The JSI Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship is an internationally advertised 2+1 year position to support an early career scientist to work on scientific topics that are the focus of the Joint Space-Science Institute (JSI). Neil Gehrels was a key figure in the establishment of the JSI and was active in working with students and early career scientists to further their aspirations. It is fitting therefore that the JSI Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship be renamed the Neil Gehrels Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship.
As Chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a College Park Professor of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, Neil was a key figure in establishing the Joint Space-Science Institute, a collaboration between scientists at NASA Goddard and the University of Maryland's Departments of Physics and Astronomy. An outstanding scientist, Neil received many honors including the Dan David Prize in 2017. The prize recognized Neil's pioneering contributions to the exploration of the transient universe and, in particular, the study of gamma-ray bursts. Neil was the Principal Investigator of the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, which was posthumously renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory in 2018. Neil was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Gehrels family established the Gehrels Memorial Student Support Endowment in Astrophysics to support research in astrophysics that spans the scientific interests of the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The Endowment will supplement the funding for the JSI Prize Fellowship provided by the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland.
Anyone interested in learning about and possibly contributing to the Gehrels Memorial Endowment is welcome to visit the web site for the Endowment.