Funding Opportunities

NP Early Career Opportunities

The Office of Nuclear Physics currently participates in two major programs that emphasize support for the nuclear physicists in the early stages of their research careers. These are the Early Career Research Program and the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The goals of these programs and information for potential applicants are described in detail on their web sites.

In the tables below we provide information regarding previous NP awardees under the PECASE program.

Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers:

The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising beginning researchers in the nation within their fields. Ten federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers at the start of their careers whose work shows the greatest promise to benefit the nominating agency's mission.  The awards are conferred annually at the White House following recommendations from participating agencies.

Provided below are the recipients where Nuclear Physics provided funding to for five years. Additional general information is available on the Office of Science web site under the Accomplishments / Awards section.

 Nuclear Physics Honored by Special Award




Brief Description


Lisa Kaufman

Indiana University

Neutrinoless double beta decay could occur if an atomic nucleus decays radioactively by emitting only two electrons, in contrast to the ordinary double beta decay in which two neutrinos emerge as well. Observation of this exotic decay mode would provide evidence that neutrinos are their own anti‐particles, and that the symmetry of lepton number conservation is violated. Its observation would also provide strong experimental guidance for theories that go beyond the Standard Model, yielding insights into the origin of neutrino mass and the unexplained excess of matter over antimatter in the observable universe. The goal of this research is to search for neutrinoless double beta decay in
the context of the Enriched Xenon Observatory experiment both in its current form (EXO‐200), as well as in its next phase (nEXO or “next EXO”).


Wei Li

William Marsh Rice University

In relativistic heavy‐ion collisions, a new state of hot and dense matter with quarks and gluons
freed from the protons and neutrons into which they are normally bound is created as predicted by the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). The most striking feature of this quark‐gluon plasma (QGP) matter is the evident flow of particles out of the collisions. Previously thought to only be possible in nucleus-nucleus collisions, evidence of flow in proton-proton (pp) and proton-lead (pPb) collisions has been recently discovered.  The proposed research will explore the properties of particle flow in pp and pPb collisions in detail to explore the possibility that a QGP may be formed in such light systems.


Bjoern P. Schenke

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Most of the visible matter in our universe is located in the nuclei of atoms. Our goal is to gain
deeper understanding of nuclear matter and its interactions governed by the theory of quantum
chromo‐dynamics (QCD). Nuclear collisions performed at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can probe the structure of nuclei and create a novel state of matter, the Quark‐Gluon‐Plasma (QGP). Its properties include almost perfect fluidity, opaqueness to highly energetic jets, and long‐range correlations between produced particles. A detailed physical understanding of these fascinating properties and extraction of quantitative information from experimental data requires a complete theoretical description of the produced system and its space‐time evolution.


André Walker-Loud

The College of William and Mary

…to establish a systematic framework for parity violation in few-nucleon systems by analyzing interactions between quarks, calculating reliable and testable relations between observables in light nuclei, and establishing extensions to more complex nuclei.  The project will support and guide ongoing and planned experimental efforts in parity violation at various facilities.

NP Early Career Opportunities Archives

Last modified: 3/6/2015 1:28:08 PM