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Baruch Blumberg Grants in Astrobiology

atacama desert

The American Philosophical Society (APS) is pleased to partner with the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) to offer research support through a new program. Funding is derived from a grant to the GBO by Dr. Martine Rothblatt, Chair and CEO of United Therapeutics, Inc.  These grants are named in honor of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, Nobel Laureate, first Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and President of the American Philosophical Society from 2005 until 2011.  Dr. Blumberg was also Chair of United Therapeutics’s (Unither's) corporate parent’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth and in the universe. It encompasses research in, among others, the fields of astronomy, chemistry, evolutionary biology, field and population biology, geology, microbiology, molecular biology, oceanography, paleontology, and planetary science. Astrobiology includes investigations of the geologic and fossil record to understand the conditions of the early Earth when life arose. Its scope also includes research of contemporary locations on Earth that might be similar to early earth and to environments elsewhere in our Solar System (such as on Mars, Europa, and Titan), which may be, or have been in the past, suitable for life. Astrobiology is also about understanding the characteristics of life, which requires investigations into extreme natural environments on Earth and, eventually, elsewhere.

Funds are available to support graduate students and postdoctoral and early career scientists. The focus will be on three types of work not necessarily funded by other currently available sources. These areas of research are field work in China, collaborative research, and attendance at conferences. Applications will be reviewed by a select committee at the GBO, APS Members, and the scholars from wider science community as needed.

The program is intended to complement the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology, open to field studies in any area of interest to astrobiology. Please consult Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology for full information regarding this program as well as the application forms.

Additional information about the Greek Bank Observatory, its staff and programs, and the scope of its research may be found at: https://greenbankobservatory.org/.

Deadline: February 16, 2021

Notification: April 2021

Current and Past Blumberg in Astrobiology Grantees