Fermilab Today Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012

Now accepting applications for theoretical physics fellowships

Fellow Chiu-Tien Yu, from the University of Wisconsin, takes a break from analyzing a theoretical physics problem to smile for the camera. Photo: Sarah Charley

Fermilab is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 fellowships in Theoretical Physics program. The program is open to PhD candidates attending school in the United States.

"This program gives physics PhD candidates the opportunity to work alongside researchers and post docs at Fermilab," said Andreas Kronfeld, chair of the selection committee. "It is designed so that a student's experience here will enrich their graduate studies."

The Fermilab Fellowship in Theoretical Physics is sponsored by the Department of Energy and grants accepted students a one-year competitive stipend and allowances for travel and tuition.

"The most qualified applicants will have research projects aligned with Fermilab's research," Kronfeld said. "The ideal graduate student will be in their second to last year or last year of PhD research. "

Previous recipients of the fellowship have found that their experience at Fermilab has opened doors for them and broadened their perspective on research.

"At Wisconsin, I primarily work only with my advisor, but at Fermilab, I work with a variety of people and I get to see different perspectives," Fellow Chiu-Tien Yu, from the University of Wisconsin, said. "This experience has shown me that there are a lot of ways to do research, and I have made a lot of connections."

Yu is studying collider physics with a focus on the connection to dark matter. She came to Fermilab looking for a short-term research experience that would allow her to collaborate with other theorists and experimentalists.

"Being able to do research at Fermilab is a unique opportunity that I could not pass up," Yu said. "People here treat me like a post-doc. I'm still a student, but I have a lot more independence."

Former fellow Chris Bouchard participated in the program during its first year. Currently, he is a post-doc at Ohio State University and researching lattice quantum chromodynamics.

"The fellowship not only helped me get this post-doc position, but also helped me formulate a longer term research plan," Bouchard said. "Being surrounded by FNAL researchers at the cutting-edge of particle physics helped me appreciate the important questions in the field and better understand what lines of research to pursue during my post-doc years."

For details and a link to the application, visit the theoretical physics website. Applications are due Friday, April 5.

—Sarah Charley

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