Issue 41, February 14th, 2023

Hi Zachary,

We hope this semester is shaping up to be a productive one. As always, this newsletter is packed with valuable opportunities, events, and updates, so please take a minute to review, and please consider sharing them with your colleagues, friends, and family.

SuperCDMS Continues Progress

The SuperCDMS dilution fridge was shipped from Fermilab in January and and went underground and was installed last week. The equipment is part of the cryogenic system that will cool the SuperCDMS detectors to a base temperature of 15 milliKelvin (0.015 K). The collaboration is also expecting the detector components to begin arriving from SLAC in the coming weeks. 

Learn more about the SuperCDMS cryogenics

Research Scientist Position open at SNOLAB

The Research Scientist is responsible for furthering the SNOLAB science program through the design, development, and analysis of experiments and scientific service to the laboratory. The Research Scientist is expected to collaborate with the international research community on SNOLAB experiments.

The position is open at all levels, commensurate with the experience of the candidates. Closing date of March 3, 2023. The official advertisement is available on the SNOLAB Website:

Final Call: Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School 2023 for Undergrads

The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) is a free week-long undergraduate school that will introduce students to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University and SNOLAB. This will be the first time the school travels to SNOLAB since 2019. CAPSS will be held May 7 - May 13.

The application period has been extended to Feb 17, so check out this link for more information:

Final Call: GRIDS/TSI 2023 applications due March 3rd

The Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS) is a free two-week summer school started in 2018 for graduate students and new post-docs in nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics to get hands-on training with the detector and instrumentation technology used in modern experiments. It is aimed primarily for those students and postdocs with limited experience with experimental hardware.

GRIDS 2023 will be held June 5th - 16th. The applications deadline is March 3rd. To prevent any barriers to participation, some travel support is available. More information can be found here:

Save the date! On Thursday, March 23rd, 2023, we will have the privilege to hear from Professor Victoria Kaspi, Principal Investigator of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment fast radio burst (CHIME/FRB) team. She will give a talk titled “The Fast Radio Sky”.

Click here for more information and to register for tickets.

CAP Lecture Tour

SNOLAB staff scientist Dr. Andy Kubik has been selected as a featured speaker on this year’s CAP Lecture Tour. At SNOLAB, Andy works on the SuperCDMS and CUTE projects. 

“A Universe-Wide Mystery: What is Dark Matter and How Might We Detect It?”

Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30 pm EDT.

Zoom links for the lectures are made available on the CAP website the morning of the lecture.

The McDonald Institute is proud to offer professional development opportunities for all students, researchers, and faculty members.

Session instructors provide hands-on learning with immediate feedback to better prepare you for the lab, your research project or the next industry job you have your eyes on.  


Winter term sessions:


Thursday February 16, 2023: Macros with Excel 

Thursday March 9, 2023: Debugging your Code 

Thursday March 30, 2023: Project and Time Management 


All sessions will be available online (and in-person for those at Queen's University; we’ll have some snacks and drinks). Be sure to register early to secure your spot.

If you have any questions regarding registration or accommodation, please feel free to reach out to Max Edgington, HQP Coordinator, at

OPEN CALL: Two Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) PhD Fellowships with the McDonald Institute at Queen’s University

The IBET PhD Project aims to encourage and support the pursuit of graduate studies by under-represented groups in Canada. This lack of representation has hindered the enrolment of Canadian Indigenous and Black graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. IBET recipients will receive funding support and a Momentum Fellowship which includes access to industry partnerships and additional networking opportunities. Access to mentorship and community support will also be an integral component of the program.

IBET Fellowship with the McDonald Institute will be based at Queen’s University. Fellows receive $30,000/year ($25,000 from the McDonald Institute and Faculty of Arts and Science, and a minimum contribution of $5,000/year from the host supervisor at Queen’s). 

Ideal candidates are open to learning new techniques and must be motivated to solve problems in an interdisciplinary framework and collaboration setting. By the start date of the position, candidates should possess a PhD in physics or engineering with specialization in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, astroparticle physics or equivalent. A successful PDF candidate will be an expert in experimental particle physics, detector instrumentation, and data evaluation as demonstrated by their PhD research and any relevant subsequent appointments. Academic career interruptions for relevant work experience or personal obligations will also be taken into consideration. Experience with hardware installations, physics analysis, exposure to low background techniques, and/or research experience in these areas through previous PDF appointments or work experience is considered an asset. 

If you have questions about the opportunity, or know of someone who may be qualified to apply, please reach out to Alexandra Pedersen ( for further information and visit:

This search will be ongoing until the positions are filled.

Please share this opportunity widely.

Astroparticle Physics Community Art Challenge

The Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQP-AC) is holding a community art challenge to uncover creative talent among the physics research community.

The initiative, started by Hector Hawley Herrera (HQPAC, 2022), looks to both showcase the often unnoticed and undisclosed artistic talent of researchers while simultaneously offering a virtual and physical space for creativity and community gathering.

The HQPAC Art Challenge offers three categories for the MI community to submit their artistic creations under the theme, “Day to day living”. A panel of judges selected by the HQPAC will decide the award winners. 

Image created using the Midjourney AI bot in the McDonald Institute HQP Discord server.

The entry deadline is March 30th, 2023.

For more information, including steps to submit your artwork, click here

Join Mothers in Science co-founder Isabel Torres and Research Officer Anaelle Hertz discuss the recently published action plan to promote gender equity in the funding system

Proof of Concept Seed Funding

The McDonald Institute Proof of Concept Seed Fund Program provides early-stage support for technology innovation supervised by an awardee. Funding of up to $20,000 CAD is currently available to offset the real costs to an eligible astroparticle physics researcher developing an early-stage demonstration of practical technologies either adapted, or transferred from research-driven activities. Funding may be used for a portion, or the entirety of costs incurred for, prototype development, technology integration, or technology demonstration. The opportunity will close March 2023. Please contact Dr. Alexandra Pedersen (Business Development Officer) at for additional information and application guidance. 

For more information, please visit:

Early Demonstration Fund Program

The Early Demonstration Fund provides an opportunity for researchers to advance a technology solution to a practical problem that has already been shown to be feasible (i.e., has already been subjected to a successful proof-of-concept test or demonstration), but has not been sufficiently constituted to provide an assurance of reliable application (i.e., reproducibility in solving a practical problem).

Successful applicants will be granted an award letter committing the McDonald Institute to reimburse up to $20,000 CAD of receipted expenses incurred up to 12 months from the award date. The target of the first award call is to bolster community members’ experience in mobilizing research technology to address practical problems and to de-risk such mobilizations by demonstrating feasibility (problem-solution “fit”). Applications are welcomed at any time for this funding opportunity.

Once this funding pool (currently $20,000 CAN) has been exhausted, this competition will close for the current fiscal year.

Contact Edward Thomas (Associate Director) for additional application information and guidance.

Timelines: Call for applications opened: Dec. 1, 2022. Results will be announced within one month of each application submission.

Please visit the McDonald Institute Funding Opportunities webpage for more information.

Explore opportunities in astroparticle physics!

The Careers in Astroparticle Physics website features jobs, research positions, and other career-building opportunities in the field in a highly discoverable way. Prospective and current students can easily find current postings to take their careers to the next step, or just to keep them inspired and optimistic about their future.

View the Careers website at:

We hope you find this community resource helpful!

Connect with the community:

Share some new research or ask a question to the community at the Canadian Astroparticle Physics LinkedIn Group

For the latest physics memes, pet photos, and virtual conference chatrooms, always feel free to say "hi" in the McDonald Institute HQP Community Discord

Do you have a recent result or publication that you would like shared with the Canadian Astroparticle Physics network and beyond? Send your work to ( to have it featured in our Science News series!

Science News is intended for students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and research associates actively working in astroparticle physics to quickly digest updates and progress in areas that are not directly connected to their specific project(s).

The McDonald Institute at Queen’s University is situated in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee First Nations. The Institute is part of a national network of institutions and research centres, which operate in other traditional Indigenous territories. Visit to learn the traditional territories where astroparticle physicists are grateful to live and work across Canada.

Thank you for your support. If you would like to view past newsletters from the McDonald Institute, please visit the: Newsletter Archive.

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