Astrophysical Research Consortium

To continue support for the Faculty and Student Team (FAST) program within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students and faculty in the collaboration and increase the number of students pursuing astronomy Ph.D. programs

  • Amount $530,000
  • City Seattle, WA
  • Investigator Michael Blanton
  • Year 2018
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey

In 2015, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey established a Faculty and Student Team (FAST) program to improve on the low numbers of underrepresented minorities (URMs) both in the SDSS collaboration itself and in astronomy as a whole. The FAST program introduces clusters of faculty and students (mainly URMs) from non-SDSS-participating universities into the collaboration, usually with one faculty member supervising anywhere from one to three undergraduates or one graduate student. These faculty-student teams are then paired with mentors from the SDSS collaboration to help them become full members of the collaboration. To date, institutions sending FAST teams to SDSS include DePaul University, New Mexico State, University of California San Diego, Texas Tech, and two from City University of New York (Hunter College and Staten Island). Funds from this grant will allow the addition of three new FAST teams to the project, each completing a three-year term. Each FAST team faculty lead receives salary support for approximately one summer month in their first year of participation, and students on each team receive financial support through the entire period of FAST program participation. A dedicated SDSS FAST science liaison oversees the day-to-day operation of the program.

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