Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 10:29:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 9/27/2000

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of  9/27/2000, ed. by Priscilla Benson
***  send submissions and subscription info to                                         ***

This week's issues:
1.  Women Theorists
2.  Leave Policies
3. Funding Opportunities for Student Research
4. Grant Source?
5. Workshop on Young Stars
6. Jobs
1. Women Theorists

Recently it has come to my attention that there is a general 
perception --- at least among some of the most  prominent 
and influential theorists in our field --- that there are 
very few women working in astronomical theory.  Or more 
precisely, that the fraction of excellent female theorists 
is much smaller than the fraction of excellent women in 
other areas of astronomy.  This is bemoaned, and listed as a 
reason for the paucity of appointments to women at some 
institutions that are heavily theoretical.  

Now either this is true, in which case it would be an 
interesting topic of discussion for this forum, or it is not 
true, in which case it would be important to document the 
facts and educate our community.  I note that on the 
(excellent) CSWA Women in Astronomy Web Page, "Theory" is 
not listed as a choice of scientific interest.  Perhaps this 
simply reflects how women categorize their interests?

I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts and suggestions of 
this readership.  I might note that many astronomers come to 
the field via physics; this is certainly true of theorists.  
So it would be good to widen the discussion to physicists 
who study the sort of theory useful to astronomy --- which 
covers quite a bit of ground!  Young people so trained can 
and do find positions in astronomy after a first postdoc, 
for example.

Penny Sackett

p.s.  When I was still a physicist, the common lore was that 
there were very few excellent female experimentalists, they 
supposedly went into theory instead!

2. Leave Policies

This message is for Lauren Jones,

	At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,
the Dept. of Astronomy is in the Liberal Arts College.
There are several aspects to the leave policy here:

1) The university follows the Federal law on the 
Family/Medical Leave act which states that you can have up 
to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to handle family issues without 
losing your job. UIUC goes further in allowing you to use 
any accumulated sick leave to get paid for that leave.  They 
also allow two weeks of parental leave paid that can be used 
for paid leave during these 12 weeks.  For both my children, 
I took 6-9 weeks of leave all of it was paid because I had 
enough accumulated sick leave.

2) You can also get a whole semester off if you file for a 
leave of absence for the additional 4 weeks.  Something I 
did not do.

 3)  UIUC is not sexist in its policies so if you and your 
husband work here (as I and my husband do), then you can 
both take advantage of their leave policies.  We did this.

4) Bottom line though comes in your department.  You have to 
discuss/negotiate the details of your leave with your 
department chair.  Mine was very supportive.

5) If you are on the tenure track, you can apply for a 
tenure roll back of 1 year.  This allows you an extra year 
to prove yourself.  Both husband and wife can take tenure 
rollbacks. We did this.

Good luck with your efforts,

Margaret Meixner


Dear Lauren,

I am sure that the policies at the University of Melbourne 
in Australia will not effect others in the USA.  However you 
might be interested in what we offer as a comparison:

Maternity leave: 12 weeks on full pay; up to one years leave 
of absence (remainder unpaid); part-time positions for as 
many years as requested (paid pro-rata).  These rules apply 
for both academic and administrative staff; for adoption the 
female parent has 2 days special paid leave, plus 6 weeks on 
half pay, plus up to a total of 52 weeks of unpaid leave. 
Paternity leave: 1 week on full pay; applies to both 
adoption and also to same sex partners; up to an additional 
51 weeks unpaid leave where the parent is the primary carer 
Family leave: up to 5 days per year on full pay (non-
cumulative) to care for a sick family member, or attend to 
another emergency

Rachel Webster

3. Funding Opportunities for Student Research

Small grants for undergraduate and graduate student research 
in all branches of science and engineering, up to $1,000.  
Funds awarded in early December.  Additional funds, up to 
$2,500 available for Astronomy in general, and research 
specifically involving meteors, meteorites and space. Fall 
deadline is October 16, 2000.  Membership with Sigma Xi is 
required for some, but not all funds.  Send applications 
electronically to Grants-in-Aid of Research Program:

For more information about Sigma Xi:

Julia Reed
Programs Coordinator
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
800-243-6534 ext. 206

4. Grant Source?

I'm looking for a small source of funding ($2500 or fraction 
thereof) to buy a laptop to transition me from graduate 
school to a 3-month visiting researcher position in India to 
a (as yet unknown) postdoc. Having it would make a huge 
difference in my productivity in the next year but the catch 
is that it cannot be bought with funds from my university, 
since then the computer belongs to them, and it cannot be 
taken from the university (defeats the purpose of a laptop, 
yes?). Does anyone know 1) a source of a small amount of 
equipment money and 2) how to prevent it from being "owned" 
by a university?

-- Kristy Dyer

5. Workshop on Young Stars
From: rayjayastron.Berkeley.EDU

Young Stars Near Earth: Progress and Prospects
     NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA

            March 21-23, 2001

The recent discovery of several groups of young stars within 
100 parsecs of the Sun has generated a lot of interest. 
Given their proximity and possible age spread, these systems 
are ideally suited for detailed studies of star and planet 
formation. Groups such as the TW Hydrae Association (~50 
pc), MBM12 high-latitude cloud (~65 pc) and Eta 
Chamaeleontis cluster (~97 pc) have been the focus of 
intense investigations over the past few years, and are 
likely to be prime targets for future ground-based and 
space-borne observatories. Meanwhile, the search is on for 
other young stars in the solar neighborhood. Unlike
T Tauri stars in well-known star-forming regions, these 
stars are often not associated with obvious parent molecular 
clouds, so their nature, origin, and age are still matters 
of controversy. This workshop will be a forum to present the 
latest findings, debate unresolved issues, consider 
implications for local star formation, and discuss prospects
for the future including brown dwarf and planet searches.

Topics to be covered include:

* Star formation in the solar neighborhood
* Identifying ``isolated'' young stars
* Kinematics, astrometry, distances and age estimates
* Origins and parent clouds
* Stellar properties and X-ray emission
* Disk evolution and planet formation
* Brown dwarfs and giant planets
* Prospects for the future (FAME, SIRTF, SOFIA, ALMA, SIM, 

Please send expressions of interest to:
        Ray Jayawardhana (

Workshop Web site:

6. Jobs 
Editor's Note:  There is an unusally long list of jobs, 
including postdocs, this week, so I am only listing them. If 
you are interested, you should check out the web listing 
and/or contact the name given with the ad or the submitter 
of the ad.


There are two positions coming available for Fall 2001, I 
thought it might be especially interesting for applicants 
with another astronomer/physicist in the family.

Joan Schmelz

Faculty Positions--Department of Physics
The University of Memphis

Two anticipated tenure track positions at the Assistant 
Professor level, to begin in fall 2001.

Review will begin on November 1, 2000


Postdoctoral Fellowships in Astrophysics at Princeton 

Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellowship
Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellowship In Theoretical 
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Postdoctoral Fellowships
Postdoctoral Prize Fellowship in Astronomy - PRINCETON 

The expected starting date for all fellowships is 1 
September 2001. The appointments are for one year, renewable 
annually based on satisfactory performance, for a total of 
up to three years.  

Prof. S. Tremaine, Chair, Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, 
Peyton Hall, Princeton NJ 08544-1001, USA. Applicants will 
automatically be considered for all postdoctoral positions 
in the department. EEO/AAE.

Position in Astrophysics - Princeton University

The Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton 
University, invites applications for a professional 
technical staff position, beginning on June 1, 2001, 
contingent upon availability of funding.  The position is 
expected to be up to five years, renewed annually,
based upon satisfactory performance. The successful 
applicant will work with Drs. Renyue Cen and Jeremiah 
Ostriker in fields closely related to cosmological N-body 
and hydrodynamic galaxy formation simulations.

Apply by December 1, 2000 to Dr. Renyue Cen, Department of 
Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, 
Princeton, NJ 08544.


The Department of Physics at Kenyon College
( invites applications 
for a tenure-track assistant professor position beginning in 
the fall semester of 2001. Applications received by January 
1, 2001 are guaranteed full consideration. 

Director of Laboratories for Physics and Mathematics
Kenyon College

This is a full-time professional position in the Departments 
of Physics (80%) and Mathematics (20%) with a salary 
comparable to that of a beginning Assistant Professor.  
Applications received by October 31, 2000 are guaranteed 
full consideration.

For information on either Kenyon job, contact: John Idoine, 
Department of Physics, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022. 
( More information about Kenyon College 
and the Departments of Math and Physics may be found on our 
Web site (  


SOFIA Manager of Education Programs
Minimum Qualifications:
MA or MS degree in astronomy or science education, Ph.D. or 
Ed.D. desirable. Knowledge of astronomy and astronomy 
education required. 
Location:  USRA SOFIA Offices, NASA Ames Research Center, 
Moffett Field, California
For more information, contact:
Human Resources
SETI Institute
2035 Landings Dr.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Attention: Edna DeVore


Note:  The following position is one of two or three in the 
area this year/next year, and may represent a special 
opportunity for an astronomical couple.  The search 
committee chair has a history of helping with issues of 
opportunities for significant others, as she is well aware 
that this may otherwise discourage people from applying 
to jobs outside of big cities.  If you have questions about 
the situation, please contact Lee Anne Willson 

Faculty Position
Observational Astronomy

Details of the program may be found at 
Deadline: January 15 or until the position is filled.
End of CSWA Newsletter of 9/27/2000