Sylvester James Gates, Jr.
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The Fermilab Sylvester James Gates, Jr. Fellowship is inspired by the achievements of Jim Gates, currently Ford Foundation Professor and Director of the Brown University Theoretical Physics Center. The Gates Fellowship at Fermilab prioritizes the inclusion of first-generation college graduates, and the representation of historically and contemporarily minoritized individuals underrepresented in theoretical physics. Fellowship applications are evaluated in the Fall. This fellowship is sponsored by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC with support from the Department of Energy Office of Science.

The Gates postdoctoral fellowship is intended to attract early-career researchers of extraordinary promise — from exceptional recent Ph.D. recipients to those with a research record from prior postdoctoral experience. Gates Fellows conduct original research in the Fermilab Theory Division, pursuing their own bold theoretical ideas.

Theory Division hosts a dynamic and supportive community of more than 50 theoretical physicists engaged in cross-cutting collaborations that encompass a broad array of topics in particle theory, astroparticle theory, cosmology and quantum information science. This community is further enhanced by close connections with the University of Chicago and other local universities and colleges, as well as Argonne National Laboratory. Additionally, Theory Division has long-standing international collaborations that include CERN and many institutions in Latin America and Europe. Gates Fellows have opportunities to participate in the development of new experimental probes of fundamental physics and interact closely with Fermilab experimentalists.

More information on Fermilab Theory


  • Qualified applicants will have a Ph.D. in physics awarded in the past ten (10) years.
  • Previous post-doctoral research experience is not required.
  • International candidates are invited to apply.
  • The Gates Fellowship prioritizes candidates who are first-generation college graduates, and historically and contemporarily minoritized candidates, including Black, LatinX, and Indigenous identities, underrepresented in theoretical physics.

Term of Appointment

The term of the Gates Fellowship appointment is five years. The Gates Fellowship comes with a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and includes an annual stipend of $10K for research and travel.

Selection Process

The Fermilab Theory Division will convene a Gates Fellowship search committee formed by Fermilab scientists with the participation of physicists from the larger community. The committee will be charged to proactively identify and connect with candidates from underrepresented groups in theoretical physics to encourage application. The Gates Fellowship is widely advertised through channels likely to reach a broad range of qualified candidates. The search committee considers every applicant and selects one or more outstanding candidate every year.