case western reserve university




Carl K. Seyfert Prize Fellowship for Undergraduate Research

Posted 7-Sep-2007

The Department of Astronomy is pleased to announce the establishment of the Carl K. Seyfert Prize Fellowship for Undergraduate Research. The Fellowship will support one undergraduate student each summer to come to Cleveland and work on cutting-edge astronomical research with CWRU faculty members. The Seyfert Fellow will be awarded based on a national competition each spring.

The Fellowship's namesake, Dr. Carl Seyfert (1911-1960), was a Cleveland-born astronomer who worked on a variety of subjects, including stellar and galactic astronomy, and astronomical instrumentation. He was a pioneer in the study of spiral galaxies with bright emission-line nuclei. Such galaxies are now referred to as "Seyfert galaxies," and are believed to host supermassive black holes at their centers which drive their nuclear activity.

Dr. Seyfert was also a member of the Warner and Swasey Observatory at Case Western Reserve University from 1942-1946, where he used the Burrell Schmidt wide-field telescope to study the luminosity function of stars in the Milky Way.

Carl Seyfert (left) and Jason Nassau (right) at CWRU's Burrell Schmidt telescope

The Seyfert Fellowship has been made possible by a generous contribution from CWRU Astronomy alumnus Dr. Anthony J. Wasilewski, whose doctoral thesis ("The space density and clustering properties of a new sample of emission-line galaxies") was based in part on Seyfert's pioneering work on active galaxies.

For more information about the Fellowship, including application information, please go to the Seyfert Fellowship webpage, or contact Heather Morrison (, Department Chair and Director of the Warner and Swasey Observatory

"Seyfert's Sextet",
a compact group of galaxies discovered by Carl Seyfert in 1951