HSS/NASA Fellowship

The History of Science Society Fellowship in the History of Space Science, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) History Division, funds a nine-month research project that is related to any aspect of the history of space science, from the earliest human interest in space to the present. The program is broadly conceived and includes the social, cultural, institutional and personal context of space-science history. Proposals of advanced research in history related to all aspects of the history of space science are eligible. Sciences of space and sciences affected by data and concepts developed in connection with space exploration include astronomy, Earth science, optics, meteorology, oceanography, and physiology. The fellowship is open to applicants who hold a doctoral degree in history or a closely related field, or students who have completed all requirements for the Ph.D., except the dissertation, in history of science or a related field.

Click here for information on the 2016-17 HSS/NASA Fellowship.

What is Space Science?
The history of space science predates the founding of NASA. For example, the organizers of the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958) realized the important contributions spacecraft data could make to science, and the launch of Explorer I in 1958 demonstrated that feasibility with its discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts. In addition, scientific questions that motivated spaces sciences and scientific principles from which it evolved have even earlier roots.

Sciences of space and sciences affected by data and concepts developed in connection with space exploration include astronomy, Earth science, optics, meteorology, oceanography, and physiology. Space science has implications for our understanding of the moon and planets, fields and particles in space, celestial bodies beyond the solar system such as stars and galaxies, the Earth itself, and the life sciences, especially exobiology. Some works on space science are listed at the NASA History Office Web site: http://history.nasa.gov/.

Stipend and Expectations
The Fellowship term is for a period of nine months during the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. The Fellow will be expected to devote the term largely to the proposed research project. The starting and ending dates within that period are flexible. Please email info@hssonline.org for more details about the stipend. Funds may not be used to support tuition or fees. Sources of anticipated support must be listed in the application form.

The Fellow will be expected to present a paper of public lecture on the findings of the research, and he/she shall provide to the NASA History Office a copy of any publications that emerge from the research undertaken during the fellowship year. The Fellow will also be responsible for providing brief progress reports and a final report at the term’s conclusion.

By accepting the fellowship, the recipient incurs no obligations to NASA or HSS as regards future publications.

Eligibility and Application
Applicants must possess a doctorate degree in history of science or in a closely related field, or be enrolled as a student in a doctoral degree-granting program and have completed all requirements for the Ph.D., except the dissertation, in history of science or a related field. Eligibility is not limited to U.S. citizens or residents. Information about the 2016-17 Fellowship, including application materials, can be found here.

Previous Fellows

  • 2015-16 – Gemma Cirac Claveras
  • 2014-15 – Jordan Bimm
  • 2013-14 – Petar Markovski
  • 2012-13 – Jared S. Buss
  • 2011 – Christine Yi Lai Luk
  • 2010 – Michael Johnson
  • 2009 – Matthew Hersch
  • 2008 – Janet Vertesi
  • 2007 – Arturo Russo

NASA Fellowship Committee

  • tbd