Fellowship in Aerospace History
The Fellowship in Aerospace History is offered annually by the the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) and the American Historical Association to support a significant scholarly research project in aerospace history. It will provide a fellow with an opportunity to engage in significant and sustained advanced research in all aspects of the history of aerospace from the earliest human interest in flight to the present, including cultural and intellectual history, economic history, history of law and public policy, and the history of science, engineering, and management.
Applicants must possess a PhD in history or in a closely related field, or be enrolled as a student (having completed all coursework) in a doctoral degree-granting program.
The fellowship term is for a period of at least six months, but not more than nine months, and should commence no later than November 15, 2015. The fellow will be expected to devote the term entirely to the proposed research project. Office space is not provided with the fellowship and residency is not required; however, fellows are encouraged to take advantage of resources at the National Archives, the National Academies of Science, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, NASA Headquarters, and other collections in the Washington, DC, area.
At the term’s conclusion, the fellow will be expected to write a report and to present a paper or a public lecture on the fellowship experience.
The stipend is $20,000 for a six- to nine-month fellowship, which includes travel expenses. The fellowship income is classified as stipendiary—there are no provisions for paying fringe benefits or withholding taxes—and will be disbursed in equal payments over the term of the fellowship. Funds may not be used to support tuition or fees. A fellow may not hold other major fellowships or grants during the fellowship term, except sabbatical and supplemental grants from their own institutions, and small grants from other sources for specific research expenses. Sources of anticipated support must be listed in the application form.
The applicant must submit a completed application including a specific and detailed research proposal that will be the basis of the fellow’s research during the term. Completed applications are due April 1, 2016, and should include:
An Application Cover Sheet (Fill in the application cover sheet PDF on your computer and include with your other application materials. Note: You must first save the application form onto your computer before filling in the form, otherwise your completed data will not be saved.)
A proposal of not more than 10 pages (double-spaced)
1. describing your qualifications for a fellowship
2. detailing briefly the research project you propose to undertake
3. relating your anticipated experiences as a fellow to your goals
4. indicating clearly why NASA is the appropriate place to conduct the proposed research
Optional: No more than 10 pages of any additional writings (material cannot be returned)
At least two and not more than four letters of recommendation (sent directly from the recommender) that address the historical competence of the applicant, his/her ability to apply historical concepts and methods to aerospace science, technology, management or policy, and his/her ability to communicate both orally and in writing
Deadline, Submission Information, and Notification
Applications and letters of recommendation must be e-mailed by April 1, 2016, to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include “Fellowship in Aerospace History: [Applicant Name]” in the subject line. Names of the winner and alternate will be announced in June 2016.
2014 NASA Fellowship
Brian M. Jirout, One Space Age Development for the World: The American Landsat Civil Remote Sensing Program in Use, 1964–2014
Jirout is researching the political and international history of NASA’s Landsat Earth observation satellite program during and after the Cold War. His study traces the evolution of the program from an experimental project into a commercial venture, which became suspended in political debate between the national security establishment and the scientific community. He situates Landsat internationally as an instrument of foreign relations that fostered the use of remote sensing technology abroad through data packages, expertise, and ground stations. Jirout suggests the Landsat program is a useful case study for understanding science and technology policy change since the 1960s.