Issue 37, October 18th, 2022

Hi Zachary,

We hope you are having a wonderful autumn. Here's your monthly newsletter, filled with the latest astroparticle physics news, including several exciting Dark Matter Day events!

Dark Matter Night with Katie Mack & Ken Clark

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Take a guided tour of the invisible universe on Dark Matter Night. 

In a free hybrid event (in-person and live webcast) on October 26, dark matter researchers Katie Mack and Ken Clark will share insights into the ubiquitous, mysterious matter that makes up the majority of stuff in our universe. They will be joined by Pietro Giampa from SNOLAB.

Dark Matter Night will be webcast live from two locations. Starting at 7:30 pm ET, Mack will discuss the theoretical and observational foundations of dark matter at Perimeter Institute, where she holds the Hawking Chair in Cosmology and Science Communication. Clark, an associate professor at the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, will then share experimental approaches that could help solve the riddle of dark matter. Giampa is a research scientist at SNOLAB who will give a behind-the-scenes look at going to SNOLAB, and why and how scientists perform their research there.

Each speaker’s presentation will be simulcast to the live audience at the other institute, and the whole event will be available via free webcast. 

Dark Matter Night is one of many ways you can explore the topic -- find lots more at

Free tickets to attend in person, either at Perimeter or the McDonald Institute, are available now.

Tickets for the McDonald Institute event can be found here:

Tickets for the Perimeter event can be found here:

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.

DEAP-3600 Online Masterclass - late registrations accepted

Phantom of the Universe Planitarium Show in Sudbury

On October 27, SNOLAB is teaming up with Science North to bring you Phantom of the Universe, a planetarium show that will immerse viewers in the story of dark matter taking them on a journey from the Big Bang to current experimental searches. This exciting show highlights the global effort to understand dark matter and brings the search to life. Get your questions ready as scientists from SNOLAB will be available before and after the show for Q&A. Don’t be afraid of the dark, join us to explore dark matter!

Admission is free. Registration is required.

Registration is available here.


The McDonald Institute is pleased to present the Professional Development Opportunities (PDO) program for everyone in the astroparticle physics community and collaborating disciplines; undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and faculty are all welcome to attend events to advance their professional development skills. This series aims to enhance transferable skill sets for the astroparticle physics community in support of diverse career trajectories. Workshops are free to attend and focus on a wide variety of topics including academic and non-academic skills promotion, entrepreneurship, and equity in the sciences. This semester the PDO is offering three new workshops for community members. 

October 27th - Project Management Part 1: E-Learning Working Group

Join the PDO group on October 27th, 2022, at 1:00 pm EDT, where Alex Pedersen, Business Development Officer from McDonald Institute, will lead a workshop on completing the required online pre-work involved in Mitacs’ Project and Time Management Bundle Course.

Click here to register

November 17th - Project Management Part 2: In-Person Intensive

As a second part of the Mitacs Project and Time Management Bundle, Kirby James, renowned Keynote Speaker, COO of HG Learning Solutions and Affiliate of Mitacs, will lead the PDO group through an in-person and virtual Project and Time Management Intensive. The November 17th session will start at 1:00 PM EDT.

See the MITACS registration guide for the session here:

December 1st - Excel Fundamentals

For good reason, scientists rely on advanced tools for managing large datasets and analysis, including python and R. Nevertheless, Excel is an exceptionally nimble tool that has more to offer than most are familiar with. This session will go through some of the intermediate and advanced machinery or Excel, including pivot tables, data validation, cross referencing, and more. The session will take place on December 1st at 1:00 PM EDT. 

Click here to register

Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) 2023 - Save The Date

The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) is a week-long undergraduate school that will introduce students to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University and SNOLAB. CAPSS 2023 will be held May 7 - May 13 2023. The application period will open on Nov 4 2022 and close on Feb 10, 2023. More information can be found on the McDonald Institute webpage.

Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS) 2023 - Save The Date

GRIDS is a 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 at those students and post-docs with limited experience with experimental hardware.

GRIDS 2023 will be held June 5th - 16th, 2023. The application period will open this winter and close in early March, 2023.

More information will be posted on the website as it becomes available:

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

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Please share this opportunity widely.

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. IBETrecipients 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.

McDonald Institute Award for Postdoctoral Fellows

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 15, 2023.

Learn more at:

The McDonald Institute welcomes two new staff members

Donald Bédard joins the McDonald Institute as its new Managing Director. In this role, he will be responsible for establishing and delivering on the strategic direction of the Institute, including directing all non-scientific programs and personnel across multiple sites in Canada.

As an Officer in the Canadian Army and most recently as a Senior Defence Scientist in the Space Systems Group at Defence R&D Canada, Donald has over 20 years of experience in the management and delivery of space R&D activities in support of defence requirements. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, and diving in the local Kingston area.  

The McDonald Institute also welcomes Mariam Kumassah into the role of Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator.

Mariam comes to the Institute with extensive experience. She joined the Institute from the Regional Assessment and Resource Center (RARC) at Queen's, where she oversaw administrative tasks and other projects. Before joining Queen's, she worked for the City of Kingston. She holds a BA in Psychology and Human Resources from the University of Ghana.

Outside of work, she enjoys singing and listening to music, spending free time with her lovely family, and volunteering for her local church community. 

Commercialization Demo Fund Expected in November

The McDonald Institute intends to follow the introduction of its Proof-of-Concept funding opportunity with a Demonstration Fund. Both funds are designed to help scientists and engineers explore alternative uses of existing research technologies and build partnerships with end-users and entrepreneurs.

Associate Director Edward Thomas says the Demonstration Fund meets a demonstrated need for small-scale funding to address the gap between a promising idea for alternative applications of research technology and the tangible demonstration that the idea can work predictably. 

“Proofs of concept allow us to conduct very early stage tests with bench-top prototypes to answer the question: ‘Could technology X possibly work for application Y?’” says Thomas. “Demonstrations answer the question: ‘Can technology X be packaged into a format that can reliably benefit an end-user?’ Demonstrations typically require financial support to re-package or re-configure an often fragile or user-unfriendly benchtop prototype into a format that can reproducibly solve a problem.” 

The Institute’s Business Partnerships and Programs Committee will review the terms of reference and guidelines for the proposed program in late October and the pilot program will launch in November, if approved.

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 ( 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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