NASA's Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program solicits graduate fellowship proposals to fulfill the NASA Science Mission Directorate to "Understand the Sun and its effects on Earth and the solar system". This prestigious $30,000/yr fellowship is awarded initially for a year with maximum two more renewals contingent on satisfactory progress and funding. In the category of heliophysics program, Ashar submitted a proposal titled "Investigating the effects of azimuthal structure on ULF-driven particle transport and energization in the radiation belts" which has been awarded for the academic year 2013-2014.
Ashar is a graduate student in the applied mathematics department working under the advisement of Dr. Scot Elkington at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). His research includes investigation of the distribution of power in the ULF electromagnetic waves in the magnetosphere as well as radial transport of charged particles. This proposal includes a project to use the data from the Van Allen Probes, launched August 2012, to obtain more realistic azimuthal profiles of ULF wave power and to estimate the radial diffusion rates of charged particles which will help us in a much bigger goal of understanding how the radiation belts change in response to solar activity.