Caltech Professor Gets $500,000 Grant

A Caltech astronomy professor is one of 20 young scientists nationwide to be awarded a fellowship that provides him with $500,000 in unrestricted funds to support his research over the next five years.

Shrinivas Kulkarni, 34, an associate professor of astronomy, received the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship from the Los Altos-based foundation.

The Pasadena resident received his master’s degree in 1978 from the Indian Institute in New Delhi and his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1983.

He came to Caltech in 1985 as a Robert A. Millikan Research Fellow and became an assistant professor in 1987.


In 1987, Kulkarni was named a Booker Fellow for exceptional contributions to radio astronomy, and in 1988, he was named both a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation and a Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York City. He was recently awarded the Vainu Bappu Memorial Prize.

Kulkarni’s research is principally concerned with observational studies of pulsars, or neutron stars, and the development of astronomical instrumentation.

The Packard Fellowship program was started in 1988 by the Los Altos-based foundation to encourage talented young faculty members to pursue productive university careers.

Kulkarni is the fourth Caltech faculty member to be named a Packard Fellow.