Accelerator Science Program to Increase Representation in Engineering, or ASPIRE, is a Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory fellowship providing immersive learning experiences, at Fermilab, to undergraduate and graduate (masters) engineering students, who are historically and contemporarily underrepresented in accelerator engineering fields, including Black, LatinX, and Indigenous identities, and women. ASPIRE is a partnership between Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Midwest colleges and universities, initially with Northern Illinois University.
The ASPIRE Fellows participate in the design, development and construction of world-leading particle accelerators, initially the PIP-II Project, presently under construction at Fermilab. Immersion in a world-class research and development environment through interactions with experienced, deeply knowledgeable, and often internationally renowned engineers and scientists provides a unique experience to participants as they contribute to the construction of one of the most powerful accelerators in the world. Under the guidance of an assigned mentor, participants realize professional growth and development through the acquisition of in-demand engineering skills and the establishment of professional networks within the U.S. accelerator science and technology community.
Immersed in a leading-edge research and development environment through interactions with experienced, deeply knowledgeable, and often internationally renowned engineers and scientists, ASPIRE Fellows experience a lifetime opportunity to contribute to the construction of one of the most powerful particle accelerators in the world.
Under the guidance of an assigned mentor, ASPIRE Fellows realize professional growth through the acquisition of in-demand engineering skills and the establishment of professional networks within the U.S. accelerator science and technology community.
The ASPIRE Fellowship duration is 15-18 months, encompassing interleaved summers and academic year semesters. Fellows are expected to be resident at Fermilab during the summers, and possibly during portions of the academic year. Fellows are paid by Fermilab during the periods of residence.
Upon successful completion of the program, Fellows will have acquired accelerator engineering skills that will provide a platform for their future careers and/or post-graduate work in the case of undergraduate participants.
A primary goal of the ASPIRE program is to develop participants into competitive candidates for full-time employment in particle accelerator and related fields, including at Fermilab, upon Fellowship completion.
More information on PIP-II
- Undergraduate junior and senior or post-graduate (masters) engineering students who are historically and contemporarily underrepresented in accelerator engineering fields, including Black, LatinX, Indigenous identities, and women.
- Full-time enrollment in a 4-year program of study (for undergraduates) at a Midwest college or university for the duration of appointment.
- Must be at least 18 years of age at time of appointment.
- Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Commitment to completing a minimum of two residency periods at Fermilab.
- Satisfactory performance of assigned duties and responsibilities and adherence to lab policies and procedures while employed at Fermilab as a Fellowship participant.
- Ability to work in the United States (for student visa holders).
Term of Appointment
The Fellowship is 15-18 months in duration, organized in semester-long cycles alternating Fermilab residencies with academic activities. At least one of the Fermilab residencies is anticipated to be during the summer. The Fellowship is designed to provide flexibility to accommodate the student's schedule.
It is anticipated that Fellows work full-time during the summers, with residency at Fermilab, and part-time during the academic semester, possibly augmented by supplemental class work.
Participants are paid by Fermilab while in residence. Fermilab also provides housing, which may be communal within a cohort of ASPIRE Fellows.
The senior design project is a central focus of the Fellowship for undergraduate participants from NIU. For other universities this requirement is subject to agreement between Fermilab and the university. For graduate students it is anticipated that the work undertaken during Fermilab residencies will align with their thesis topic.
First call for applications will be issued in the fall of 2021 for masters students and for undergraduate juniors, with Fellowship positions starting in the summer of 2022. A limited pilot program will start in fall 2021 or early 2022.