Beatrice Watson Parrent Fellowship

2023 Search

A focus on scientific excellence

Parrent Fellowship

 We seek researchers displaying significant promise in any field of astrophysics or solar physics, including observation, theory, and instrumentation. The top criterion for selection will be scientific excellence, and the second will be the match with the IfA’s ongoing research activities.

The successful candidate will undertake a program of independent research and participate in the academic and scientific life of the IfA through an active collaboration with a research group at the Institute.  The Fellow can apply as PI for telescope time to the entire suite of observational facilities on the summits of Maunakea and Haleakala through the IfA’s guaranteed access.  The Fellow will also have access to the institutional surveys carried out by the IfA (e.g. Pan-STARRS).  Though not required, the Fellow may also mentor students at the undergraduate or graduate level. 

This year’s Parrent Fellowship search will be co-funded by the Beatrice Watson Parrent endowment and an IfA faculty sponsor. Applicants must contact the research group with which they are likely to be associated before submitting an application and must indicate which faculty member has agreed to support their application.

The complete list of IfA faculty members is available here. The following faculty have expressed a particular interest in being contacted by potential applicants:

  •  Michael Liu: Imaged exoplanets, brown dwarfs, star and planet formation, large-scale surveys
  •  David Sanders: Understanding the origin and evolution of Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRGs) and their relationship to other types of extragalactic objects, including powerful starburst galaxies, radio galaxies and quasars.
  • Benjamin Shappee: optical surveys, Type Ia supernovae progenitors and other explosive and variable transients
  • Colby Haggerty: ExtragalacticGalacticSolar Physics

For further information, please contact Jonathan Williams. (

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Please go to and click on “Job Postings.” You must submit the following documents online to be considered for the position: 1) Cover Letter, 2) Resume,  3) Supervisory References (three letters of recommendation) to be sent to RCUH by the application deadline via email to, 4) Copy of Degree(s)/Transcript(s)/Certificate(s), 5) a narrative of your research interests and experience,  All online applications must be submitted/received by the closing date (11:59 P.M. Hawai‘i Standard Time/RCUH receipt time) as stated on the job posting. If you do not have access to our system and the closing date is imminent, you may send additional documents to If you have questions on the application process and/or need assistance, please call (808)956-7262 or (808)956-0872

The mission of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i (RCUH) is to support and enhance research, development and training in Hawai‘i, with a focus on the University of Hawai‘i.

Equal Opportunities Employer – Minorities/Women/Disability/Veteran.

 The Parrent Fellow is appointed for a term of two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension at the discretion of the Institute for Astronomy Director. 

Beatrice Watson Parrent

Dora Beatrice Watson was born in Canada and became a naturalized American citizen in 1909. In 1923 she married Charles Parrent in San Jose, California, and they moved to Hawaii in 1925, when Charles joined the staff of Kamehameha Schools as a manual arts instructor. Charles remained at Kamehameha for 20 years. During this early period, Beatrice taught at the Mother Rice Kindergarten in Kakaako.

The Parrents and their friends, Roy and Estelle Kelley, purchased real estate on Waikiki’s Seaside Avenue in 1937 and built one-story apartments there. Together the two couples built the Ala Wai Terrace Hotel and Apartments in the 1940s. Charlie Parrent passed away in 1979, and Bea continued to manage the 239-unit Ala Wai Terrace until her death in 1984.

The Parrents’ background as educators no doubt caused Bea Parrent to want to share their assets with the University of Hawaii and other educational and community organizations once she had passed away. Among the projects selected for support by Attorney Frank Hustace, Executor of the Parrent estate, was the Beatrice Watson Parrent Fellowship in Astronomy, an endowed fellowship awarded to post-doctoral researchers at the UH Institute for Astronomy.

The Institute for Astronomy is indeed grateful to Mrs. Parrent for her desire to help improve education in Hawaii and for the support she provided for the Beatrice Watson Parrent Fellowship in Astronomy.

 Recipients of the Beatrice Parrent Watson Fellowship



  • 2018-2021 Lauren Weiss, PhD University of California, Berkeley, Exoplanets, Assistant Professor at Notre Dame University
  • 2015-2017 Nienke van der Marel, PhD Leiden University, Protoplanetary disks, Assistant Professor at Leiden Observatory
  • 2012-2014 Nicholas McConnell, PhD University of California, Berkeley, Supermassive black holes, Director of Academic Assessment at University of the Pacific
  • 2007-2009 Adam Bolton, PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gravitational lensing, Head of the data sciences branch of NOIRLab, Former Associate Professor at University of Utah
  • 2003-2006 Jan Kleyna, PhD Harvard University, Galaxy dynamics, IfA Researcher
  • 2000-2003 Michael Liu, PhD University of California, Berkeley, Star/planet formation, IfA Faculty
  • 1997-2000 Gillian Wilson, PhD University of Durham, Gravitational lensing, Professor at University of California, Riverside — Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
  • 1994-1997 William D. Vacca, PhD University of Colorado, Starburst galaxies, Principal Scientist/Science Instrument Support Manager Sofia
  • 1991-1994 Constantine Deliyannis, PhD Yale University, Element abundances, Associate Professor at Indiana University
  • 1988-1991 Fernando Selman, PhD California Institute of Technology, Cosmology, Staff Astronomer Paranal Observatory, ESO
  • 1985-1988 Eileen Friel, PhD University of California, Santa Cruz, Stellar evolution, Professor Emerita Indiana University (former Director of Lowell Observatory)

Institute for Astronomy