Heliophysics Science

Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship Overview

In 2009, the NASA Living With a Star (LWS) program joined with the Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS, formerly UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs) to create the Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.  The program matches early career PhDs with experienced scientists at U.S. research institutions. Hosting scientists mentor the postdoctorates during their two-year fellowships. The goal of the program is to train the next generation of researchers needed for the emerging field of Heliophysics.

CPAESS releases an announcement of opportunity annually in the fall and applications are due in mid-January. Several new appointments are made each year.  Postdoctorates and potential hosting scientists may view the hosting database for mentorship guidance. Potential hosts are encouraged to provide professional information about themselves through "Hosting Options for Postdocs".

John "Jack" Eddy 1931 - 2009

John "Jack" Eddy (1931-2009) was a pioneering solar researcher, and was honored with the debut of the Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Among his many contributions to solar research, Jack served as editor of The Sun, the Earth, and Near-Earth Space: A Guide to the Sun-Earth System, published by NASA and the International Living with a Star program shortly before his death in 2009.

The "Eddy Cross-Disciplinary Symposium on Sun-Climate Research": Jack Eddy Workshop where postdocs were renamed to Eddy Fellows

"The Sun, The Earth, and Near Earth Space" A Guide to the Sun-Earth System: Jack's last contribution to society.


Heliophysics embraces all science aspects of the Sun-Earth connection, and includes many of the basic physical processes that are found in our solar system, the laboratory, and throughout the universe. These processes generally involve the interactions of ionized gases (plasmas) with gravitational and electro-magnetic (both radiation and DC) fields, and with neutral matter. The physical domain of interest ranges from deep inside the Sun to the Earth's upper atmosphere, to the magnetospheres of the other planets, and extends out to the boundary between the solar wind and interstellar medium. Within this broad science discipline, LWS is a program designed to develop the scientific understanding required for the Nation to address effectively those aspects of the Sun-Earth system that affect life and society. Detailed information on LWS, its science interests, programmatic structure, and space missions can be found at: http://lws.gsfc.nasa.gov.

Two major topics of focus for LWS are the science of space weather and of the Sun-climate connection. Preference is given to postdoctorate applicants whose proposed research addresses one of these two foci; but any research program relevant to LWS is considered. Since the goal of the LWS postdoctoral program is to train Sun-Earth system researchers, preference is also given to research projects that cross the traditional Heliophysics subdomains of the Sun, heliosphere, magnetosphere, and ionosphere/upper atmosphere, as well as sun-climate investigations.

In order to succeed at such cross-disciplinary research, the host institution and the mentoring scientists play critical roles. Consequently, applicants must select a host scientist who is different than their PhD advisor (preferably at a different institution), and coordinate a joint application with the host scientist and institution. Potential host scientists are required to submit letters of intent and vitas as part of the selection process. Hosts are expected to mentor the fellow, provide a reasonable office environment, which may include a workstation, and any other unique research costs.

Please note that the hosting database is not exclusive. Any U.S. research institution, including universities, government centers, and profit or non-profit organizations may serve as a host institution. Applicants to this postdoctoral program are expected to have had a PhD for no more than three years at the start of tenure. A UCAR steering committee selects the fellows. See additional details about this program, including the selection criteria used by the steering committee.