With the encouragement of the AXAF Users Committee and the assistance of the MSFC Project Scientist, the ASC initiated the first round of AXAF Fellowships on rather short notice this fall. The AXAF Fellowships are modelled on very successful similar programs on HST and GRO, and the ASC received invaluable guidance from these two projects in establishing the groundrules (eligibility, stipend, forms and recommendations, host institutions, etc), advertising the opportunity, and generally initiating the Fellowship Program. Nancy Evans, from the ASC User Support Group, has organized and overseen the first year of this AXAF program.
The initial round of applications was due on November 14, 1997. An independent review panel is being organized to review and rank the candidates. Offers of fellowships will be made in late January, with acceptances and announcement of the first AXAF Fellows expected around February 15 (AAS guideline date for postdoc acceptances). We anticipate funding 3 new AXAF Fellows each year, with fellowships likely to run for 3 years - leading to a steady state of 9 AXAF Fellows, with no more than 1 per host institution at any given time.
Since this is a new AXAF program, we certainly welcome feedback with regard to any aspects of its implementation.