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AtlasCenter2019 - US ATLAS Center (ATC) 2018-2019


The ATLAS Center (ATC) is a shared resource for physicists and students working on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, designed to position ATLAS collaborators at U.S. institutions to make important measurements and discoveries with ATLAS data, and to advance future ATLAS detector technology. The center operates at four sites, located at the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories participating in ATLAS: Argonne (ANL) in Lemont, IL, Brookhaven (BNL) in Upton, NY, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley CA, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, CA. The four ATC sites leverage specific expertise and resources at each of these laboratories for analysis and detector hardware activities, and the geographic distribution across the U.S. facilitates cost-effective and flexible access to the ATC for sustaining long-term collaborative projects.


US ATLAS Analysis Centers (ATC) are at ANL, BNL and LBNL, and SLAC.


U.S. institutions participating in ATLAS are diverse and distributed, and the success of new ideas, initiatives and collaborators at those institutions depends critically on physical resources and on the available networks of expertise and talent. The role of the ATC is to make the research infrastructure and intellectually stimulating collaborative environment of a large institution easily accessible to physicists regardless of their institutional home, by (a) training and educating ATLAS physicists, (b) hosting visitors engaged in collaboration, and (c) organizing workshops, meetings, and tutorials.

* ATC-ATLAS.pdf: US ATLAS Analysis Center (ATC) Proposal


The ATC center is managed by the US ATLAS physics support manager, deputy support manager and site managers.

Call for Proposals

The ATC is hosted at four sites at the national laboratories which collaborate on US ATLAS : ANL, BNL, LBNL, and SLAC. The ATC is a shared resource for physicists and students working on the ATLAS experiment and is designed to position ATLAS collaborators at US institutions to make important measurements and discoveries with ATLAS data, and to advance future ATLAS detector technology and software. Limited funding is available to support University physicists and students working at one of the ATC sites.

We are calling for proposals from US ATLAS members for projects to be hosted at one of the ATC sites. Projects can include physics analysis, performance tools, detector and electronics R&D, and/or core software and computing. Proposals can include more than one of the above topics, and will be evaluated, on a competitive basis, by the ATC management group (composed of the site managers, US ATLAS support panel, and the US ATLAS physics support managers). Funds are expected to support the cost of personnel visits or extended stays at an ATC site and possibly partial salary support while the person is visiting the center in exceptional cases.

Note that we plan on issuing calls for proposals twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

How to submit a proposal

Send proposals with all necessary by email to the US ATLAS Physics Support Managers no later than March 27, 2019. Required components:
  • A 2-3 page (maximum) narrative discussing the proposed project. This text should clearly describe the objectives of the project, milestones that can be used to measure progress towards those objectives and who the participating collaborators are. Please include information on why being physically located at the proposed ATC during the project will benefit you. The proposal should make clear the supervisory role of the PI if the PI will not be visiting the ATC site themselves. Proposals for students that explain why the proposal will enhance the training and education of the student will be highly ranked. Similarly, proposals from faculty that include an educational component will also be well reviewed. For postdocs, participating in and contributing to education and training are both encouraged.
  • A letter of support from a collaborator or supervisor at the lab of interest indicating how the proposed project will be supported by the host site. This can be sent separately from the narrative and other material if that is easier, though sending it with the narrative is also acceptable.
  • All proposals requesting funding for students or postdocs should also contain a letter of support from the faculty mentor or supervisor at the home institute. This can be sent separately from the narrative and other material if that is easier, though sending it with the narrative is also acceptable.
  • A budget. Any travel to/from the lab (by air/car/otherwise), housing and M&IE can be included. Typical costs are given in Table 6 of ATC-ATLAS.pdf. Indirect costs should also be included as necessary. Budgets with shared costs are encouraged as funds become limited.

The chosen proposals and the amount of the award will be selected on a competitive basis and funded with the available budget. When funds are awarded, a memorandum of understanding between the awardee(s) and the ATC will establish objectives or milestones for the activity, and recipients of funds will submit quarterly progress reports describing the status of the efforts towards achieving these milestones, as well as a final narrative at the end of the funding cycle.

In accordance with the statements of the importance of diversity and inclusion from the DPF, APS, and The National Academy of Science, special attention will be given to activities that address specific broader impacts such as recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, supporting women and underrepresented minority scientists, and enabling partnerships with 2-or 4-year minority-serving institutions.

Areas of interest

Below are potential areas of interest for ATC proposals, along with the labs interested in working in these areas. Note that these are only suggestions, and labs are likely open to other ideas. Please contact the Physics Support managers if you are uncertain about how to apply or proceed.

Physics Analysis

Topic Lab(s)
BSM with di-jets and leptons ANL
BSM with b-jets ANL
W→tb with boosted jets ANL
Electroweak physics with WW and ZZ final states BNL
Higgs physics and searches with WW and ZZ final states BNL
BSM with WW and ZZ final states BNL
DM searches in Zdark BNL
Vector boson scattering ANL, BNL
Exclusive WW LBNL
W+jets asymmetry ANL
Jet measurements, fragmentionation function measurement, q-g discrimination LBNL
4-l mass, top spin correlation, W mass measurement LBNL
h→zz and tth production LBNL
SUSY searches, including displaced vertex searches, stopped particles, displaced photons, pixel dE/dx searches LBNL
SUSY searches in third generation BNL
Upgrade prospects (including diHiggs, VBF Higgs and displaced vertices) LBNL
Upgrade prospects (including HE-LHC and FCC) BNL
BSM with photon and jets SLAC
Di-Higgs production BNL, LBNL, SLAC
VBF signatures BNL, LBNL, SLAC
h→bb final state LBNL, SLAC

Detector R&D and Electronics

Topics Lab(s)
Data Handling for Trigger System ANL
Dataflow software and testing ANL
Global Trigger BNL
Calorimeter Triggers BNL
FPGA-based Triggers BNL
Data Acquisition for Silicon R&D BNL
ASIC development BNL
QC database for ITk Pixel modules/staves/other things ANL
ITk barrel prototyping and production preparation BNL, LBNL
ITk powerboard design, testing and production LBNL
ITk Pixel Module loading and testing ANL, SLAC
ITk Readout and DAQ ANL, BNL, LBNL, SLAC
ITk strips barrel stave assembly BNL
ITk Pixel readout chip characterisation and system testing LBNL
ITk Pixel hybrid PCB prototype design/testing LBNL
ITk Pixel modules serial powering tests LBNL
Silicon Sensors (LGADs, HV-MAPS, SiPMs? ) BNL
Irradiation studies BNL
Timing detectors BNL
Noble liquid detectors BNL
Readout electronics BNL

Core Software, Combined Performance efforts and Computing

Topics Lab(s)
Remote data access for analysis ANL, BNL
Distributed Computing (including PANDA) BNL
Neuromorphic Computing for HEP ANL
Event generator development LBNL
Tracking software development and tracking+GPU BNL, LBNL
Athena core infrastructure, including athenaMT and athenaMP BNL, LBNL
Multi-threaded simulation studies LBNL
High-performance computing systems ANL, BNL, LBNL
Machine learning in a variety of topics ANL, BNL, LBNL, SLAC
Jet Reconstruction / calibration and pileup rejection BNL, SLAC

Educational and training opportunities

Lab-initiated opportunities Each lab is encouraged to organize educational and training activities. A few of them are listed below, but others may arise in the future. Students and postdocs are encouraged to take advantage of all of these opportunities, and also to suggest them to the ATC and Physics Support managers.

Faculty teaching at labs Proposals including faculty/postdocs who are willing to teach/lecture/provide education at the ATCs are highly encouraged. This may be good use case for extra travel or partial summer support. Those who are interested are encouraged to contact the Physics Support managers.

Analysis bootcamp / tutorial This is a longer-term plan in which the 4 labs will host rotating bootcamps, tutorials and hackathons for students. These programs are envisioned to take place twice a year, with each lab hosting one every other year. Some of these sessions may be of the important, baseline "Welcome to ATLAS" sessions that are also hosted at CERN, whereas others may be focused on special topics such as "Introduction to VHDL", "Introduction to Machine Learning in HEP" and "Overview of the hardware of the ATLAS detector." Anyone with particular interest in helping to plan such a session or with proposed topics of organization for one of these sessions are highly encouraged to write to the US ATLAS Physics Support Managers.

ATC courses These are courses taught at the ATC that can be taken for credit at the host institution by registration at a home institute. This typically involves registering for "independent study" and depends on the home institute rules and guidelines. This can be done remotely if enough students at a lab are connecting together, with work handed in electronically. Faculty teaching courses at home institutes that are willing to participate by connecting to Vidyo while teaching and grading extra assignments are encouraged to contact the Physics Support managers. Travel to the ATCs to lecture as well may be supported. Note that students may have the option to register for courses at Stanford / UC Berkeley while at SLAC/LBNL. US ATLAS will not pay for the course fees, but this is an additional option to consider.


Who should apply?

Faculty, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates can all submit proposals, though all proposals should be discussed and approved by faculty mentors/repsonsibles first.

What will be the process by which the decisions are made?

The proposals will be evaluated on a competitive basis by a panel composed of the physics support manager and deputy support manager, the site managers, and the US physics support panel. They will be evaluated on merit, how the proposals will improve the US contribution to US ATLAS, and based on the available budget. The final list of projects and amounts will then be approved by the US ATLAS project operation managers.

What is the maximum dollar amount for a given award?

We have not specified a maximum amount in the call for proposals. We envision that the majority of the money will pay for visits to the ATC sites and cost of living expenses for people based at the sites. We imagine that the typical proposal will range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for proposals that cover a longer time period.

What is the maximum length of time for a grant?

The time scale is up to a year. For longer term projects it is possible to request support for additional time based on a yearly call.

What is the minimum length of time for a grant/travel?

There is no minimum time, but trips should be for a minimum time that collaboration at the lab is useful. Travel can be broken into pieces

When will funding begin?

As soon as funding decisions are made.

What process will be used to distribute the funds?

A MOU between BNL and the PI of the institute submitting the proposal will be set up.

Are non-US institutes eligible?

Yes, if the proposal strengthens ties between a US lab and one or more US institutes. If you think your proposal falls under this category, please contact the US ATLAS Physics Support Managers

Are non-US citizens eligible?


Does the grant cover travel to CERN or to a different locale? Materials? Beam Time?

In general we envision funds to cover travel to ATC sites to take part in activities based at ATC sites. Travel to different locations or CERN is not excluded but is not the primary purpose of the ATC which is to build intellectual centers at the ATC sites. Other costs are not prohibited, but it must be very clearly demonstrated how they move towards this goal.

Are engineers or technicians eligible for the subsidies?

Yes - but please be aware that limited funding is available.

Are undergraduates eligible for the subsidies?


If the grant covers multiple people for an activity from an institute, then should the request be combined or separated?

Either are acceptable, but the page limit applies for each individual proposal.

Will there be iteration on the grant request to reduce costs if required?

We expect this will be the case as we expect there to be limited funding available.

Can grants be combined with other sources of funding? (For example, SCGSR fellowships.)

Yes, and we encourage you to let us know if this is the case so that we can leverage our resources and limited funding as much as possible

Are NSF institutes eligible for the awards?


Does the grant only cover approved ATLAS Upgrade projects or can speculative ones (HGTD or Si R&D) be funded?

In principle they could request funding for more speculative research. However, they must be coupled to the ATLAS project, as the DOE is funding this as part of the ATLAS project and not as a general R&D grant.

I can't view the ATC-ATLAS pdf file. Help!

You will need to log in with your USATLAS BNL credentials. If you do not have an account, you can request one. In the meantime, please see the unsecured: ATC-ATLAS.pdf

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