Jason Kalirai

Associate Astronomer w/ Tenure

As STScI’s multi-mission project scientist, Dr. Jason Kalirai leads strategic initiatives for STScI’s science operations of NASA’s missions including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). He works closely with the institute’s divisions and mission offices to explore and realize operational, technological, and scientific synergies for HST, JWST, and WFIRST, and plays a leading role in championing the science conducted by STScI’s current and future missions and archives. He previously served as the Institute’s Project Scientist for JWST, the Deputy Project Scientist for JWST, and the lead of the photometric calibration team for HST’s Wide Field Camera 3 during and after it’s installation in HST. Before coming to STScI, Dr. Kalirai was a Hubble Fellow postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Kalirai participates and leads scientific research programs aimed at understanding the lifecycles of stars and how their evolution impacts the galaxies in which they reside. His research group includes multiple postdoctoral researchers at STScI and the Johns Hopkins University, and is supported by NASA and NSF research grants. He is a frequent user of HST and large ground-based observatories such as Keck. Dr. Kalirai has published over 100 research papers in major astronomical journals, has given hundreds of invited presentations related to his research, and has won major awards such as the American Astronomical Society’s Newton Lacy Pierce Prize and the Maryland Academy of Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist award.

Dr. Kalirai is deeply involved in motivating and shaping bold future telescopes on the ground and in space. He has been a member of the NASA Astrophysics 30-year roadmap team, the NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee, the WFIRST Formulation Science Working Group, the LSST Science Advisory Committee. He also enjoys directly engaging with the next generation of bright minds to encourage them to pursue careers in science, and has led hundreds of public outreach and education events.


PhD in Astrophysics, University of British Columbia
MSc in Astrophysics, University of British Columbia
BSc in Honours Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia


Science Interests:

  • Stellar Populations
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Star Clusters
  • White Dwarfs 
  • Milky Way Galaxy 
  • Local Group galaxies 
  • Star Formation
  • Initial Mass Function


Research Topics: Local Group Galaxies; Supernovae and Remnants; Stellar Populations; Star Clusters; Resolved Stellar Populations; Instrumentation; Future Telescopes


Professional Websites:

Professional Website

Personal Website



ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9690-4159

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