Issue 29,February 15th, 2022

We hope you've been keeping well and having a productive Winter!

The McDonald Institute has some exciting news to share and we're happy to bring you the latest here.

McDonald Institute to submit a CFREF 2022 proposal through Queen’s University

The McDonald Institute is pleased to announce that we have received an invitation to submit a proposal as lead applicants for Queen’s University for the third-round Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) competition. The expression of interest application will be submitted to CFREF by April 5. 

In consultation with astroparticle physics leaders across Canada and around the world, an expression of interest was submitted to Queen’s in early 2022 highlighting the incredible opportunity for, among other things, internationally-leading experiments to be commissioned in Canada by 2030. 
For the past five years, the McDonald Institute has worked to grow the Canadian astroparticle physics research ecosystem and increase its capacity for world-leading science. This has been accomplished with great success with the support of the second-round CFREF grant awarded in 2016 and the Institute will conclude this mandate in 2024. With a robust and diverse community at the ready, the third-round CFREF application proposes an entirely new mandate that can advance upstream research development and also help secure and facilitate a new, multinational, large-scale “flagship” experiment in Canada by 2030. 

The McDonald Institute will be holding information sessions in the next month with more details about the LOI, to solicit input, develop partnerships, and to answer any questions from the community. If you would like to be included in this ongoing discussion, please join the LOI Development mailing list by clicking here.

Upcoming McDonald Institute Census 
The McDonald Institute is releasing the annual Census to community members in early April 2022 for the 2021/2022 fiscal year (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022). The goal of the census is primarily to collect required data for our funding agency, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), while reducing the time and burden of the reporting process. The Census is also used to establish baselines and trends that inform financial and programmatic resource allocation -- ultimately, guiding decision-making on how to best support and empower the Canadian astroparticle physics community. 
We are asking all levels of staff, faculty, and students who receive, or benefit from, McDonald Institute funding to complete the Census. For members of the broader community, your input is extremely important, and we ask that you also contribute. Please consider encouraging any Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) directly under your supervision to participate as well. 

We are working to streamline the reporting process to be as easy and less time-consuming as possible. Thank you in advance for your participation! 

DRIFT: Art and Dark Matter continues to Carleton University Art Gallery!
After a successful exhibition and suite of programming at the Belkin Gallery at UBC in Vancouver, the Drift: Art and Dark Matter exhibition opens at the Carleton University Art Gallery, TODAY, February 15th and will be on display until April 3rd. 

Artists Anne Riley, Jol Thoms, Josèfa Ntjam, and Nadia Lichtig visited SNOLAB, the McDonald Institute administrative centre at Queen's University and spoke with experts in astroparticle physics and other fields during a dark matter research artist residency and have created new work exploring the various dynamics of the science and research ecosystem.

We are very excited to see this third instalment of Drift take place!
We've already gotten to see some great programming from this event. The virtual Science Café on February 10t, featured a conversation with dark matter researchers Dr. Simon Viel, Gurpreet Kaur and Drift artist Jol Thoms.

Visit the CUAG Drift exhibition website for more information and to find out about future events:

Astronomy on Tap: March 3, 2022 
This event will stream live from Astronomy on Tap Kingston! Tune in to hear the different methods astronomers use to study the cosmos. The evening will feature Space News, exciting trivia, and three fantastic scientists: Alvine Kamaha (UCLA), Arnaud Michel (Queen's), and Stéphane Courteau (Queen’s). We will have lots of time for questions with the audience so check out the live comments! For more information or if you have any questions, please send us an email to [email protected]

TeVPA 2022 will take place 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.

We are currently planning for a fully in-person conference event. The organizers cannot predict the pandemic situation in Summer of 2022, but we will follow all local and federal health guidelines.

Registration and payment will become available soon.

The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) is an intensive week-long undergraduate school that will introduce students to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University and SNOLAB.

The deadline to apply for CAPSS has been extended to February 24, 2022.
CAPSS will run from May 8 – 13 2022. 


The Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS) will be held at TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada from June 13-24th after a two-year hiatus. GRIDS is aimed at graduate students for whom particle and radiation detection play a key role in their work, and who would like to gain hands-on experience with detectors and associated instrumentation technology. The school introduces practical aspects of detection principles and operations in nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics as well as in nuclear medicine, such that participants achieve a working knowledge of the origin of data produced by commonly employed detector systems. 

The school includes two days of plenary lectures from world-renowned experts in the field, and eight days of hands-on experience setting up and running various experiments that will develop laboratory skills, including safety, problem-solving, teamwork, and more.
Plenary Speakers: 
Dr. Viktor Zacek (Université de Montréal) 
Dr. Claude Leroy (Université de Montréal) 
Dr. Karoline Schäffner (Max Planck Institute for Physics) 
Dr. Kimberly Palladino (University of Oxford) 
Dr. Etiennette Auffray (CERN) 
Dr. Daniela Bortoletto (University Oxford) 
Dr. Daniel Santos (LPSC) 
Dr. Kate Pachal (TRIUMF)  
Dr. Pia Loaiza (LAL) 
Dr. Stefan Ritt (Paul Scherrer Institut) 

The website will be updated shortly with information about the school and registration:  

Professional Development Opportunities (PDO) with the McDonald Institute 
Virtual Content Delivery 101: Open Broadcast Software (OBS) – February 16th, 2022 
Join McDonald Institute Communications Officer, Zac Kenny, as he shares the ins and outs of producing live and pre-recorded digital content using Open Broad Software (OBS). The tools covered in this session will help take your lectures, science talks, and live events to the next level with easy-to-use, freely available software.
What can I do with my Degree – March 2nd, 2022 
Have you thought about what you’d like to do after you complete your degree? While you may have something in mind, the truth is that your degree can take you plenty of places! When it comes to transitioning from academia to industry, non-profits or government; exploring your options can be confusing and big goals can feel overwhelming. In this workshop, we will show you some tools commonly used to learn about career paths and help you connect your degree to opportunities in various industries. You can expect to leave this workshop knowing how to learn about jobs, where to find labour market information like sample job titles and salaries, and what you can do during your degree to prepare for career paths of interest. 
We look forward to your participation in our upcoming PDO sessions. Stay tuned for more updates and additional PDO sessions to be added! 
A reminder that the self-guided modules for enhancing your equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization (EDII) competencies are now available. These opportunities are open to students, staff, and faculty affiliated with the McDonald Institute. We thank our partners at the Human Rights and Equity Office (Queen’s University) for providing this training to the network!
Previous McDonald Institute CDI participant a finalist for leadership scholarship
Sidney Leggett, a previous participant of the McDonald Institute Cross-Disciplinary Internship program, has been named a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship program for master’s and professional studies. Read the full story here:

Information about Sidney's CDI project, "Development of novel isotopic techniques in neutrinoless double beta decay and low-background in support of Astroparticle Physics" is available here:

Learn more about the CDI program here:
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 CJ ([email protected]) 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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