Catalyst Fellowship Ideas Lab

The 2022 Ideas Lab took place on October 6, 2022. The next Ideas Lab will be announced on this page and through Rubin Observatory community networks.

Are you interested in applying for the LSST-DA Catalyst Fellowship? Or would you like to recruit a Catalyst Fellow to your institution? We invite you to participate in the Catalyst Ideas Lab 2022, an online informational and networking event designed to help you learn more about the Fellowship, meet the Rubin LSST community, and think about the research you would be interested in conducting as a Catalyst Fellow. The event is optional and free for all attendees.

Goals for Astrophysics Applicants

The Ideas Lab will give prospective fellows a chance to meet potential advisors at eligible host institutions. Senior scholars from prospective host institutions will participate in the Ideas Lab to meet with prospective astrophysics applicants. In the Ideas Lab, you will have conversations about salient questions in your chosen field(s) of astrophysics or social science and learn more about the unique opportunities presented by LSST data and the Rubin LSST scientific community. A modest number of other members of the LSSTC/Rubin community will be available to help applicants develop and refine their application ideas. The Ideas Lab is not an interview and is not part of the Fellowship selection process. (For example, likely members of the astrophysics selection committee tasked with reviewing and evaluating applications will not even be present at the Ideas Lab).

Goals for Social Science Applicants

The Ideas Lab will give prospective fellows a chance to learn about the LSST project and community. The information session will provide an opportunity to learn about the development of the Rubin Observatory, the scientific aims of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and the various organizations and entities involved in its execution. During the networking session, you will meet with members of the Senior Social Science Team involved in launching the Catalyst Fellowship and network with astrophysicists involved with LSST. Attendance is not required.

Information Session

The first hour of the three-hour session will provide background on Rubin LSST, including the current state of the Rubin Observatory, the timeline for first light, and an overview of expected data products. The Info Session will also provide specifics on the LSSTC Catalyst Fellowship, including its goals and unique approach, its structure within the LSST Corporation and LINCC communities, and its application and selection process. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. If you cannot attend in real-time, you will have the opportunity to watch a recording of the session after the webinar.

Networking Session

The final two hours of the three-hour session will allow prospective applicants to have conversations with representatives from potential host institutions, which include LSSTC member institutions as well as expansion sites. We anticipate that discussions will cover topics such as: 

  • What are the pressing scientific questions in this area of astronomy? 
  • What are the major theoretical, methodological, and technical challenges in answering those questions? 
  • What opportunities do LSST data present for answering these questions? 
  • What resources exist at potential host institutions for conducting LSST research?