ann22021 — Announcement

Gruber Fellowship awards 2022
11 May 2022
Gruber Fellowship Awards 2022

The Gruber Foundation Fellowships 2022 have been awarded to Kunyang Li (at the time at Georgia Technology Institute, US), Itai Linial (at the time at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) and Piyush Sharda (at the time at the Australian National University).

Each year, The Gruber Foundation, in collaboration with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), funds a US$75 000 fellowship programme for promising young astronomers. Similarly to last year, the evaluation panel has decided to award this year’s fellowship jointly to three outstanding candidates, each of whom will receive US$25 000.

Kunyang Li is doing research on the electromagnetic and gravitational signatures of massive black hole binaries in merger galaxies. “I am very honoured to be selected for the Gruber Fellowship. I am grateful to the IAU and the Gruber Foundation for recognising and supporting my research. I would also like to thank my mentors, family, and colleagues for their consistent guidance. This Fellowship will support my research into massive black hole binaries, the results of which will improve our understanding of the co-evolution between massive black holes and galaxies and will advance our exploration of their cosmic origin. The Gruber Fellowship will also allow me to promote women in astrophysics, form new collaborations and inspire younger generations.”

Itai Linial is studying stellar explosions and the orbits of stars near supermassive black holes, having previously developed new ways to process signals from exoplanets. “I am sincerely honoured and grateful to The Gruber Foundation and the IAU for deciding to support my research endeavours through this prestigious fellowship. The Gruber Fellowship Program will allow me to strengthen my international scientific collaborations and cultivate new connections with other researchers and institutions. I am extremely excited about the new research opportunities that will be facilitated through this generous award.”

Piyush Sharda is researching the role of metals in tracing multi-scale structure formation in galaxies in the early Universe. “I am deeply honoured to receive an IAU TGF award for 2022. I thank the Selection Committee for their hard work, and the IAU and the Gruber Foundation for supporting and inspiring young astronomers to do cutting-edge research. This Fellowship will enable me to develop new collaborations, visit peers and engage in lively in-person scientific discourse that has not been possible in the last few years due to COVID-19. It will boost my scientific career while simultaneously producing useful research to advance our understanding of how metals act as nature's tracers of structure formation in galaxies.”

IAU President-elect Willy Benz said: “The IAU in partnership with the Gruber Foundation is extremely pleased to recognise the outstanding quality of this year’s Fellowship laureates. The pool of applicants was unusually large and demonstrated extraordinary ability and maturity. The next generation of astronomy leaders is definitely around the corner.”

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

Madeleine Smith-Spanier
IAU Database Manager
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58

About the Announcement



Gruber Fellowship awards 2022