Issue 40, January 18th, 2022

Hi Zachary,

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a nice holiday break and are ready for another trip around our favourite Neutrino factory.

As always, we have many opportunities and programs on the go. Please keep in mind the upcoming deadline for the Cross-Disciplinary Internship applications, which are due this Friday, January 20th. And the deadline for nominations for the Postdoctoral Scholar Award is this Sunday, January 22nd.

Upcoming Seminars:

Feb 9: Melissa Diamond (Queen’s)

2023 Cross-Disciplinary Internship Applications Open

The Cross-Disciplinary Internship (CDI) program provides a ($12,000 CAN) salary reimbursement for full- or part-time students registered in non-physics majors to participate in astroparticle physics research. Student applicants can be enrolled in any post-secondary level (college, undergraduate, or graduate studies). Supervisors must be faculty or postdoctoral scholars whose focus contributes to the advancements of astroparticle physics research. This program links students with leading astroparticle physics researchers in Canada for opportunities to expand research collaborations, knowledge, and research-based skills. 

To learn more, visit:

CDI Poster 2023

Potential applicants and their supervisors must contact Dr. Alexandra Pedersen, the McDonald Institute’s Business Development Officer, at prior to submitting an application to discuss the project. Please use “CDI Program – [LAST NAME]” as the subject line when reaching out. 

Need inspiration? Check out our past CDI alumni page

Deadline to apply: Friday January 20, 2023 by 4pm EST.

McDonald Institute Award for Postdoctoral Fellows

Deadline Extended!

The McDonald Institute Postdoctoral Scholar award is a one-year top-up for postdoctoral fellows at a recognized Canadian academic institution. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence across a broad suite of contributions to astroparticle physics research in Canada (e.g., leadership roles in the community, innovation, scientific contribution). This opportunity is limited to postdoctoral fellows in Astroparticle physics.

The application deadline is January 22, 2023.

Learn more at:

SNOLAB student talk competition

In December, SNOLAB’s fall co-op students presented their hard work from the semester! The hybrid student talk competition featured 10 presentations with a variety of topics related to the science and engineering at SNOLAB. 

Congratulations to the winners of this semester’s prizes and to all participants for their hard work!

  • First place: Jerry Lu, 3rd year, studying Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo 
  • Second place: Peter Qin, 3rd year, studying Physics at the University of Toronto 
  • Third place: Jeffrey Glasier, 3rd year, studying Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo 
  • Honourable Mention: Keegan Paleshi, 2nd year, studying Physics at Laurentian University 

The winning students received their prizes from our festive Executive Director at SNOLAB’s holiday get-together.

HALO celebrates ten years of data

HALO (Helium and Lead Observatory) has celebrated ten consecutive years of data taking. The fraction of "up" time or "livetime" has been a remarkable >98.8% over the past ten years and > 99.4% over the last six years, making it likely the most reliable member of the global SNEWS (SuperNova Early Warning System) network while providing the fastest response (lowest latency) for sending alarms to SNEWS.

HALO and SNEWS will help to detect supernovae in our own galaxy by their neutrino burst before their light reaches Earth and then notify both professional and amateur astronomers. Alas, despite ten years of operational excellence … no supernovae have yet been reported.

CAP Award recipients

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) has awarded Daryl Haggard, McGill University, 2022 CAP Herzberg Medal for her leadership in the development of multimessenger astronomy and the discovery of the electromagnetic signal accompanying gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars. View the press release.

Asimina Arvanitaki, Perimeter Institute, has been awarded the 2022 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for Contributions to Subatomic Physics for her extensive research contributions to supersymmetry, string theory, dark matter, and black holes and for her innovative work in “tabletop physics,” developing small-scale experiments that complement the research done at larger-scale particle physics facilities. View the press release.

Congratulations to Dr. Haggard, Dr. Arvanitaki and the rest of the 2022 award winners. The deadline for nominations for the 2023 awards are due February 28th, 2023

NSERC announces inaugural winners of the Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships

In 2020, NSERC announced two awards to be named in honour of Canadian Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland and Arthur McDonald. The Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships recognize early-stage academic researchers in the natural sciences and engineering and support them to enhance their research capacity, so that they can become global leaders in their field. As the McDonald prize supports ongoing and future research it included an additional grant for the winner’s university to fund a replacement for the winner’s teaching and administrative responsibilities.

Congratulations to the winners; Sonia Chiasson, Ebrahim Karimi, Blake Richards, Angela Schoellig, Stephanie Simmons, and Danielle Way. Read more about the winners, and the award.

Dr. Eden Hennesey on EDI in Physics

On December 2, 2022, Dr. Eden Hennessey (Wilfred Laurier University) gave a Physics colloquium at Queen's University with titled "Canadian Physics Counts: Findings and Recommendations from the First Survey of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Physics in Canada Colloquium"

Thank you to Dr. Hennessey for making the colloquium available. Follow Dr. Hennessey's work through her Twitter.

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”.

More information, including how to get tickets, will be released soon!

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

2023 Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee - Call for Nominations 

The McDonald Institute would like to invite all non-faculty members of the community to nominate individuals to the 2023 Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQP-AC). 

The HQP-AC is the primary advocate and official representative for all non-faculty members of the Canadian astroparticle physics community. New members will have the opportunity to hold significant leadership roles. 

The term will last from February 1st, 2023 to January 31st, 2024. 

After confirming the willingness of the nominee to serve, please nominate an individual by filling out the short form below. Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations will be open until January 31st, 2023.

Nominees will be appointed by the current committee who aims to select candidates from various backgrounds and experiences. Individuals with no service experience will not be at a disadvantage. 

The selection process is moderated by a chair appointed by the McDonald Institute, Max Edgington. Please forward all questions regarding the election process to him at @Max Edgington (

Enhance your skills with free Professional Development Opportunities from the McDonald Institute

Are you looking to advance your skills and knowledge in your field? The McDonald Institute is proud to offer professional development opportunities for students, researchers, and faculty members. Our live experts will 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.  


This winter, we're offering three new workshops that will cover a variety of topics to help you advance your skills and knowledge. The Professional Development Opportunities (PDO) program offers training opportunities to community members to bolster skill sets while also bringing together different groups within the McDonald Institute community. The PDO program is also open to any student, researcher, or faculty member who may benefit from the listed sessions. We would like to encourage you to share these opportunities with your colleagues.  


Here are the sessions offered for the winter term:


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 and take advantage of these valuable training opportunities. If you have any questions regarding registration or accommodation, please feel free to reach out to Max Edgington, HQP Coordinator, at

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, 2023.

The application period closes on Feb 10, so check out this link for more information:

Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School 2023

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, 2023. The application period will open soon and close in early March 2023. To prevent any barriers to participation, some travel support is available. More information can be found here:

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.

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 opens: 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.

Research Partnership-Building Workshop

We are still receiving applications for the Research Partnership-Building Workshops program. It aims to mobilize astroparticle physics researchers working in Canada by supporting novel workshops, training events, or short-term visits that either initiate or expand opportunities for eligible research or training partnerships. 

To read more about eligible programs or to apply, visit the McDonald Institute webpage.

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.

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