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USAtlasSUPER2019 - US ATLAS Summer Undergraduate Program for Exceptional Researchers (US ATLAS SUPER) 2019


US ATLAS Summer Undergraduate Program for Exceptional Researchers (SUPER) overview

SUPER aims to provide funding for exceptional undergraduate students in the US to work on ATLAS physics analysis, performance tools, detector and electronics R&D, core software and computing during the summer. The program doesn't pair students with specific mentors or projects, but rather aims to fund students who, through their supervisors and colleagues, already have connections to the ATLAS experiment and are looking for summer research funding. A funded SUPER student is required to work full-time for at least 8 weeks. Each award is expected to be in the amount of $5,000, inclusive of any necessary overhead at the home institute. The award is nominally to be used for stipends for the student, but can also be used for travel to/from an ATC. Budgets containing extra requests are allowed, though these extra requests may not be funded.

How to submit a proposal

The application process must begin with a student identifying a research mentor on campus. This is a faculty member at their home institute who will both sign agreements with US ATLAS and also advocate on behalf of the SUPER applicant. The research is nominally expected to take place at the student's home institute under the supervision of the research mentor, but in exceptional cases, the student can be based at one of the four US ATLAS ATCs (ANL, BNL, LBNL or SLAC). In this case, the research mentor on campus is still required, and an additional letter of support from a direct supervisor at the ATC is also required. Proposals should contain several required pieces:

  • A short description (2 page maximum) of the planned research. This is to be written by the student applying for SUPER funding. The student is expected to discuss the proposal with their research mentor. In addition to a description of the planned research, the proposal should explicitly mention any previous particle physics research (on ATLAS or otherwise) and any applicable skills that they possess (such as competency in programming language, experience with detector hardware, knowledge of ROOT, etc.)
  • A brief, planned schedule with milestones at the 2, 4, 6 and 8 week mark of the program. We encourage each SUPER application to discuss with their faculty mentor how to make these as realistic as possible
  • Two letters of reference and support. One of these needs to be from the research mentor. If the project is to take place at an ATC or elsewhere, away from the home institute, an additional, third letter of support and reference from the supervisor at the ATC/remote location is also required.
  • Proposed budget, including overhead costs, and any planned use of funds for travel or other exceptional requests.

Students should send proposals by email to the US ATLAS Physics Support Managers no later than May 29, 2019. The reference letters should be sent separately to the same address. It is up to the applicant to ensure that letters are sent and received in a timely manner.

The chosen proposals and the amount of the award will be selected on a competitive basis and funded with the available budget, though we envision funding ~5 students in 2019. Students will be expected to submit a one-page progress report to the US ATLAS Support managers at the 4 week mark of the program, and a final report of at least 3 pages at the end of the program. In future years, we can envision funding awardees to travel to the yearly summer US ATLAS meeting to describe their research. That is likely not possible in 2019, but remote presentations may be possible this year.

FAQ

Who should apply?

As mentioned above, the proposal should be submitted by the undergraduate requesting funding after discussion with a faculty mentor on campus.

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

The proposals will be evaluated on a competitive basis by the US ATLAS physics support manager and deputy support manager after consulting with the rest of the US ATLAS Operation management team. If the program continues into 2020, we envision that the review panel will be expanded to (for example) the US physics support panel. Proposals will be evaluated on: 1) The merit of the proposed research, 2) The ability of the student to achieve the proposed milestones, 3) A diversity component

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 proposals will request the $5,000 amount. Variances from this amount are to be strictly limited to exceptional circumstances, but are still possible.

What is the length of time for the project?

The requirement is for a student to work at least 8 weeks. Longer (summer) proposals can also be requested.

When will funding begin?

The process to distribute funds can begin as soon as funding decisions are made and students begin work

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 students from non-US institutes eligible?

No, the applicants must be enrolled at a US institute with a faculty mentor that is a member of US ATLAS

Are non-US citizens eligible?

Yes, as long as they are enrolled at a US institute that participates in US ATLAS

What sort of travel can be requested?

If the award is to support travel, it is likely to cover travel to one of the ATCs or to a test beam in the US. Support for travel to CERN is not encouraged, nor are proposals to base SUPER students at CERN encouraged

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?

Yes, we encourage faculty mentors to investigate support from their home institutions, as well as from their own grants


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