The Theory Division at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is pleased to announce its new Sylvester James Gates, Jr. Fellowship. 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.
The new Gates Fellowship takes its name from Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr., who attended a segregated African-American high school in Orlando, Florida. While earning his Ph.D. at M.I.T., he began his pioneering research on supersymmetry and supergravity, which became the basis for the string theory revolution of theoretical physics in the 1980s. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Gates received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2013 and served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Among many other honors and distinctions, Gates was also elected president of the American Physical Society for 2021. His connections to Fermilab include serving on the board of directors of the Fermi Research Alliance LLC.
As a postdoctoral fellowship, the new Gates 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 will conduct original research in the Fermilab Theory Division, pursuing their own bold theoretical ideas.
The 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. Gates Fellows have opportunities to participate in the development of new experimental probes of fundamental physics and interact closely with Fermilab experimentalists.
Inspired by the achievements of Jim Gates, currently Ford Foundation professor and director of the Brown University Theoretical Physics Center, the new Fermilab Sylvester James Gates, Jr. Fellowship prioritizes the inclusion of first-generation college graduates, and the representation of historically and contemporarily minoritized individuals underrepresented in theoretical physics.
The Gates Fellowship’s five-year appointment comes with a competitive salary and excellent benefits. It also includes an annual stipend of $10,000 for research and travel.
Gates Fellowship applications are evaluated each fall. The search committee is charged with proactively identifying candidates from underrepresented groups in theoretical physics to encourage their application. The committee considers every applicant and selects one or more outstanding candidate every year.
Qualified applicants will have achieved a Ph.D. in physics within the past 10 years, but previous postdoctoral research experience is not required. The Gates Fellowship selection process prioritizes candidates who are first-generation college graduates and underrepresented postdoctoral theoretical physicists.
Interested parties are encouraged to apply.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.