stack Club” to train scientists to run Rubin/LSST analysis software. LSST-DA postdocs working at KIPAC will benefit from the experience of KIPAC scientists in working with data from complementary observatories, that will help them achieve the full potential of LSST data, including multi-messenger / multi-wavelength opportunities. Feel free to contact the KIPAC faculty and scientific staff to learn more about their research interests and plans.

Many practical onboarding resources are described on the webpage for postdocs who are New to the KIPAC Community and the Getting Started section of the Stanford Office of Postdoctoral Affairs resources. Intellectual onboarding is provided through the KIPAC postdoc mentoring program, engagement with the community through KIPAC Teas, and off-campus retreats — both KIPAC-wide and for postdocs only.

Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU)

Contact: Masahiro Takada (masahiro.takada AT

Kavli IPMU is a leading institute in the ongoing Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) survey and the upcoming Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) survey with the 8.2m Subaru Telescope. Faculty members at Kavli IPMU are also actively involved in CMB experiments such as the Simons Observatory, CMB-S4, and the LiteBIRD satellite mission. With a similar survey depth and image quality to LSST, the multicolor HSC imaging survey has been considered a precursor to LSST. The planned PFS survey will carry out spectroscopic observations of HSC targets (stars, galaxies, and AGNs) over a wide solid angle, offering synergistic scientific opportunities when combined with HSC. An LSST fellow at Kavli IPMU will have the unique opportunity to lead projects involving a wide range of cosmological surveys that are complementary to LSST. Kavli IPMU provides a stimulating and supportive environment for junior scientists to grow with its mentorship program, a large group of postdoctoral scholars, and interdisciplinary research opportunities with scientists from particle physics, mathematics, and machine learning.

The LSST fellow will have access to proprietary-period data of Subaru HSC and PFS, as well as in-house computer resources at Kavli IPMU. The fellow is also encouraged to organize seminars, workshops, and conferences that Kavli IPMU sponsors. Kavli IPMU strongly supports equity, diversity, and inclusion. Female and underrepresented members are encouraged to lead scientific projects. A support desk is provided for the researchers and their families to facilitate everyday living in Japan.

Laboratório Interinstitucional de e-Astronomia (LIneA)

Contact: ldacosta AT

LIneA is a Brazilian institute created to provide support for scientists and fellows to participate in large international collaborations such as SDSS, DES, DESI, and now LSST. Its main office is based in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but it has affiliates in several Brazilian Universities in different states. Scientists affiliated with LIneA work on topics ranging from the solar system, Milky Way, galaxy evolution, cluster of galaxies, and cosmology. LIneA also has a dedicated computing infrastructure and an IT team that designs and develops tools to support research. Among its many projects, it has developed over the years a science portal to host workflows to carry out end-to-end analysis for DES, which is now being scaled up to the LSST requirements. LIneA also plans to host a catalog-LITE LSST IDAC offering great opportunities for fellows to carry out their research.

LIneA provides its associates access to all of its dedicated computing resources, which include more than 700 cores, access to a supercomputer, and the support of LineA’s IT team to help develop/optimize applications  The postdoctoral fellow that comes to LIneA will also be able to receive travel support from the INCT of the e-Universe, a special grant from the Federal and from the State of Rio de Janeiro.  

Las Cumbres Observatory*

Contact: Lisa Storrie-Lombardi (lisa AT

Las Cumbres Observatory’s global, robotic telescope network was custom-built specifically for time-domain astronomy. Our 25 robotic telescopes provide instant access to the sky in both hemispheres.

Catalyst Fellows will join a unique environment that is a public/private partnership conceived from some of the best ideas at companies like Google and Apple but in an academic setting consisting of in-house scientists and engineers who also work closely with UC Santa Barbara scientists. LCO staff are highly active in the Rubin Observatory LSST science community and lead global science collaborations in which postdocs actively participate. Our staff scientists lead a diverse range of research into the characterization of explosive transients, tidal disruption events, and gravitational waves (Andy Howell); exoplanets and microlensing (Rachel Street); and Solar System astronomy, particularly Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and comets (Tim Lister).

All of our scientists have established multi-national networks of collaborators. Postdocs also benefit from training in professional software development through active collaboration with LCO’s software engineers, critical in exploiting the big data from LSST. Mentoring support is also provided by LCO Observatory Director Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, KITP Director, Chair of the LCO Board of Directors Lars Bildsten, and 10 other faculty members in the Astro group at UC Santa Barbara. LCO participates in an active outreach program, co-sponsoring Astronomy on Tap in Santa Barbara with UCSB. Postdocs can also look to Wayne Rosing, the LCO founder and a former Vice President at Google, for both his technical expertise and life experience in management at Apple, Sun, and Google. 

In LCO’s supportive atmosphere, post-docs are not only assigned a single mentor but work within teams where cross-discipline collaboration is strongly encouraged. This is enhanced by strong links with external institutions, fostering co-mentoring and networking. LCO offers its post-docs a wealth of resources, including Science Grants and time on the LCO 1m network. Post-docs have autonomy and can try innovative ideas, attend science meetings of interest, and facilitate collaborations.  They are encouraged and trained to lead independent proposals for grants and telescope time. Post-docs also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience, co-mentoring students and interns, and are encouraged to partner with LCO’s professional software engineers, providing outstanding training that is valuable for astronomy, as well as gaining experience in instrumentation and observatory operations. This environment has a proven track record of cultivating strong, independent researchers who have gone on to become Einstein, Sagan, and Hubble Fellows, as well as Faculty and Senior Research positions. We maintain strong links with a large number of institutions around the world and have a particularly strong relationship with UC Santa Barbara, whose graduate students are often mentored at LCO.  

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Contact: Michael Schneider (schneider42 AT

Our astronomy group at LLNL contributes to several aspects of LSST science, including dark energy constraints from cosmic shear with the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC), searches for primordial black hole dark matter through stellar microlensing, surveys for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), and development of machine learning pipelines. We also have group members contributing to Rubin’s operations in the area of wavefront sensing and point spread function measurements, as well as connections to the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) survey. We are an institutional member of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Phase II survey, where we are developing PHA, microlensing, and machine learning pipelines as precursors to LSST science. A unique aspect of LLNL is our Data Science Institute (DSI), which helps connect our astronomy research to data scientists working across the lab and supports many student and seminar opportunities. Recent Rubin postdocs have developed collaborations and co-authors with computer scientists, statisticians, and engineers across the lab. The newly launched Space Science Institute is helping to create an even broader LLNL community related to LSST research.

Postdoc fellows will work as members of the LLNL Physics Division and will be on-boarded as division employees.

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy*

Contact: Dr. Coryn Bailer-Jones (calj AT

For more information on possible science projects, feel free to contact any of the relevant PIs: Coryn Bailer-Jones, Eduardo Banados, Gregory Green, Knud Jahnke, Jörg-Uwe Pott, Hans-Walter Rix, Fabian Walter. Contact information can be found on the MPIA website.

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg is home to more than 200 scientists, students, and engineering staff working on a wide range of instrumental, observational, and theoretical projects. Our science efforts are structured in three departments: Galaxies and Cosmology, Planet and Star Formation, and Atmospheric Physics of Exoplanets. We work on a wide range of topics, ranging from the characterization of planet-forming disks, the mapping of dynamical structures in our Milky Way, and the studies of nearby galaxies, to finding the highest redshift quasars. We develop instrumentation for both ground-based (e.g., VLT, ELT) and space-based (e.g., JWST, Euclid) telescopes. Across the three departments, MPIA has an emphasis on data modeling, machine learning, and big data analysis. Our recently formed Data Science department provides assistance to MPIA researchers in high-performance computing, working with complex data, and producing data analysis solutions.

The MPIA is contributing to Rubin/LSST through a group of software engineers and has data rights for several Principal Investigators. MPIA scientists are planning to collaborate in the Rubin/LSST context in several areas: the identification and follow-up of interstellar objects, mapping interstellar dust in the Galaxy, dynamics of the Milky Way, exploring stellar variability and linking it to spectroscopic surveys and Gaia astrometry, as well as studying the environments of the most distant quasars.  MPIA has a leading role in the near-infrared photometry of the Euclid mission, which will create exciting synergies with Rubin/LSST data.  Fellows are welcome to propose projects on any topic and are encouraged to contact us so we can identify potential collaborators and help optimize the application.

The MPIA community is diverse and highly international, with PhD students, postdocs, and staff coming from over 40 different countries.  The institute’s working language is English. We have a strong international visitor program and many scientific seminars and colloquia. The MPIA Campus houses the “Haus der Astronomie” (HdA) – the Centre for Astronomy Education and Outreach – which is a joint operation between the MPIA, Heidelberg University, and the City of Heidelberg. The HdA also hosts the Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

All MPIA fellows have access to state-of-the-art computing resources, both in-house and at clusters hosted by other institutes. MPIA has access to all ESO telescopes, and we are a partner in the twin 8m LBT telescope with guaranteed time access. We are also part of the Gaia, Euclid, SDSS-V, and 4MOST consortia, providing opportunities to work with data that are complementary to LSST/Rubin.

MPIA has many ties to Heidelberg University, from common research projects to teaching and training undergraduate and PhD students.  Postdoctoral Researchers are the largest group of junior scientists at MPIA and are central to our training and mentoring mission.  We have a long and successful record of supporting postdoctoral fellows on a path to successful research careers and offer opportunities to get involved in teaching and supervising, and to organize workshops.

In addition to the LSST-DA fellowship funding, we can provide additional travel funds if needed, and we offer the opportunity to extend the fellowship by a year at a competitive salary level.

Northwestern University

Contact: Adam Miller (amiller AT

LSST-DA Catalyst Fellows will join the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University. Faculty in CIERA leads Rubin/LSST-related research in several areas, including the search for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources, understanding the host galaxies of fast radio bursts (FRBs), probing the origins of stellar explosions, dense stellar dynamics, the development of machine learning models for petabyte-scale data sets, galaxy structure and evolution, and the use of variable stars as probes of stellar evolution. As CIERA postdocs, Catalyst Fellows have access to a suite of telescopes (including Keck, MMT,  Las Cumbres Observatory, SEDMv2, and the LS4 time-domain survey) as well as exclusive access to two high-performance computer clusters with a total of 2,644 compute cores. As a LINCC member institution, Northwestern offers Catalyst Fellows four years of postdoctoral funding (one more than Catalyst Fellows at non-LINCC institutions). Catalyst Fellows at CIERA benefit from a diverse and dynamic intellectual environment (learn more about CIERA’s programs and activities). CIERA has a strong record in postdoc mentorship and hosts an active community of postdoctoral researchers. K-12 education and public outreach are also key components of CIERA’s mission. 

Northwestern is a LINCC member institution, LSST-DA Catalyst Fellows at Northwestern receive an extra year of fellowship funding resulting in a four-year fellowship appointment. Catalyst Fellows will have access to small, mid-and large-scale optical/IR ground-based telescope facilities (Keck, MMT, Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), SEDMv2, and LS4). Catalyst Fellows will have access to two dedicated high-performance computer clusters, as well as Northwestern’s Quest cluster. Catalyst Fellows will have an office within CIERA and access to quality training, professional development, and other resources offered through CIERA.


Contacts: Knut Olsen (knut.olsen AT or Joan Najita (joan.najita AT

The National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) is the preeminent US national center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. Through its five programs, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), Gemini Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), and Rubin Observatory Operations, NOIRLab serves as a focal point for community development of innovative scientific programs, the exchange of ideas, and creative development, and is charged with ensuring the scientific success of Rubin’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). The NOIRLab staff are involved in a number of the Rubin science collaborations, are working to complement LSST data through services such as Astro Data Lab, have developed the ANTARES event broker to recognize interesting events from transient alert streams, and have played a leading role in the development of the Astronomical Event Observatory Network (AEON) for smooth access to follow-up observations with Gemini and SOAR. NOIRLab’s telescopes also serve as platforms for several other major surveys, including those being conducted with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).

The research interests of the NOIRLab scientific staff are wide-ranging, covering topics ranging from cosmology, the formation and evolution of galaxies, supermassive black holes and active nuclei, stellar populations in galaxies, the detailed properties of Local Group galaxies, star formation, stellar astrophysics, exoplanets, and solar system objects.  

NOIRLab-Tucson headquarters is situated on the University of Arizona campus and enjoys close interactions with the UofA Department of Astronomy and the UofA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The NOIRLab site in La Serena, Chile, encompasses CTIO, SOAR, Gemini South, and Rubin Observatory support. The NOIRLab site in Hilo, Hawaii, serves Gemini North and enjoys proximity to several other centers of Mauna Kea Observatory operations. LSST-DA fellows can be hosted at any of the three NOIRLab facilities (Tucson, La Serena, Hilo), as desired by the fellow, with the rank of an independent postdoctoral researcher on the NOIRLab scientific staff. Common computer resources and page charges would be provided. Read more about the research and technical interests of the NOIRLab scientific staff.

Penn State University

Contact: Donald Schneider (dps7 AT

Penn State has been an institutional partner in the LSST project since 2005.

Penn State astronomers plan to use the LSST to study active galaxies, stellar tidal disruptions by supermassive black holes, the most distant galaxies, gamma-ray bursts and fast optical transients, supernovae, and brown dwarfs. The torrents of data that the LSST will deliver also present an enormous challenge in data mining, and members of Penn State’s Center for Astrostatistics are developing algorithms to address this challenge. The department also has close ties to Penn State’s Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos. 

The university’s Institute for Computational and Data Sciences provides a local high-performance computing environment, professional support and training opportunities, and a team of computational scientists and software engineers to bring the power of high-performance computing to research projects. The department regularly offers teaching opportunities to interested postdocs, has extensive and vibrant public outreach activities, and has a postdoc mentoring program.

The department will provide office space and computer connectivity support for the fellows, as well as an orientation session to provide an overview of department activities.

Princeton University*

Contact: Michael Strauss (strauss AT

Princeton University is playing a major role in the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time.  Princeton is one of several centers developing the code to process the Rubin Observatory images from raw pixels to calibrated catalogs, with a particular emphasis on the annual data releases. Relevant science interests at Princeton include but are not limited to transient astronomy, transits of extrasolar planets, Milky Way structure, low surface-brightness astronomy, galaxy evolution, weak lensing, active galaxies and quasars, and large-scale structure.  We are also partners in the Subaru HyperSuprime-Cam, the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, Simons Observatory, and HAT-PI. The department is also very strong in theoretical and computational astrophysics. We are a very interactive department with a strong culture of mentorship, and postdocs have ample opportunity to mentor students.

Each postdoctoral fellow is assigned a faculty mentor, with whom they meet on a regular basis.  There are also regular postdoc lunches, many weekly seminars and colloquia, daily astro-ph coffees, and many other opportunities to interact. The department has over 50 postdoctoral fellows and research astronomers, over a dozen of whom are actively working on Rubin-related software or science, so there is a large community into which the fellow will find support and become a member. 

Purdue University

Contact: John Peterson (peters11 AT

Purdue University hosts state-of-the-art computing facilities through the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing (RCAC) and has a robust interdisciplinary Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI).  The Department of Physics and Astronomy includes two major projects related to the Rubin Observatory: the Photon Simulation (PhoSim) project and the REFITT project. The department hosts diverse research groups in clusters of galaxies, galaxies, Supernovae, transients, and high-energy astrophysics.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy includes a large group of faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in astrophysics. There are weekly seminars, weekly journal clubs, as well as many interdisciplinary seminars across the campus.

Rutgers University*

Contact: Saurabh Jha (saurabh AT or any of the Rutgers astrophysics faculty

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has strong connections to the Vera Rubin Observatory LSST, including leadership roles in the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) and participation in the Galaxies, Strong Lensing, and Transients and Variable Stars Science Collaborations. Fellows will be able to take advantage of local computational and observational resources: Rutgers has a 10% share in the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), and Rutgers astronomers participate in projects including Advanced ACTPol, HETDEX, large MeerKAT surveys, the Simons Observatory, HST, Chandra, JWST, and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Fellows will be able to select Rutgers faculty as mentors and will have an opportunity to advise graduate and undergraduate researchers. Located one hour from New York City and 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, Rutgers offers active collaborations with several other outstanding nearby universities and astrophysics research centers. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, offers a comprehensive benefits program.

Texas A&M University

Contact: Louis Strigari (strigari AT 

Texas A&M represents a unique opportunity for LSST-DA Catalyst Fellows: a very large, diverse university in the growing area of central Texas. Catalyst fellows at Texas A&M would benefit from both a vibrant astronomical research atmosphere and outstanding expertise in data science and statistics. We have 10 tenured/tenure-track Astronomy faculty, including the recent hire of Justin Spilker, who will start in January 2022. The faculty have significant expertise and active research programs in most of the topics covered by LSST-DA science collaborations: Galaxies (Kennicutt, Papovich, Spilker); Stars, Milky Way and Local Volume (DePoy, Marshall, Strigari), Dark Energy (Suntzeff, Wang); Active Galactic Nuclei (Walsh), Transients/Variable Stars (Macri, Wang), Gravitational lensing (Spilker). Our group has strong collaborations with members of the statistics department on a wide variety of topics: black hole masses, galaxy evolution, variable stars (as tracers of MW halo structure and extragalactic distance indicators), and supernovae as cosmological probes. All faculty, postdocs, and students work in the Mitchell Institute, designed to promote scientific interaction among all members of the astronomy and high-energy physics groups. 

Facilitated by the addition of Rob Kennicutt, the astronomy group has hired eight new postdocs within the past three years, with broad interests overlapping with those of the faculty. The postdocs, along with the faculty and about 20 graduate students, have developed a close-knit atmosphere; over the past decade, over a dozen postdocs have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry. Faculty members actively mentor postdocs through an organized program in which they rotate through a new faculty career mentor (in addition to their premiere scientific mentor) each semester. Postdocs actively participate in research group meetings and weekly events aimed at promoting community growth (weekly seminar, tea, and astro-ph coffee). Postdocs are encouraged to work closely with our senior graduate students to develop their mentoring ability. If so desired, they are offered classroom teaching opportunities to diversify their portfolio prior to applying for faculty jobs. 

University of Washington*

Contact: uwastro AT

The University of Washington has a strong background in interdisciplinary survey science and is a founding member of Rubin and LSST-DA. We have broad expertise across nearly every domain of astronomy, including astronomical theory and observation, high-performance computing, astrobiology, and instrumentation. Postdoctoral Fellows at UW have access to a large share of time on the Apache Point Observatory’s 3.5-m telescope and significant computational resources. Fellows are invited to collaborate with our vibrant graduate and undergraduate students, engage in outreach events, and join a wide range of research groups within the Astronomy Department as well as within the eScience Institute.

Catalyst Fellows would be included as Fellows in the DiRAC Institute, which focuses on data-intensive research in areas of time domain, solar system, and data science and algorithms development. Recent DiRAC Fellows have gone on to faculty positions at a number of institutions and produced a wide range of high-impact software and science discoveries. DiRAC also hosts the Rubin Data Management and Alert Pipeline development teams, as well as members of the LINCC Frameworks team. As a LINCC Frameworks institution, Catalyst Fellows will have access to an additional year of support. 

University of Arizona*

Contacts: David Sand (dsand AT or Ann Zabludoff (aiz AT

The University of Arizona is a world center for astronomy and a Hispanic Serving Institution, with a vibrant, diverse, and beautiful Sonoran desert campus that includes the LSST/RubinObs headquarters, Steward Observatory, the Departments of Astronomy and Physics, NSF’s NOIRLab, the Lunar and Planetary Lab, and the Wyant College of Optical Sciences. LSST-related cross-disciplinary efforts also include the Departments of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Biology, as well as UArizona’s Data7 Science Institute and Theoretical Astrophysics Program (TAP). UArizona postdocs have the same access to facilities—observatories, laboratories, high-performance computing—as faculty, and they may lead facility and funding proposals as Principal Investigators. The Astronomy Department actively mentors its postdocs, providing access to multiple advisors, proposal writing workshops, job interview preparation, and an array of educational and outreach opportunities.

UArizona is one of the founding members of LINCC. As such, Catalyst Fellows at UArizona will be mentored across the LINCC collaboration and have the opportunity to spend a fourth year on their research. UArizona faculty have interests spanning all of astronomy and are committed to helping Fellows achieve their goals. Fellows will have access to the MMT and two Magellan 6.5m telescopes, the 2×8.4m Large Binocular Telescope, millimeter and submillimeter telescopes with cutting edge receivers, and a suite of 1-2m optical telescopes. Fellows are welcome to participate in ongoing hardware and software upgrades to facilitate fast follow-up of transients and other potential LSST targets. On-campus high-performance computing facilities are available to all UArizona researchers: 36,000 CPU hours per month of standard allocation on Ocelote and a remarkable 70,000 CPU hours per month on Puma. UArizona’s Data7 Institute provides the data science and computational expertise necessary to analyze the LSST firehose.

Postdoctoral Program Coordinators oversee postdoctoral mentoring, as well as an annual multi-part job application and proposal skills series, with panels, writing workshops, and practice job talks/interviews. There are weekly sponsored lunches with visitors, faculty, and graduate students. Additional opportunities to develop academic and industry contacts are available through the Tucson Women in Astronomy program. Educational and outreach opportunities for postdocs include the world-renowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center, course teaching, graduate and undergraduate student tutoring and mentoring, and science learning research through the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE). 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Contact: Joaquin Vieira (jvieira AT

Many department members are active in LSST, in particular in the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC), the Transient and Variable Stars Science Collaboration (TVSSC), the Solar System Science Collaboration (SSSC) and other ongoing optical surveys, including the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS V), the Young Supernova Experiment (YSE) and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to work with faculty on these projects at the Center for Astrophysical Surveys (CAPS).

UIUC and NCSA are also involved in extending the ANTARES alert broker for multi-messenger astrophysics with the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Multimessenger Astrophysics (SCiMMA) group and are part of several other projects across the electromagnetic and gravitational wave spectrum, including SPT-3G, CMB-S4 and the LIGO-Virgo-Kagra (LVK) collaboration. Several other cross-disciplinary groups exist, including the Center for AI Innovation and the Midwest Data Science Innovation Initiative, which includes members of Astronomy, Statistics, and Data Science and NCSA researchers, as well as the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (ICASU) between Astronomy and Physics. Postdoctoral Fellows are also welcome to get involved in Illinois’ strong education and outreach activities, including the Girls Astronomy Summer Camps, Astronomy on Tap, The Hacker Within, and more.

Illinois has a streamlined onboarding process for postdoctoral fellows, including HR and International office Support as needed. New fellows are automatically added to department listservs and Slack, and we typically encourage new fellows to present their work to the department and meet with the faculty, staff, and students to forge connections. Fellows are paired with faculty mentors, and strongly encouraged to work with graduate students, and can lead proposals for grant funding as PI. Faculty mentors not only work with fellows on research but also provide career support and help provide development activities for fellows. CAPS and ICASU also host both postdoctoral and graduate student fellows who will be part of the LSST-DA Postdoctoral Fellow’s cohort. The department has rich social interaction outside of work, and we introduce new fellows to activities in the Champaign-Urbana area and the greater Midwest. CAPS has dedicated high-performance and on-prem cloud computing resources that postdoctoral fellows may use.

University of Oxford*

Contact: David Alonso (david.alonso AT

A world top-ten Physics department, our international research environment (most of the 132 professors, 210 fellows, and 406 PhD students are from outside the UK) is stimulating, and creativity thrives.

Oxford’s interest in Rubin stretches from the moment photons hit the detector to the final scientific results. Groups play leading roles in instrument and hardware development (Shipsey), software (Azfar, Lintott), database development (Tseng) and citizen science (Zooniverse/Lintott), cosmological pipelines and analysis (Alonso, Jarvis), strong lensing (Verma), galaxy evolution (Davies, Jarvis, Lintott, Verma), cosmological theory (Alonso, Ferreira) and multi-messenger transients (Tseng, Azfar). We also benefit from close interaction with the Departments of Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, which have stimulated a fruitful interdisciplinary research environment. Fellows will benefit from this joint expertise, allowing them to tackle Rubin-related challenges from a wide range of angles.

Our deep involvement in different aspects of the project allows fellows, from the beginning, to insert themselves at the core of the work carried out within the different science collaborations to prepare for the data. An Oxford strength is our leadership and prominent roles in a range of facilities and surveys operating across the electromagnetic spectrum. We are the largest UK Rubin group and are also leading members of Euclid, SKA, the Simons Observatory, and CTA. We have a track record of providing high-quality mentorship: of the 71 (17) postdoctoral fellows of the Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys) since 2001, 57 (14) are now in academic positions or are working in research in national and international laboratories. All fellows have an experienced lead mentor, with specialized mentors (e.g., in public engagement) also available, and the opportunity to teach and participate in world-leading public engagement.

Fellows will be able to supervise graduate students who have an experienced co-supervisor but work on a day-to-day basis with the fellow. Fellows can also supervise Master’s research projects. Our research facilitation team will provide support to fellows to develop their own research proposals. Fellows are encouraged to participate in our courses on research management, grant writing, communication, leadership, teaching, and engagement. A full-time public engagement team supports academic staff in developing and delivering their own innovative and wide-reaching public engagement programs, with a focus on underrepresented communities.

University of Pittsburgh

Contact: Jeff Newman (janewman AT

An LSST-DA Postdoc at Pitt will benefit from local expertise in the Rubin Observatory together with access to other complementary proprietary datasets, including DES (Dark Energy Survey), DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument), SDSS-V, PFS (Prime Focus Spectrograph), and the Simons Observatory. Pitt is institutionally committed to the success of Rubin/LSST and has funded a long-term research faculty position in support of survey astrophysics efforts, including LSST, and has an additional DESC-focused research faculty member as part of the Pitt Center for Research Computing. Particular areas of focus for Rubin Observatory efforts at Pitt include photometric redshifts (a key tool for all extragalactic science with Rubin); supernova science; and the Pitt-Google Broker, one of the Rubin Observatory-approved transient event brokers that will classify and announce news of the changing and variable sky to the world. The synergies of these projects with Rubin will enable postdocs to undertake whole new types of studies both leading up to and during the main LSST survey period.

A further benefit is the rich collaborative environment between the University of Pittsburgh and neighboring Carnegie Mellon University. We enjoy long-standing broad and deep collaborative connections with departments that are within walking distance of each other. CMU will host a team of software developers as part of the LSST-DA LINCC program, while Pitt will host two additional research scientists as part of this effort. Their proximity will enable a mutually beneficial collaboration with an LSST-DA postdoc at Pitt, aiding postdocs in their scientific efforts and providing essential scientific feedback to the software team.

Responsibilities and opportunities for postdoctoral fellows match their transitory career stage and are intended to prepare them for permanent or faculty positions. Our mentoring plans build on this perspective:

  • Our research faculty is deeply involved in SDSS, DESI, PFS, and LSST DESC and in the education and training of astronomers in software engineering. Postdocs will be welcomed and brought up to speed in both our local and wider Rubin LSST computational resources.
  • Postdocs will be encouraged to organize workshops on topics of interest that can be financially sponsored by PITT PACC, providing both organizing experience and a major boost to visibility.
  • Talk slots in the joint astronomy seminar will be reserved for LSST-DA postdocs on an annual basis, providing speaking experience to prepare them for seminars elsewhere
  • Postdocs will be encouraged to participate in leadership activities within LSST Collaborations. 
  • We will hold biweekly Rubin research meetings for faculty, postdocs, and students from both Pitt and CMU, providing postdoc opportunities to discover new research problems and to speak about their work.

Yale University

Contacts: Larry Gladney (larry.gladney AT or Priya Natarajan (priyamvada.natarajan AT

We welcome LSST-Catalyst fellows to apply to bring their fellowships to Yale. While our membership application to join LSST-DA is currently underway, many of our faculty have been involved in Rubin-LSST science. The faculty in the Astronomy Department and the Astrophysics Group in the Physics department at Yale have research interests that span AGN Science, Strong Lensing, Cluster physics and cosmology, Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Near-Field Cosmology, and multi-wavelength studies of Active Galactic Nuclei. Current and recent research at Yale involves extensive expertise in optical/IR galaxy surveys (DESI, SDSS-V., Euclid, WFIRST), 21-cm surveys (CHIME, HIRAX), and CMB observatories (Simons and CMB Stage IV), and we have time reserved for Yale on Keck/Palomar for follow-up observations. Of relevance to LSST-Rubin, in the Southern hemisphere, the Yale-Chile collaboration is ongoing and enables access to proprietary Chilean time on all telescope facilities in Chile. We have a strong and very interdisciplinary department of Statistics and Data Science and a university-wide initiative in integrative data science all ready to help with Rubin-LSST analysis.

The Yale Physics and Astronomy departments are committed to fostering the next generation of diverse, cross-disciplinary leaders working at the forefront of astronomy, physics, and information science through inspired mentoring that is inclusive, equitable, and fully supported by a world-leading university. All postdoctoral fellows, including LSST-Catalyst Fellows, will have access to data and resources at all of the observatories mentioned above. Access to high-performance computing and Keck/Palomar telescope time will help leverage the Rubin-LSST data for optimal scientific reach. The extensive programming exemplifies our commitment to postdoctoral mentoring to give each astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology postdoctoral scholar collective access to the 17 astronomers, astrophysicists, and physicists in our departments, and Yale faculty take seriously the need to provide access to group meetings, graduate students and other postdocs involved in a number of leading projects and computing resources.

Expansion Institutions

Benedictine University

Contact: Matthew Wiesner (mwiesner AT
MSI, PUI, Liberal Arts College

Benedictine University is a small university near Chicago and situated in Lisle, Illinois, about equidistant between Fermilab and Argonne National Lab. We are a very diverse school and are classified as a minority-serving institution. Faculty in physics regularly collaborate at both nearby national laboratories; cross-curricular partnerships are also quite common at Benedictine. We have a small physics program as well as a partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology that attracts a number of engineering students to our 3/2 engineering program. Physics majors are required to complete undergraduate research and are encouraged to present and publish their work. Students in other majors also frequently participate in astronomy research for interest and to gain experience in the field. We have several telescopes on campus. Dr. Matthew Wiesner leads efforts in astrophysics research at Benedictine; he has been a member of the LSST-DESC since 2015, working especially on DC1 and DC2 and on strong gravitational lensing. His group is also now involved with calibration efforts for the Rubin commissioning team and also works on gravitational wave follow-up efforts with the Dark Energy Survey Gravitational Wave Collaboration. Hosting a Fellow at Benedictine would allow the Fellow to get to know our students and faculty and to see the advantages and challenges of research and teaching at a small liberal arts institution. It would also provide a huge benefit to our students to be able to collaborate with one of the LSST-DA Catalyst Fellows.

City University of New York (CUNY)

Contacts: K. Saavik Ford (keford AT or Josh Tan (jotan AT, and feel free to reach out to potential mentors directly
PUI, MSI, HIS, Community College

 Astronomers across CUNY (known as the CUNYAstro group) have interests spanning a wide range of LSST research topics. We are spread across various campuses in NYC but have regular meetings at AMNH and the Flatiron Institute and hold long-term research collaborations with surrounding institutions. Research areas and potential mentors for the LSST Catalyst Fellowship include:

1) EM counterparts to GW merger events (Ford, McKernan) 2) AGN variability characterization, modeling and inferences (Ford, McKernan, O’Dowd) 3) Binary Supermassive black hole systems (Ford, McKernan) 4) Intermediate mass black holes (Bellovary, Ford, McKernan), 5) Cosmological simulations of galaxy formation (Bellovary, Maller, Welker), 6) Gravitational waves (Bellovary, Ford, McKernan), 7) Gravitational lens modeling, microlensing of AGNs, and time-delay cosmography (O’Dowd, Minor), 8) Brown dwarfs, low-mass stars and software development (Cruz), 9) Questions in galaxy evolution (Acquaviva, Maller, Welker), 10) Evolution of the cosmic web: galaxy clusters, filaments, walls, voids (Welker) and 11) galaxy dynamics with integral field spectroscopy (Welker).

DePaul University

Contact: Jesús Pando (jpando AT
R2 – Small Astro Program

The Vera Rubin Observatory will be the premiere platform on which questions about dark matter, dark energy, and the large-scale structure of the universe can be addressed. Likewise, the catalyst fellowship has the potential to be a premier route by which a rewarding career can be attained. DePaul University is well-placed to receive fellows whose interests lie not only in science but also in teaching science and making sure that all communities have a chance to get in on that science. With a small department that nevertheless has an astrophysics undergraduate major, an institution and department whose mission has a strong social science focus, and three faculty who are involved in astronomical research, DePaul is an ideal institution for those seeking to integrate science, community outreach, teaching, and mentoring.

Fisk/Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program

Contact: Kelly Holley-Bockelmann (kelly.gravity AT
HBCU Partnership

Our site is a unique partnership between Fisk University and nearby Vanderbilt University, so if you choose to join the Bridge, you would be spending time at both places — we would absolutely love to have you. We specialize in multi-messenger astronomy, computation and data science, galaxy formation and evolution, galactic structure, star clusters, black holes of any mass, and gravitational wave astronomy. We are involved in NANOGrav, LISA, LIGO, and SDSS-V, and we hired two new faculty who are experts in intermediate-mass black hole observations. We are also starting EMIT (Establishing Multimessenger Astronomy Inclusive Training), the first graduate certificate program in the nation in multimessenger astronomy, and we are incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into teaching, research, and everything we do. If you are interested in these research areas and want to help build a better Bridge, join us!

The Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s to Ph.D. Bridge Program is focused on increasing underrepresented groups in STEM at the graduate level. After 18 years, 176 students have enrolled in the program, 126 Master’s degrees have been awarded, 112 students have bridged to Ph.D. programs, and 53 students have earned the Ph.D., 41 of those from Vanderbilt.  Today, 30 students are in a Vanderbilt PhD program, while 25 are in a Fisk Master’s program. 57% of the students are African-American, 22% Hispanic, 7% other minorities, including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and 14% white or other non-minority. 60% identify as female. Overwhelmingly, the student population has been underserved in intersecting ways, with many being first-generation college students, of low socioeconomic status, and/or with disabilities. We have built a culture of scholars who are committed to mentoring one another and are doing world-class research. We are always in need of great mentors, and we’ve found that postdoc mentors are really effective because students can see exactly what the next level can look like. And if you join us, we will be committed to mentoring you  — your whole self, not just your career. 

Haverford College

Contact: Karen Masters (klmasters AT
PUI, Liberal Arts College

The Department of Astronomy and Physics at Haverford College is a small but active research department in a liberal arts college located on the outskirts of Philadelphia (in easy reach of research seminars at UPenn, Drexel, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Haverford College has a history of acting for social justice, and a large fraction of students who have significant scholarships are FGLI and/or BIPOC. Undergraduates at Haverford are expected to be engaged in research, and all do a senior thesis; a high fraction goes on to further students in astronomy or related fields.

As part of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium, we are also connected with faculty who do astronomy research in SLACs across the Northeast and are engaged in an active REU program. We have around 20 Physics majors (6ish Astro) each year and a small observatory which we use for teaching/public observing. Astro faculty are interested in galaxies (K Masters), gravitational waves (A Lommen), and cosmological constraints (D Grin); we also host a research associate working on pulsars (W Ho). We would be delighted to host a fellow and to offer the experience of the small college environment, the opportunity to work with undergrads, and gain teaching/mentoring skills while strongly supporting research development.

Lafayette College

Contact: Stephanie Douglas (douglste AT
PUI, Liberal Arts College

We are a small physics department with several faculty studying astrophysics. Our astronomical research areas include low-mass stars, stellar variability, binaries, pulsars, and particle cosmology. The major program is small but growing; we value one-on-one interactions with students, and many students pursue research projects with faculty. Astronomy-related research topics are popular, and we also receive interest from students in other departments, such as computer science and engineering.

Pomona College

Contact: Jorge Moreno (jmoreosoto AT
PUI, Liberal Arts College

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Pomona College seeks applications for one LSST-DA Catalyst Postdoctoral Fellowship. Theorists and observers are welcome to apply. 

On the theory side, the fellow could closely work with Jorge Moreno; and use FIREbox, a new state-of-the-art cosmological simulation, to investigate topics related to nearby low-mass galaxies, and the structure of the Milky Way stellar halo. The fellow will also have the opportunity to work closely with Moreno’s collaborators, including Philip Hopkins (Caltech) and Robyn Sanderson (Penn). On the observational side, the fellow could work closely with Philip Choi to engage in high-cadence, follow-up studies of various transients.  In connection with collaborators at JPL and Caltech, that group has most recently been implementing synthetic tracking techniques to investigate fast-moving Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), both independently and in support of ZTF and Pann-STARRS surveys. The fellow will also have opportunities to co-mentor undergraduate students and participate in our departmental Diversity-Equity-Inclusion efforts.

Pomona College in Claremont, California, is a highly selective private undergraduate liberal arts college and the founding member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. The college has approximately 1600 undergraduates and 200 faculty members, with a long history of strong academic programs and vigorous student-faculty research. Excellent facilities and technical support for both teaching and research are available, including a 1-meter optical telescope located on a JPL facility in the San Gabriel Mountains; a new Sky-Skan full-dome, 3-D Planetarium; and our on-campus Brackett Observatory. The department has a strong technical support staff, including a machinist, an electronics technician, and a lab director.

Rider College

Contact: John Bochanski (jbochanski AT
PUI, Liberal Arts College

Rider University is a small, primarily undergraduate institution located in Central New Jersey. Our science programs are among the largest on campus, attracting dedicated and diverse students looking for opportunities with expert faculty. The Computer Science and Physics department is one of the fastest growing groups on campus, with five tenure-track faculty with expertise in Galactic structure and dynamics, low-mass stellar properties, computer vision, and machine learning. We also enjoy the proximity to Princeton, Philadelphia, and New York. We look forward to discussing your opportunities at Rider.

South Carolina State University

Contact: Donald Walter (dkw AT

We submit to the External Site Listing as the Time Domain Astrophysics Consortium (TDAC), a collaboration of institutions whose science interests are focused on the discovery and classification of transients with LSST. Our collaboration has access to dedicated follow-up resources, including a 0.5m telescope in the Virgin Islands (the VIRT) and a 1.3m telescope at Kitt Peak (the RCT), and we will carry out coordinated follow-up observations with these two ground-based observatories. Our collaboration includes the South Carolina State University and the University of the Virgin Islands, both HBCUs. Our collaboration involves researchers with a variety of science interests, and post-doctoral researchers wishing to focus on time-domain astrophysics topics, including (but not limited to) gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, tidal disruption events, CVs, and exoplanets, are encouraged to apply. The geographic location of the position is flexible depending on the science interests of the post-doctoral researcher (and the location of the most appropriate research advisor) but is expected to be at one of the TDAC member institutions, and travel between member institutions is anticipated to foster collaboration and disseminate results. Appropriate COVID-19 safety considerations will be recognized in relation to any associated travel.

Texas Christian University (TCU)

Contact: Peter Frinchaboy (p.frinchaboy AT
R2 – Small Astro Program

The TCU Galaxy Evolution Lab is a partnership within the Department of Physics and Astronomy involving the research groups of Kat Barger, Mia Bovill, and Peter Frinchaboy, which study various aspects of galaxy evolution, including the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies, to understand the major components and evolution of galaxies, stars, gas, and dark matter.

TCU Astronomers work with a variety of “big data” astronomy data sets, like Gaia, 2MASS, WISE, and Pan-STARRs, including proprietary access to the SDSS-IV, SDSS-V, and WHAM survey data, plus utilize local and world-class computing resources to explore cosmological galaxy evolution. Prof. Frinchaboy, a leader of SDSS-IV & -V, is planning to use Rubin-based data to explore LSST-identified research in Stellar Populations and the Milky Way and Local Volume Structure, primarily in the areas of star clusters, binary stars, and Galactic structure. Prof. Bovill investigates the formation, evolution, and fate of the first stars and galaxies using cutting-edge numerical simulations. She will use data sets from the Rubin Observatory to search for signals of the first stars at high redshifts and learn more about the faint relic galaxies of reionization in the Local Group. Prof. Barger’s science focuses on understanding the evolution of gas within the Magellanic Clouds that will also incorporate SDSS-V/Local Volume Mapper data, she is currently PI of an HST Treasury program to analyze UV spectra of hot stars to probe gas evolution in the Clouds.

University of Denver

Contact: Jennifer Hoffman (jennifer.hoffman AT  
R1 – Small Astro Program

The University of Denver (DU) is a private institution built on exploration through research and collaboration among educators, students, and local and global communities. Recently recognized as an R1 institution, DU still takes pride in its small class sizes and emphasis on creating opportunities for students to learn by participating in research, scholarship, performance, and engagement.

DU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has a diverse and dynamic faculty of 12 that includes three women and represents seven different countries. We provide an attentive, hands-on research and learning community for undergraduate and graduate students up to the Ph.D. level. Our program is recognized by the APS among US PhD-granting departments for its high percentage of female graduates, placing second nationally at the undergraduate level and third at the graduate level (APS data for the period 2011-2013). Our graduate and undergraduate students collaborate closely with faculty and postdocs on cutting-edge research in astrophysics, biophysics, and condensed matter/quantum information science.

The astronomy program at DU is small but has a long history spanning 125+ years. Our strongly collaborative research environment offers a supportive community to graduate students from underrepresented and non-traditional backgrounds. Our research focuses on evolved stars and their interactions with their circumstellar environments, including many types of variables and explosive transients, and incorporating both observational and computational approaches. Prof. Jennifer L. Hoffman studies massive binary stars and their supernova descendants; Prof. Toshiya Ueta explores the mass loss and dust properties of AGB stars and planetary nebulae. We also offer an undergraduate astrophysics minor and informal science education via the historic Chamberlin Observatory and our DU SciTech and Project SPACE initiatives, which provide hands-on STEM opportunities to K-12 students of color in Denver. An LSST Catalyst Fellow in our department will have many opportunities to pursue educational, mentoring, and outreach projects in addition to astrophysics research. 

University of the Virgin Islands

Contact: David Morris (dmorris AT

We submit to the External Site Listing as the Time Domain Astrophysics Consortium (TDAC), a collaboration of institutions whose science interests are focused on the discovery and classification of transients with LSST. Our collaboration has access to dedicated follow-up resources, including a 0.5m telescope in the Virgin Islands (the VIRT) and a 1.3m telescope at Kitt Peak (the RCT), and we will carry out coordinated follow-up observations with these two ground-based observatories. Our collaboration includes the South Carolina State University and the University of the Virgin Islands, both HBCUs. Our collaboration involves researchers with a variety of science interests, and post-doctoral researchers wishing to focus on time-domain astrophysics topics, including (but not limited to) gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, tidal disruption events, CVs, and exoplanets, are encouraged to apply. The geographic location of the position is flexible depending on the science interests of the post-doctoral researcher (and the location of the most appropriate research advisor) but is expected to be at one of the TDAC member institutions, and travel between member institutions is anticipated to foster collaboration and disseminate results. Appropriate COVID-19 safety considerations will be recognized in relation to any associated travel.

Wesleyan University

Contact: Meredith Hughes (amhughes AT
PUI, Liberal Arts College

Wesleyan University is a primarily undergraduate institution with a standalone astronomy department. There are five faculty who maintain active research programs related to intermediate-mass black holes, the structure and evolution of AGN, star and planet formation, x-ray binaries, transiting exoplanets, the local interstellar medium, planetary science, and simulations of galaxy formation and evolution. In addition to our program of research and education for undergraduates, we also run an MA program for students from nontraditional backgrounds, many of whom go on to obtain PhDs in astronomy. We maintain two 24″ telescopes that can be used for research purposes, as well as a suite of smaller telescopes used for teaching and outreach. We frequently host postdocs in our department, who sometimes teach or advise students if they so desire. Our department is committed to building an equitable and inclusive community and holds regular journal clubs and events on related subjects. We would be delighted to welcome an LSST-DA Catalyst Fellow to our community.