CXC Predoctoral Fellowship Program


The Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), through the CXC Predoctoral Fellowship Program, solicits candidates for research in specified areas of high energy astrophysics. The program provides opportunities for PhD students to carry out thesis research work with scientific staff of the CXC, for a period of two to three years.

The CXC is the Science and Operations Center for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

CXC Predoctoral Fellowships are open to students enrolled in a PhD program in astronomy, astrophysics, or related fields. Successful applicants carry out work on their doctoral thesis under the research co-supervision of a CXC staff member, in coordination with formal supervision from their home institution. The CXC co-supervisor coordinates closely with the student's formal supervisor to arrive at a research plan that will lead to a PhD thesis.

Candidates are currently being solicited for research in the areas of:

More detailed descriptions of these research areas can be found here.


The requirements for applicants are the following:

Application Deadline: 28 February 2018

Start Date: For the current solicitation, a start date of September 2018 is desired, although a start earlier in the summer may be possible upon discussion with the CXC research advisor.

Compensation: Stipends for the current academic year are $31,284. Funds may also be available for relocation, travel, and other expenses.

Predoc Research Review Committee: The CXC Predoc program will be administered under the SAO Predoctoral Fellowship program. In order to support and evaluate the research work of each predoctoral candidate while in residence at SAO, a Predoctoral Research Review Committee (PRRC) is established for each SAO predoc consisting of three members. Each predoctoral candidate presents their work annually to their committee for review and discussion.

NOTE: The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) ONLY ISSUES J-1 VISAS TO FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS. The SAO will not be able to issue you an alternative type of visa at the time of your appointment or during your tenure at SAO if you can no longer renew your J visa or have reached the maximum time limitation of this particular visa type. Please contact us before you apply if you have any questions about our visa policy.

Application Procedure

Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following (as pdf documents) to