Graduate Fellowship Programs
The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) conducts research and provides community support and facilities in the following areas: Atmosphere, Ionosphere and Magnetosphere (AIM), Solar Transients and Space Weather (STSW), and Long-term Solar Variability (LSV). Each quadrant in the image above contains a picture representing science that is currently taking place in each of these research areas. Please click image for more information on the different images.
HAO is located in Boulder, Colorado, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. HAO conducts research in the areas of the solar interior, lower solar atmosphere, corona and heliosphere, and terrestrial and planetary atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere. Radiative transfer, hydrodynamics, magnetohydrodynamics, radiation hydrodynamics, and plasma physics are pursued for both their fundamental physical interests and their applications in the above areas of research. Visitors will have access to the HAO Linux/Unix computers, NCAR super computer system (link to CISL), and the HAO and NCAR libraries and data archives (link to UCAR library).
How the Program Works
Graduate fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, scientific potential, and compatibility of the students' interests with current HAO research pursuits. Students selected to participate in the program will conduct research with one of the scientists at HAO on a mutually agreeable theoretical or experimental project.
If the student has attained the official status of a Ph.D. candidate, it is expected that the chosen project will constitute the doctoral dissertation. The cooperating university must accord the HAO scientist membership on the student's thesis committee (preferably as co-chair) and provide him or her the appropriate faculty appointment, as required for this purpose. An official Ph.D. candidate is also eligible for the annual Newkirk Fellowship competition.
HAO Graduate Fellows also enjoy the use of a wide range of technical facilities in their thesis work. These include access to the HAO Unix computers, NCAR IBM computer system, and the HAO and NCAR libraries and data archives. HAO graduate fellows are eligible to participate in active theoretical and observational ventures, such as thermospheric general circulation modeling or the advanced Stokes polarimeter experiment, and may utilize the Mauna Loa observing station in Hawaii.
Salary and Benefits
The current salary is based on a two-tiered scale. For those who have passed the comprehensive exam, the current 2009 annual stipend is $22,345. Students who have not passed the comprehensive exam receive an annual stipend of $20,786. Graduate Fellows are expected to devote themselves fully towards the completion of their Ph.D. thesis, and entitled to all benefits normally afforded to NCAR employees. In addition, HAO may pay university tuition in part or full amount based on a mutual agreement with the student's university.
HAO Graduate Fellows in general will need to discuss potential funding sources with their faculty contact. One potential source is the annual Newkirk Fellowship competition.
The student must be enrolled full-time in a university graduate program having common interest with HAO research goals and must be working on research project in cooperation with an HAO staff member. It is expected that the student will spend a significant fraction of his/her time in residence at HAO, including summers.
The student's progress will be reviewed on a yearly basis, with an eye to scientific achievement as well as continued academic suitability.
How To Apply
The following may be submitted at any time to apply to be a HAO Graduate Fellow; more comprehensive application materials are required to enter the annual Newkirk Fellowship competition:
- A brief (1-2 page) description of the research project to be undertaken with a HAO scientific staff member.
- Letters of recommendation from three university faculty members or research supervisors, one of whom should be the HAO scientific staff member, who are familiar with the student's work. Please note that it is the student's responsibility to request that the letters be sent;
- Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate courses;
Materials should be sent to:
HAO Visitor Committee
High Altitude Observatory
National Center for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000, U.S.A.