Issue 34, July 19th, 2022

We hope you are keeping cool and finding time to enjoy yourself this summer! This month's newsletter is full of exciting opportunities for everyone from undergraduate students to post-doctoral fellows and faculty members. Read on to learn how you can get involved with the astroparticle physics community!

National meeting of the Canadian astroparticle physics community, August 4th and 5th

The fourth annual national meeting of the Canadian astroparticle physics research community is taking place on August 4th and 5th. This is a hybrid one-and-a-half-day event, participants are invited to join remotely or in-person in Room 102, McLellan Physical Laboratories, at the University of Toronto (60 St. George St.). You can RSVP your intent to attend in person or online any time up to July 29.

Image: The Bulk: Frameworks by Jol Thoms (2022). Presented as part of the DRIFT exhibit.


Day 1: Postdoctoral Leadership
Day 1 of this year’s meeting features a strong emphasis on long-term leadership and career development for postdoctoral researchers (see “Full Agenda Details” below).

Day 2: Getting the Next Decade(s) Right
Day 2 continues the Annual Meeting’s role as a forum for the community to exchange perspectives on longer-term opportunities, challenges and likelihoods for Canadian astroparticle physics. This year’s panels, presentations and Q & A’s are informed by the McDonald Institute’s pending application to the Canada First Research Excellence Fund’s third funding round for brand-new programs.  

Please note that the linked agenda above will be updated with Zoom connection details 24 hours prior to the event. All registered attendees will receive direct calendar invitations one week prior to the event (with remote-connection details updated 24 hours prior to the event)

DAY 1 (Thursday, August 4):

12:30 pm-2:00 pm EDT.
Negotiation in Research Leadership: A special Professional Development Opportunities Session co-delivered by McDonald Institute and Queen’s School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Negotiation skills are an important part of all postdoctoral fellows' professional development toolkit. Whether you are negotiating the terms of your first postdoc, assistant professor role, or with industry, these skills can benefit you personally, as well as others in the workplace. Join this special hybrid event hosted by the McDonald Institute (live) and the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (online), where you’ll have the opportunity to engage in a simulated negotiation and discuss negotiation skills with panelists. 

2:30 pm-4:30 pm EDT.
Mapping Leadership Development Program for Postdoctoral Fellows.
The McDonald Institute is proposing a CFREF-3 funded research-career accelerator program for postdoctoral fellows in astroparticle physics that will work for both academic and non-academic paths. This workshop will engage postdoctoral fellows and supervisors in co-designing this methods and aims of program.

5:00 pm-9:00 pm EDT.
Thursday Social Event

The Institute will host a catered, cash-bar social event at the DRIFT: art and dark matter exhibit at the University of Toronto’s Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. This event is open to all astroparticle physics researchers (we hope to see a few international SuperCDMS colleagues there!).
Image: Organic Nebula by Josèfa Ntjam (2019). Presented as part of the DRIFT exhibit. 

DAY 2 (Friday, August 5)

9:00 am-10:30 am EDT.
Panel: The “Golden Age” of Astroparticle Physics?

It has been (quietly) argued that astroparticle physics is entering its own “Golden Age” of discovery as more and more experimental collaborations in neutrino behaviour, multi-messenger astrophysics and dark matter detection proliferate and scale around the world. In Canada, we’re enjoying a small flurry of experimental first-lights, fresh data analysis and new detector pilots and full commissionings. How should we best frame the astroparticle physics opportunity for Canada for the next two decades and what lessons (good or bad) might we look for from other science communities who’ve already had their “Golden Age”?

10:45 am-12:15 pm EDT.
Presentation: Amplifying Canada’s Place in Astroparticle Physics through 2030 - the McDonald Institute application to CFREF Round 3

The McDonald Institute has been invited to submit a third-round funding proposal to the Canada First Research Excellence Fund for a novel suite of programs operating from 2024 to 2031. The draft application will expand the breadth of institutional partnerships and the critical engineering resources required to advance Canadian research footprint in the field, among other key goals. Scientific Director Tony Noble will outline the scope of the proposal and its strategic aims for making the most of the last decade’s accelerated growth of astroparticle physics research in Canada. 

1:30 pm-3:00 pm EDT.
PANEL 2: 5-years ahead - sure things, probable things, possible things

As the international scale, breadth and quantity of research directions increases, how should we think about “best” opportunities for Canadian researchers in the field, both in near-term opportunities (predictable) and long-term opportunities (unpredictable)? What opportunities are sure things and what opportunities are tenuous - and what factors might disrupt those assumptions? Are there ways we could or should orient ourselves long-term to maximize our ability to adapt to unexpected changes in external factors (funding, partnerships, scientific consensus, etc.)   

3:15 pm-4:15 pm EDT.
Q&A: McDonald Institute’s Next Two Years. 

The McDonald Institute will wind down most spending of its current CFREF Round 2 grant in 2024. Should a Round 3 grant succeed, the Institute will still be obligated to wind down certain programs and operate others in a long-term sustainment mode without CFREF support. This session is an open Q&A session about transition and sustainment strategies for Science support, HQP development, Networking & Partnerships, Knowledge Mobilization, and Governance. Ask us anything!

SNOLAB names Dr. Jodi Cooley as new Executive Director

SNOLAB announced that Dr. Jodi Cooley has been selected to be their new Executive Director. Dr. Cooley will be taking over for Dr. Clarence Virtue effective August 1. Dr. Cooley is a physics professor at Southern Methodist University as well as the Operations Manager for the SuperCDMS collaboration, which is housed at SNOLAB.

In SNOLAB's official press release, Dr. Cooley said, “I am truly honoured to have been selected as the next Executive Director of SNOLAB. I am already engaged with SNOLAB’s research community, and I have been impressed with the excellence of its science, capabilities and people."

Read the full press release here.
Registration is open for the 2022 Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer Student Talk Competition (CASST)

The Canadian astroparticle summer student talk competition is designed for undergraduate students to present talks about their summer research to peers and members of the community. This has been a long-standing event and will be co-hosted again this year by SNOLAB and the McDonald Institute.

The event will be a hybrid format, with an in-person option at Laurentian University for students who are able to travel.

Registrations and abstract submissions are now open! Students who do not wish to present are welcome to register as viewers. All summer students who are not currently engaged in graduate studies or have a graduate degree are encouraged to attend and submit an abstract. A final program will be posted following registrations.

For more information and to register please visit the event Indico page.

Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Workshop 2022
The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission is a space-based gravitational wave interferometer planned for launch in the mid-2030s. It promises major advances across a wide range of fields in physics and astronomy. Canadian researchers in particle physics, astronomy, gravity, instrumentation, spacecraft, computing, and other related fields are well poised to play an important role.

This year’s workshop will focus on synergies between LISA and other priorities in Canada’s astronomy and particle astrophysics program, including other missions, theory initiatives, and multi-messenger astronomy. It will also feature a presentation on a proposed Canadian hardware contribution to LISA.  

The workshop is particularly geared for Canadian researchers who may be interested in getting involved with LISA and would like to learn more about current and potential Canadian contributions to LISA. No previous experience with gravitational wave astronomy is assumed, but you can find an introductory overview in talks from 2021’s LISA Canada workshop.

All are welcome to attend - this workshop is intended to be accessible to researchers at every career level. Please register by August 24. There is no fee for registration.

Registration is available through the Indico site, here

Research Partnership Building Workshop
The Research Partnership-Building Workshops program 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.

TeVPA 2022 will take place in-person at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, August 8-12 2022. TeVPA is a major international conference bringing together expertise around the terascale including cosmic rays, cosmology, dark matter, galactic and extragalactic sources, gamma rays, neutrinos and multimessenger physics.

The list of talks is now available. Visit the conference website to learn more or to register:

McDonald Institute thanks Knowledge Translation Specialist Dr. Charles Woodford
The McDonald Institute said farewell to Dr. Charles Woodford (CJ), our Knowledge Translation Specialist, who has accepted an exciting new position with Ocean Networks Canada. 

CJ joined the Institute in November of 2020 having recently completed his PhD in theoretical astrophysics. We were very lucky to have CJ with us, for both his background in physics, astrophysics and programming, as well as his role in translating scientific context for the community.
CJ is largely responsible for developing the Institute’s online digital spaces, including the Recruitment Tool and archive of all publications funded by the McDonald Institute. He also volunteered for special projects; leaning into the first ever (Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences event for innovation and entrepreneurship and co-leading the University and the Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy Department’s 2024 Eclipse Committee. We will miss CJ’s contributions to the administrative team and all his skills brought to enhance this community.

Everyone here at the Institute wishes CJ all the best in his new role.

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.

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 CJ ( 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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