Short biography

Dr. habilis Maria Giovanna Dainotti
Visiting Scientist at Stanford University
Via Pueblo Mall 382, Stanford, CA 94301 (USA)
Affiliated Scientist at Space Science Institute (SSI), Colorado, USA
4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, Colorado 80301
Affiliated Scientist at the Center for Data Science at SSI (CDS), Boulder, Colorado, USA
Assistant Professor at Jagiellonian University
Ul. Orla 171, Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)



Research expertise.

High energy astrophysics, gamma ray bursts (GRBs), selection bias, statistical methods for astronomical data, and active galactic nuclei. Discoverer of the Dainotti relations in GRB afterglows between the luminosity at the end of the plateau phase, La, and its rest frame duration, Ta, and in GRB prompt-afterglow between La and the peak luminosity of the prompt emission, Lpeak. The first relation indicates that the more luminous the plateau phase is, the shorter its duration, i.e., the more powerful the phenomenon is, the quicker it consumes its energy. The second relation shows that the prompt luminosity is proportional to the luminosity at the end of the plateau phase. An extension of these two relations led to the discovery of a fundamental plane for GRB afterglows. The application of these relations in combination with supernovae Type Ia (SNe Ia) and cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) led to obtaining compatible results with these previous probes showing the validity of these relations as cosmological tools.


December 2008 Ph.D. in International Relativistic Astrophysics University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

  • Dissertation: “GRBs associated with SNe Ib/c and their theoretical interpretation within the Fireshell model”. Advisor: Professor Remo Ruffini.
  • Earned with full marks, magna cum laude
  • International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph.D.  Program (IRAP) Fellowship:  First in the IRAP PhD cycle to obtain the doctorate in the short period of 3 years. IRAP is a consortium of seven participating institutions: Rome La Sapienza, ETH Zurich, Freie Universitat at Berlin, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Universite’ de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Universite’ de Savoie and the University of Ferrara.

July 2005 Master Degree in Physics, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy

  • Magna cum laude
  • Thesis: “Standard Candles in Astronomy”
  • Supervisor Professor Salvatore Capozziello

Professional Positions.

  1. Visiting Scholar at Stanford University within the scheme of miniature grant from the polish ministry of Science and Education, June 2019-September 2019.
  1. Riken Pioneer Research Grant, Tokyo, Japan, January-February 2019.
  1. American Astronomical Society Chretienne Fellow, at Stanford University from August 2018- January 2019.
  1. Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, February 2018.
  1. Marie Curie Fellowship, Stanford, CA, US,  and INAF, Bologna, Italy, from February 2015-January 2018
  1. Japan Society for Promotion of Science Fellowship, Riken, Japan, Nov 2013-Jan 2015
  1. Blanceflor-Ludovisi Scholar at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, Oct 2012-Nov 2013
  1. Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, Oct 2012-Sept 2013
  1. Visiting Scientist at UNAM University, Mexico City, Mexico, May 2013
  1. Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program in Puerto Rico, USA, March 2013
  1. Assistant Professor at Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, Apr 2012 to present
  1. Visiting Scientist at Leicester University, Leicester, UK, Jul 2011 –Jul 2011
  1. Visiting Scientist at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, Sept 2009
  1. Research Assistant at Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, Feb 2009 -Mar 2012

Granted Projects, Fellowships and Scholarships.

  1. Miniatura research grant, from June 2019 to September 2019 at Stanford University 
  2. RIKEN Research Pioneer, from January 2019-February 2019 at Riken Astrophysical Big Bang Laboratory. 
  3. American Astronomical Society Chretienne International grant, from August 2018-August 2019, spent at Stanford University, for attending meetings and workshops during the 2018-2019 academic year. 
  4. Marie Curie Outgoing Fellowship, European Commission, 1st February 2015-31 January 2018, from the title “New Cosmological Standard Candles from Gamma Ray Burst Correlations” spent at Stanford and at INAF, Bologna, Italy. The success rate is less than 5%.
  5. Japan Society for the promotion of Science Fellowship (JSPS), Japanese Ministry of Education, Jan 2013-Feb 2015. Selection was performed through nominating authorities, namely the Ministry of Italian University Research, MIUR. The period of the award was spent in Riken, Japan. Among the most prestigious awards in Asia, the success rate is 10%. The title of the grant was “A theoretical investigation of the Dainotti relation within the photospheric emission models.” 
  6. Blanceflor-Ludovisi Scholarship, sponsored by the Blanceflor-Ludovisi Boncompagni Foundation, May 2013-November 2013 and February 2014, spent at Stanford University, Stanford, California. Title of the award: “How is possible to correct for selection bias in GRB relations in the X-ray afterglows?”. It is among the most prestigious award in Sweden for Italian and Swedish young scientists (<35 years old). 
  7. Fulbright Scholarship, sponsored by the US Department of State and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stanford University, Stanford, California, October 2012-September 2013. The success rate for this award is 8%. Title of the grant: “GRB relations, selection effects and their implication on theoretical models”. 
  8. PI of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Polish Grant N N203 579840, Jagiellonian University, June 2011-June 2014. Title of the grant: “Study of prompt and  afterglow relations, their physical interpretation and their applications as cosmological tools”. This grant is considered among the most competitive polish grants for PhD holders (until 10 years from the completion of PhD). 
  9. Angelo Della Riccia Scholarship for the years 2009- 2010 sponsored by Angelo Della Riccia Foundation, postdoctoral award, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Title of the award: “Using the Dainotti relation in Gamma Ray Burst afterglow as a viable cosmological tool.”

Awards and Prizes.

  • Knighthood of the Italian Republic, order of merit of the Italian Republic, honor awarded directly by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano for the excellence of results achieved in the field of Astrophysics, 8 March, 2013.
  • Italian l’Oreal-UNESCO Award “For Women in Science”, sponsored by the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), May 2012-March 2013. I was selected from more than 300 candidates whose expertise ranged among all the scientific disciplines, such as biology, engineering, physics, astrophysics and mathematics. The award was spent at the institute of La Normale of Pisa, Italy. The success rate for this award is 1%. Title of the award: “Investigation of the properties of GRBs associated with SNe Ib/c and the phenomenology of the Dainotti relation”.
  • International Princess Sichelgaita Prize, sponsored by the Presidency of the Italian Republic. The prize consisted in the medal of the Italian President. This prize was the highest among the three prizes given that day. This prize is given for the excellence of the results achieved by women, born in South of Italy, who have distinguished themselves worldwide in their field of expertise.
  • RIKEN Fellow of the week, Japan, 2014.
  • Marie Curie Fellow of the week 26th of April 2019 from Marie Curie Programme Scheme. The award has been notified on 29th of October 2018.
  • Distinguished Fellow of the City of Cava dei Tirreni, home town of the fellow. This award is given by the Rotari Club to people who have distinguished in any discipline for their contribution.
  • Project chosen as “Success stories” by the Marie Curie’ Media in February 2019Only a very small fraction of projects is chosen to be presented to the broader audience.

Professional memberships.

  • The American Astronomical Society (AAS) from 2016 until now 
  • The American Physical Society (APS), 2005-2008
  • The International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (ICRA) 2005-2008
  • International Network of the Centers for Relativistic Astrophysics (ICRAnet) 2005-2008
  • Società Italiana di Fisica (SIF), 2005-2008

Computer Skills.

Operating systems: Windows, Linux, UNIX; Typesetting: LATEX, Microsoft Office;
Satellite data analysis and computational abilities: XSPEC, Qdp, FTOOLS, Gnuplot, Excel;Swift: (XRT,UVOT data reduction);Fermi LAT analysis: with GTI, and the standard analysis tool and with 3ML;
Programming abilities: Pythons in Mathematica, IDL, R, Fortran, Matlab
Languages: Italian (Native speaker); English (CAE); Polish (A2)