Issue 45, June 14th, 2023

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Hi Zachary,

Welcome to the Summer edition of the McDonald Institute Newsletter. This is our last newsletter until September, so we have a bit to cover here. We look forward to seeing you on August 8-10 at the Canadian Astroparticle Physics Community Meeting, and remember to show off your creative side and participate in the Community Art Challenge!

Connect with the community:

Make lasting connections and engage with the network in the LinkedIn Group.

Looking for a more social way to interact? Join the Community Discord and share your best physics memes, pet photos, or chat about your big ideas.

Not a fan of LinkedIn or Discord? Let us know how you stay connected. We are eager to learn how we can best support our broad and diverse network of students, researchers, and alumni. Drop us a line at

Want to help support the community? We invite motivated students and early career researchers to participate in the McDonald Institute Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQPAC). The committee meets regularly to discuss issues and strategize long-term goals for ways to enhance the experience of everyone in astroparticle physics. Reach out to Zac Kenny at for more information.

SuperCDMS Update!

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The first two detector towers of the SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment have made the journey from SLAC to SNOLAB and are now underground, waiting to be installed. This is a significant milestone for the collaboration whose members are hard at work constructing the shielding that will house the experiment. Other cryogenic equipment has arrived from Fermilab and CalTech, and the final two detector towers are expected to arrive as soon as September. If the incredibly smooth coordination of the project continues, the experiment will begin taking data by early 2024.

Read more about this latest milestone here:

Follow the collaboration’s progress onTwitter here: and on the SNOLAB website here:

Canadian Astroparticle Physics Community Meeting

Please join us for the Community Meeting at Queen's University from August 8-10 celebrating the exceptional research progress achieved over the past seven years in astroparticle physics. This event, encompassing a dozen international collaborations and numerous theoretical breakthroughs, is open to all members of the Canadian astroparticle physics research community.


The meeting will feature morning research keynotes and update presentations, followed by afternoon plenary sessions addressing long-term community priorities for science support, equitable working environments, HQP career mobility, and funding strategies. These sessions are designed to keep you informed about the overall research progress of the national community and to actively engage you in the Institute's planning for its next decade of work. 


We are dedicated to promoting HQP involvement in the national meeting and will offer substantial financial travel reimbursement support to eligible students, postdocs, and associates upon request. 


Please visit to register and learn more about the meeting.

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The astroparticle physics community and the McDonald Institute are excited to announce a new art challenge to uncover creative talent among the physics research community. The initiative, started by Hector Hawley Herrera (2022 Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee), looks to showcase the often unnoticed and undisclosed artistic talent of researchers while simultaneously offering a virtual and physical space for creativity and community gathering.

The Astroparticle Physics Community Art Challenge holds three categories for the 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.

More information and submission guidelines here

McDonald Institute HQP Advisory Committee Call for Members

The McDonald Institute Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQPAC) will seek new 2023-24 committee members.

The committee's goal is to act as the voice of the student and early career researcher community and provide the McDonald Institute with guidance regarding goals, challenges, and where resources and support are needed most. The Committee is provided a small fund through the Institute to support program development and, in the past, has produced such community initiatives as MINTERACT and the Community Art Challenge.

Image created with the assistance of AI (Midjourney v5)

There will be another announcement in September to encourage new members of the community to join the committee. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining or would like more information, please reach out to Zac Kenny at

More information on the 2022 HQPAC here.

Congratulations to the Perimeter Institute on the Inaugural Emmy Noether National Forum.

Dr. Katie Mack talks with the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

The Perimeter Institute hosted the inaugural Emmy Noether National Virtual Forum last month. The forum's theme was "exploring the method and mindsets of women at the frontier of breakthrough science."

The forum highlights the importance of women in science and the challenges and barriers that need to be addressed in the scientific community.

Read more on the Forum, and the four keynote speakers here:

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This program allows graduate students at a recognized Canadian academic institution to travel and work with another research group for up to six months to gain experience and bring new knowledge back to their home research group. 

Learn more about the program here.

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The Research Partnership-Building Workshops program aims to mobilize astroparticle physics researchers working in Canada by supporting novel workshops, training events, and short-term visits that either initiate or expand opportunities for eligible research or training partnerships. Program funds are separated into different streams supporting both national, and international partner building activities.

Learn more about the program and review the eligibility and guidelines here.

McDonald Institute Management Updates

As the McDonald Institute prepares to administer the final two years of its current CFREF grant, and in the interest of creating a more efficient organizational structure, we are flattening the management hierarchy. The transition recognizes the significant expertise that our team has developed and, in many cases, how team members have already broadened their roles and responsibilities. Chineze Onuoha, our Program Officer, will now also oversee the monitoring of the administrative team's business plan deliverables. Dr. Alex Pedersen has been established as our Manager for Equity Diversity Inclusion and Indigenization Capacity Development, a vital role in our organization's evolution. Edward Thomas will assume additional responsibilities for Business & Partnership Development. And Dr. Mark Richardson’s role is expanding to Manager for Education and Public Outreach, through which he will lead a team developing educational content and opportunities and further support faculty in incorporating outreach best practices. 

Beyond our current $63.7 million CFREF grant awarded in 2016, the Institute will continue fostering long-term opportunities for the Canadian Astroparticle Physics Community. Our Scientific Director, Dr. Tony Noble, will be collaborating closely with the Queen's University's Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) and its counterpart offices across our national network of academic organizations to identify ways the McDonlald Institute can best support the research community. 

We are looking forward to the continued success of the McDonald Institute in the field of astroparticle physics. For those attending the National Community Meeting, Aug. 8-10, there will be opportunities to further discuss exciting long-term opportunities for the Institute to support our researchers.


The McDonald Institute and TRIUMF are currently hosting the 2023 TRIUMF Summer Institute / Graduate Instrument and Detector School (TSI/GRIDS), bringing 30 students from across the world to TRIUMF, engaging with nine lecturers and several experiments highlighting a range of particle physics detector and instrumentation technologies. In the past, GRIDS has been limited to 18-20 students, so we are very excited to have been able to engage more students than ever before while also providing increased financial support to make the school accessible to a broader pool of students. Thank you to all those involved in making TSI/GRIDS a success!

Explore opportunities in astroparticle physics!
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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!

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.

Thank you for your support. If you would like to view past newsletters from the McDonald Institute, please visit the: Newsletter Archive.

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