In 2008, the Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA) of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) established the Covington Fellowship. Arthur E. Covington (1913-2001) was a member of the Radio Branch of the NRC in Ottawa from 1942 to 1978 and was Canada’s first radio astronomer.
The Covington Fellowship is awarded to an outstanding recent doctoral graduate in astronomy or astrophysics. Fellows conduct independent research in a stimulating, collegial environment at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in Penticton, B.C., Canada. DRAO staff expertise is in observational radio astronomy and the development of instrumentation and technology for radio telescopes. Candidates with research interests in one or more of the following areas would be particularly well-matched to the research efforts at DRAO: the interstellar medium of the Milky Way; observational cosmology; transient and highly variable sources, including pulsars & fast radio bursts; magnetic fields in the Milky Way Galaxy; wide-field radio continuum surveys; polarization observations; observations of nearby galaxies; radio telescope instrumentation.
The Covington Fellow is expected to work independently to perform original reasearch that makes use of the Canadian national radio astronomy facilities at DRAO—the Synthesis Telescope and the John A. Galt 26-m Telescope—in addition to international facilities such as the JVLA, ALMA, GBT, CHIME, Parkes, ATCA, Arecibo, LOFAR, MWA, and the SKA precursors ASKAP and MeerKAT. Other facilities available to Covington Fellows include professionally managed computers and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC), which archives CFHT, CGPS, Gemini, HST, JCMT, and other data, operates the Canadian Virtual Observatory, and is home to the CANFAR cloud computing network.
Covington Fellows are encouraged to collaborate with HAA scientific staff at DRAO and the Dominion Astrophyiscal Observatory in Victora, B.C., research scientists at Canadian universities, and international colleagues in the astronomical community. Active engagement is expected with the Canadian astronomy community in support of community use of Canada’s national radio astronomy facilities.
The Covington Fellowship offers a highly competitive salary and benefits package. The initial two-year appointment may be extended for one further year (subject to performance and availability of funds). There is normally only a single Covington Fellow working at the DRAO with a competition typically held every few years.