Covington Fellowship

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), near Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. The Observatory staff have expertise in observational radio astronomy and in developing instrumentation and technology for radio telescopes.

In 2008, the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre established the Covington Fellowship, named after Arthur E. Covington (1913–2001). He was a member of the NRC's former Radio Branch in Ottawa from 1942 to 1978 and Canada's first radio astronomer.


Candidates with research interests in 1 or more of the following areas would be particularly well matched to research efforts at the Observatory:

  • Galactic radio astronomy
  • Interstellar and magneto-ionic media of the Milky Way Galaxy
  • Observational cosmology
  • Observations of nearby galaxies
  • Radio-polarimetric observations
  • Radio telescope instrumentation
  • Transient and highly variable sources, including pulsars and fast radio bursts
  • Wide-field radio continuum surveys
Research facilities

Covington fellows work independently to perform original research that makes use of the Canadian national radio astronomy facilities at the Observatory—the Synthesis Telescope, the John A. Galt Telescope and the Solar Flux Monitor—in addition to international facilities:

  • Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
  • Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA)
  • Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), located at DRAO
  • Green Bank Telescope (GBT)
  • Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA)
  • Low Frequency Array (LOFAR)
  • Murchison Widefield Array (MWA)
  • Parkes 64-metre telescope
  • Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) precursors, such as the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the MeerKAT

Other facilities available to Covington fellows include professionally managed computers and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC). This data centre operates the Canadian Virtual Observatory, is home to the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR) cloud computing network and archives data from the following instruments:

  • Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (CGPS)
  • Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)
  • Gemini Observatory
  • Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
  • James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT)
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
Collaboration opportunity

Covington fellows are encouraged to collaborate with scientific staff at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory and the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO), in Victoria, British Columbia, as well as with research scientists at Canadian universities and international colleagues in the astronomical community. Fellows actively engage with the Canadian astronomy community in support of the collective use of Canada's national radio astronomy facilities.

The Covington Fellowship offers a highly competitive salary and benefits package. The initial 2-year appointment may be extended for 1 year (subject to performance and availability of funds). There is normally only a single Covington Fellow working at the Observatory, with a competition typically held every few years. The next application period opens in September 2024, with the next Covington Fellow announced in the spring of 2025.


The Covington Fellowship is for early career researchers. Applicants must have received their PhD no more than 3 years before assuming the fellowship. Exceptions may be considered in cases that are well justified. In addition, doctoral candidates who will complete all requirements for their PhD within 6 months of assuming the fellowship may also be considered.

The Covington Fellowship is open to nationals of all countries, although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

At the NRC, we value diversity in our workforce. As a result, preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples and persons with disabilities.

Apply beginning in September 2024

Research Associate (Covington Fellowship)

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