Issue 36, September 27th, 2022

Hi Zachary,

September is a busy month in the astroparticle physics world! We hope you are finding time to be productive and also to catch your breath! As always, the McDonald Institute is excited to bring you the latest astroparticle physics news.

Karen Barad Keynote at DRIFT: Art and Dark Matter Exhibit

This Wednesday, September 28, Professor Karen Barad will be presenting a virtual keynote address as part of the DRIFT: Art and Dark Matter exhibit at University of Toronto's Justina M. Barnicke gallery.

Dr. Barad is a distinguished professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Their Ph.D. is in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. They are a pioneer of the philosophical theory known as agential realism, and they will be speaking about quantum physics and relationality.

Registration is free and available through the gallery website: 

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Image:Dust (Reinigungsarbeiten) 5/5 (detail), 2020

McDonald Institute announces new top-up award for Postdoctoral Scholars

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 McDonald Institute will support up to five applications, with a maximum value of $15,000 CDN each for one year. This award does not constitute base pay but is a top-up of existing contractual amounts to reward exceptional performance. 

Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2023. For more information and instructions on how to apply, click here.

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

IBET logo

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. 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 collaborative 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.

SNOLAB receives major federal investment 

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SNOLAB will receive $102 million over six years as part of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiatives Program (MSP). SNOLAB Executive Director Dr. Jodi Cooley said, “Sustained investments such as this have allowed SNOLAB to develop world-class infrastructure and highly skilled staff. It allows SNOLAB to maintain and develop a world-leading deep underground research facility and investigate some of the fundamental questions in contemporary science... These funds will allow us to continue to attract world class experiments to Sudbury, providing great opportunities for Canadian researchers and industry”.


Read the full press release on the SNOLAB website here.

An invitation to members of the Astroparticle Physics Community from Ingenuity Labs (Queen’s University)

Ingenuity Labs is hosting a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Symposium Thursday October 13, 2022, from 9 am-4 pm EDT in person and online. The event features a keynote by Ryan Gariepy, CTO of Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors. The symposium will also host two debates. The first, a Robotics debate entitled, “A Future of Cyborgs: Would you trade your biological parts for bionic ones?”, featuring Lane Desborough, CEO of Nudge BG (insulin delivery), and Dr. Audrey Sedal (McGill University, Soft Robotics). The second, an AI Robotics Debate called, “AI Work: Will AI take most of the existing jobs from humans?” featuring Dr. Parinaz Sobhani, Head of Applied Research at Georgian, and Dr. Sedef Akinli Kocak, Director of Professional Development at the Vector Institute. Ingenuity Labs will host a Robotics and AI poster competition for students featuring as well.

For more details and registration, visit the Symposium page on the Ingenuity Labs website:

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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