ann22022 — Announcement

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17 May 2022
2021 IAU PhD Prize Winners Announced

The IAU PhD Prize recognises the outstanding scientific achievements of astronomy PhD students around the world. Each of the IAU’s nine divisions awards a prize to the candidate it feels has carried out the most remarkable work in the previous year, and the nine divisions together also agree on jointly awarding an extra prize, the PhD at-large Prize. This time 120 PhD theses, defended between 16 December 2020 and 15 December 2021, were submitted.

The IAU Executive Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 IAU PhD Prizes as follows:

The recipient of each award receives a range of prizes, tailored by each Division at their own discretion. All recipients will receive airfare, registration fee and accommodation to attend the IAU XXXI General Assembly, to be held in August this year in Busan, South Korea, where certificates will be awarded. Other prizes may include the opportunity to present their thesis work at Division Days, as well as special treatment at the General Assembly such as an invitation to attend presentations to the IAU Executive Committee, dinner, and the possibility of presenting a talk at either a plenary or special session.

Several divisions also gave honourable mentions to the following candidates:

  • Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science: Divita Gupta, France, “Rate Coefficients and Branching Ratio Measurements for Reactions of Astrochemical Relevance Involving CN Radicals”
  • Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage: Saeed Salimpour, Australia, “Visualising the Cosmos: Teaching Cosmology in High School in the era of Big Data”
  • Division D High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics: Benjamin Crinquand, France, “Particle Acceleration in Kerr Black-Hole Magnetospheres”
  • Division D High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics: Kishalay De, USA, “The Whisper and the Bang: Cosmic Fireworks in the Lives of Compact Binaries”
  • Division E Sun and Heliosphere: Wenzhi Ruan, Belgium, “Solar Flares and Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities: Particle Acceleration and High Energy Radiation”
  • Division F Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy: Chloe Fisher, Switzerland, “Characterising Exoplanet Atmospheres using Traditional Methods and Supervised Machine Learning”
  • Division F Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy: Rafael Luque Ramirez, Spain, “Planetary Systems Around Red Dwarfs and Activity of their Host Stars”
  • Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe: Rebecca Levy, USA, “Investigating Star Formation Feedback through Gas Kinematics in Nearby Galaxies”
  • Division J Galaxies and Cosmology: Martyna Chruslinska, Germany, “Galaxies, Binaries and Gravitational Waves”

Those who received honourable mentions will be offered registration fee waivers to attend the IAU XXXI General Assembly.

Also this year Springer has offered to nominate all IAU PhD Prize Winners 2021 for a Springer Thesis Award. This opportunity is extended annually to a limited number of high-ranking university research departments and societies in the physical sciences and engineering. The award itself comprises a monetary prize of €500 and publication of the work in the collection of outstanding dissertations Springer Theses. Over the past 12 years, this program has helped to disseminate the PhD research of more than 1000 young scientists.

The IAU congratulates all prizewinners and recipients of honourable mentions, wishes them every success in their future careers, and looks forward to another set of high-quality applications for next year’s award.

The round of applications for the 2022 IAU PhD Prize is open for submissions until 15 December 2022; the next set of winners will be announced in June 2023. Candidates are required to submit, amongst other items, an abstract of their thesis that is suitable for public dissemination, a 1500-word thesis summary, three letters of recommendation (including one from the PhD advisor) and a CV. The winner of each Division will be decided by the Division’s own standards and methods and guided by the Division Steering Committee. Theses must have been both submitted and defended by the prize deadline in order to be considered.

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 the science of astronomy in all its aspects 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. 



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