Social Science Instructions

Instructions for LSSTC Catalyst Fellowship applications in the social sciences

Please be sure to carefully review the Call for Applications ( and Selection Criteria ( before preparing your application. We ask applicants to submit the following materials through the application portal (

  1. A Research Statement of not more than three pages (excluding figures and references). This statement should clearly identify the applicant’s proposed research questions, establish connections to prior research, articulate the data and methods that will be employed, and justify the candidate’s choice of host institution and faculty site supervisor. The Research Statement will be subject to a dual-anonymous review, so do not include any personally identifying details in this document. 

  2. A Community Impact Statement of not more than two pages that describes the applicant’s interest in and/or plans for contributing to the Rubin LSST community beyond the publication of research findings. Applicants should consider how they intend to engage with this cross-disciplinary community that includes both social scientists and astronomers, cultivate knowledge sharing, and contribute to the development of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Rubin community. It is acceptable to include personally identifying information in this essay, as the Community Impact Statement will be reviewed separately from the Research Statement. 

  3. A current curriculum vitae (CV) with publications listed.

  4. A letter of commitment from the proposed faculty site supervisor at the applicant’s choice host institution. The letter of support should state the faculty site supervisor’s commitment to serving in a supervisory capacity and providing a physical location for work. The supervisor should also affirm that they have read the applicant’s Research and Community Impact Statements, and that the plans described therein are commensurate with the activities and interests of the proposed host institution and department. The letter should also discuss the resources and benefits that will be made available to the postdoctoral fellow at the host institution. This letter is not a letter of recommendation, and applicants will not be evaluated based on the contents of this letter.

  5. The names and contact information of three potential references.