Carolyn B. Parker
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The Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS) Carolyn B. Parker Fellowship honors and preserves the legacy of the first African American woman to earn a postgraduate degree in physics. The Carolyn B. Parker Fellowship prioritizes the representation and inclusion of historically and contemporarily minoritized individuals underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and quantum computing research, specifically. This fellowship is sponsored by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

The SQMS Carolyn B. Parker Fellowship is available to Black and African American scholars with a background in physics or engineering seeking a research assistantship. This is a unique opportunity to engage with the National Quantum Information Science Research Center, Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS) to build and deploy a beyond-the-state-of-the-art quantum computer based on superconducting technologies.

To enrich the research experience and enhance scientific collaboration the selected Fellow will spend periods of time conducting research with domestic and/or international SQMS partner institutions and organizations. Additionally, the Fellow will contribute to SQMS committees, write scientific papers and reports, highlight progress at weekly and bi-weekly center meetings, and may present at national and international workshops and conferences.

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Carolyn B. Parker

Carolyn Beatrice Parker is the first African-American woman known to have earned a postgraduate degree in physics. She earned two master's degrees, one in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1941 and one in physics from MIT in 1951. Ms. Parker was one of a small number of African-American scientists and technicians on the Manhattan Project. She worked as a physicist from 1943 to 1947 on the Dayton Project, the plutonium research and development arm of the Manhattan Project. Leukemia identified as an occupational risk for workers on the Dayton Project in 2008. Ms. Parker's completion of a doctorate in physics at MIT was short-circuited by leukemia that claimed her life at age 48 in 1966.


  • Qualified recipients will have a Ph.D. in physics, computer science, engineering, or mathematics conferred within the five-year period prior to application or by September 2022
  • Previous post-doctoral research experience is not required.
  • International candidates are invited to apply.

Term of Appointment

The initial term of the SQMS Fellowship appointment is for three years with the possible extension for a second two-year term.