Graduate Student Awards

AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

  • The AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® program is operated as a cooperative effort of approximately 30 national scientific and engineering societies that provide an opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers with public policy interests to learn about, participate in, and contribute to the policy-making processes in Congress. The AAAS Fellowships have been operating for more than 35 years, placing more than 900 Fellows in Congress.

Mark Mozena (2013)


AAUW (American Association of University Women)

  • The AAUW supports and advances educational opportunities for women, and its competitive dissertation fellowship is part of the AAUW’s mission to “recognize outstanding women around the globe” and fund “pioneering research” related to women.

Anna Rosen (2016)

Laura Lopez (2010)


ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists)

  • The ARCS Foundation provides scholarships to academically outstanding United States citizens studying to complete their degrees in science, medicine and engineering, thereby contributing to the worldwide advancement of science and technology.

Maggie Thompson (2020)

Dave Coulter (2020)

Asher Wasserman (2019)

Anna Rosen (2016)

Zachary Jennings (2016)

Jennifer Burt (2015)

Caroline Morley (2014)

Jill Naiman (2013)
James Guillochon (2012)

Anne Medling (2012)
Javiera Guedes (2010)
Laura Lopez (2010)
Kate Rubin (2009)
Genevieve Graves (2008)
Jay Strader (2006)
David Lai (2005)
Sarah Martell (2004)
Justin Howell (2002)
Philip Choi (2001)
Anouk Shambrook (2000)
Kurtis Williams (2000)
Anthony Gonzalez (1999)
Natalie Stout-Batalha (1995)
Rob Hoffman (1994)
Michael Keane (1993)


Chandra Fellowship

  • Outstanding UCSC graduate students are encouraged to apply for the prestigious NASA-sponsored Chandra Fellowship program before graduating. These fellowships support these students when they go on to other institutions as postdoctoral scholars. Research topics are broadly related to the goals of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO) satellite. As of 2009, the Chandra and Fermi Fellowships have become part of the Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Jeremy Heyl (2004)
Weigun Zhang (2004)


Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

  • Fellows in the Department of Energy ComputationalScience Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) program are using high performance computing to better understand fundamental properties of the world and universe around us, and to solve complex problems in areas of national importance, such as climate change and sustainable energy sources.

Morgan MacLeod (2011)


Einstein Fellowship

  • The NASA-sponsored Einstein Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for highly qualified, recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the scientific mission of the NASA Physics of the Cosmos program as addressed by any of the missions of this program.

James Guillochon, Javiera Guedes, Luke Roberts (2013)
Laura Lopez (2011)


Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship (NASA)

  • The Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship provides full-time graduate students (master's and doctoral level) who are underrepresented in the science,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines up to three years of funding and support.

Caroline Morley (2011)


Hubble Fellowship

  • "The Hubble Fellowship Program supports some of the most prominent and active young research scientists at a crucial point in their careers. Hubble Fellows are strongly represented among the leading scientists and educators of the coming generation, and the impact of this program on astronomy and astrophysics is impressive." Ronald Allen, Head of the Hubble Fellowship Program at STScI.

Laura Lopez (2014)
Michele Fumagalli (2012)
Karoline Gilbert (2010)
Mark Ammons, Evan Kirby (2009)
Jay Strader (2007)
Marla Geha, Jason Harris (2003)
Romeel Dave' (2000)
Scott Trager (1997)
Guy Worthey (1994)
Sylvain Veillieux (1992)


Institute for Advanced Study Postdoctoral Membership

  • These positions are given to top candidates in the areas of astrophysics, theoretical biology, mathematical physics, quantum field theory, particle phenomenology, string theory and quantam gravity.

James Guillochon (2013)

ITC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard

  • Postdoctoral Research positions in the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are given to the top candidates working in any field related to theoretical and/or numerical astrophysics.

Jill Naiman (2014)
James Guillochon (2013)

Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics Fellowship

  • The purpose of this program is to offer a unique opportunity for a select group of physics graduate students in the United States to spend a period of 5-6 months at the KITP, participate in KITP research programs and broaden their understanding of physics in areas of current research.

Kirsten Howley (2006)


Lyman P. Spitzer Jr Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Fellowship, named for the chair of the department from 1947 to 1979, is given to top theoretical postdoctoral astronomers.  

    Javiera Guedes (2013)

Michelson Graduate Fellowship (NASA)

  • The Michelson Fellowship program invites applications for graduate student fellowships in exo-planet research or related field at a US institution. Fellowship applications proposing technology development and/or astronomical applications of optical/IR interferometry and/or coronagraphy are particularly encouraged.

Katie Morzinski (2007)


Miller Institute Fellowship

  • The Fellowships are intended for brilliant young women and men of great promise who have recently been awarded, or who are about to be awarded, the doctoral degree.

Genevieve Graves (2009)


MIT-Kavli Fellowship in Astrophysics

  • Awarded to an outstanding researcher displaying significant promise in any area of astrophysics.

Kevin Schlaufman (2012)


NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow

  • Criteria for selection includes the scientific merit of the proposed research, the relevance of the proposed research to NASA objectives in Earth or space science, and academic excellence based on transcripts and letter of recommendation from the student's faculty advisor.

James Guillochon (2010)


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

  • As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.  The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.

Eric Gentry (2016)

Ying Feng (Kat Feng), Alexa Villaume (2015)
Katherine Hamren, Zachary Jennings, Phillip Macias, Elizabeth Otto, Emily Cunningham (2013)
Alex Rudy, Camille Leibler (2012)
Angie Wolfgang, Anna Rosen, Claire Dorman, John Forbes, Morgan Macleod (2011)
Nathan Goldbaum (2010)
Anne Medling, Jacob Arnold, Robert Da Silva, Rosalie McGurk (2009)
Priya Kollipara (2008)
Javiera Guedes, Kevin Schlaufman (2007)
Lindsey Pollack (2006)
Evan Kirby (2005)
Laura Lopez (2004)
Jay Strader, Mark Ammons, Sarah Robinson (2003)
Karoline Gilbert (2002)
Anouk Shambrook, Kurtis Williams (1997)
Philip Choi (1996)
Caryl Gronwall, Jeremy Heyl, Jennifer Johnson (1994)


NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

  • The program is intended to recognize early-career investigators of significant potential and to provide them with experience in research and education that will establish them in positions of distinction and leadership in the community.

Angie Wolfgang (2015)

Jill Naiman (2014)
Laura Lopez (2011)
Kathy Cooksey (2010)
David Lai (2008)
Tammy Rogers (2006)
Anne Metevier (2003)
Andrew Sheinis, Anthony Gonzalez (2002)


Osterbrock Fellowship

  • Eminent American astronomer Donald E. Osterbrock pioneered the study of gaseous nebulae, helped to discover that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, originated the classification scheme for active galactic nuclei, and was one of Lick Observatory’s most influential directors. Don was a gifted teacher, and the doctoral students he advised comprise a significant portion of America’s astronomical leadership today. The Osterbrock Fellowships will in general be awarded on the basis of merit to highly qualified entering graduate students of the UCSC Astronomy Ph.D. program. We will seek out students with extraordinary leadership potential in addition to aditional academic prowess. Selection will be based on evidence of extraordinary personal qualities in addition to grades, GRE scores, and previous research accomplishments.

Diana Powell and Sara Crandal and Viraj Pandya (2016)

Marie Calapa and Eric Gentry (2015)

Katie Hamren and Alex Rudy (2014)

Alex Rudy and Emily Cunningham (2013)
Katherine Hamren, Caroline Morley (2012)

Pappalardo Fellowship (MIT)

  • This distinguished program supports the most talented and promising young physicists at an early stage in their careers.

Laura Lopez (2011)


Dr. Pliny and Margaret H. Price Prize in Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics

  • The Price Prize is awarded annually to graduate students in recognition of research excellence in areas closely related to CCAPP science initiatives.

Michele Fumagalli (2011)


Sagan Fellowship

  • The Sagan Fellowships support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

Katie Morzinski (2011)


Spitzer Fellowship

  • The Spitzer Fellowship Program was formed to enabled highly qualified, new postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that enhanced the overall scientific return from the Spitzer mission. The fellowship program was recently amalgamated with other programs to form the Hubble and Spitzer Fellowship programs.

Sarah Dodson-Robinson (2008)


Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA SSGF)

  • The fellowship program builds a community of talented and committed doctoral students, DOE NNSA SSGF alumni, DOE laboratory staff and university researchers who share a common desire to advance their science while impacting national defense. The friendships and connections formed while in the program continue to benefit alumni throughout their careers.

Luke Roberts (2008)


UCSC Prizes and Awards

  • The University of California offers several merit-based and diversity enhancement fellowship programs to students who show potential to become excellent faculty or researchers in institutions of higher education as well as to foster multi-faceted diversity in graduate education at the University of California.

Chancellor's Fellowships

Caroline Morley (2015)

Morgan MacLeod (2013)
Evan Kirby (2004)
Karoline Gilbert (2002)

Dean's Fellowships

Priya Kollipara (2006)

Dissertation Year Fellowships

Zachary Jennings (2016) (one quarter)

Eric Lopez (2013)
Jacob Arnold, Jill Naiman (2012)
Michele Fumagalli (2011)
Laura Lopez, Kevin Schlaufman (2010)
Genevieve Graves (2008)
Sarah Martell (2007)
Mark Ammons (2006)
Scott Seagroves (2005)
Lynne Raschke (2004)
Marla Geha (2001)
Jennifer Johnson (1998)
Katherine Wu (1997)
Jarita Holbrook (1996)

Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship

Claire Dorman, Angie Wolfgang (2009)
Jacob Arnold, Laura Lopez, Mark Mozena (2007)
Priya Kollipara (2006)

Provost's Fellowships

Kirsten Howley (2004)
Jay Strader (2002)

Regent's Fellowships

Genevieve Graves (2003)


In addition, following are other UCSC notable awards and honors our Graduate Students have earned:

Chancellor's Achievement Awards for Diversity

Jill Naiman (2014)

Elmer A. Fridley Award

The Elmer A. Fridley Scholarship in the Physical Sciences was established as a result of a bequest to the University of California from the estate of William Fridley, a longtime resident of Santa Cruz County. Given each year to an outstanding student in the physical sciences.

Morgan MacLeod (2013)
James Guillochon (2011)

Denton Prize Winner
Top honor presented to a graduatestudent at the annual Graduate Research Symposium, which allows graduate students to share their research in the form of posters and oral presentations.

Javiera Guedes (2009)

Graduate Division Outstanding TA

Diana Powell (2016)

Morgan MacLeod (2013)
Jerome Fang (2011)


Department of Astronomy Honors and Awards

Whitford Prize

The Whitford Prize, named for the famous Lick astronomer and former director Albert Whitford, is awarded to the Astronomy and Astrophysics graduate student who, in the judgment of the faculty, attains the highest achievement in research, coursework, teaching, and the preliminary exam. The award includes a $500 cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.

Brittany Miles (2017-18)

Matthew Siebert (2017-18)

Eric Gentry (2016)

Alexa Villaume (2016)

Zachary Jennings, Phillip Macias (2014)

Justin Brown, Rodolfo Navarrete Perez (2013)

John Forbes (2012)
Nathan Goldbaum(2011)
Michele Fumagalli, Valery Rashkov (2010)
Luke Roberts, James Guillochon (2009)
Stefano Meschiari, Kevin Schlaufman (2008)
Laura Lopez (2007)
Evan Kirby (2006)
Mark Ammons, Genevieve Graves (2005)
Jay Strader (2004)
Gregory Novack (2003)
Michael Kuhlen (2002)
Weiqun Zhang (2000)
Marla Geha (1999)
Patrik Jonsson (1998)
Anthony Gonzalez (1997)
Jason Harris (1997)

Student Award for Excellence in Mentoring - Undergraduate Research

This award recognizes an Astronomy and Astrophysics graduate student who has excelled in the mentoring of our undergraduates, specifically in the area of research. The recipient chosen must be exceptional for his/her contribution to the education of undergraduates in research.  The award includes a $250 cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.

Brittany Miles (2018-19)

Brenna Mockler (2017-18)

Diana Powell (2016)

Morgan Macleod (2013)
Claire Dorman (2012)
Jill Naiman (2011)

Student Award for Excellence in Teaching

This award recognizes those students who demonstrate an exceptional talent for and interest in teaching.  The recipient is chosen on recommendations of faculty, student evaluations, other forms of teaching and mentoring activities, and a teaching statement from the nominated student.  The award includes a $250 cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.

Alexa Villaume (2018-19)

Tiffany Hsyu (2017-18)

Morgan MacLeod (2016)

Tuguldur Sukhbold (2014)

Jerome Fang (2013)
Mark Mozena, Jacob Arnold (2012)
Jennifer Burt, Caroline Morley (2011)
Claire Dorman, Katie Morzinski (2010)
Stefano Meschiari (2009)
Mark Mozena (2008)