Graduate Fellowship Program

Deadlines

For participation in the winter/spring term, nominations must be received by September 1 of the previous fall. For participation in the summer/fall term, nominations must be received by February 1.

Purpose

The purpose of the Graduate Fellowship Program is to offer a unique opportunity for a select group of physics graduate students to spend a minimum period of 5 months (and up to 6 months) at the KITP, participate in KITP research programs, and broaden their understanding of physics in areas of current research. Through the generosity of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we are now able to extend this opportunity to a select group of students from institutions outside the United States, as well as those at U.S. institutions.

Graduate education in physics has suffered in recent years from over specialization. Students often concentrate very early in their studies on a particular field of physics, to the exclusion of other fields. Even within a given field, they often concentrate on a very narrow direction of research, centered on the interests of their advisor and the topic of their thesis. Having completed the thesis, the new postdoc must specialize even more in order to publish and not to perish. Many physicists have decried this tendency towards specialization and called for efforts to broaden graduate education in physics. They, and we, believe that broadly educated and trained research physicists are necessary in a rapidly changing scientific world.

We believe that the KITP can play a significant role in the effort to broaden graduate education in theoretical physics. To this end we support up to four graduate students at a time to spend either the period of our fall programs (July through December) or the period of our spring programs (January through June) at the KITP, participating in our programs and broadening their knowledge of physics in many areas at the frontiers of research. There is some slight flexibility in starting and ending dates, but participants are expected to stay for the entire period for which they have been accepted.

We have built this program on our ongoing affiliate program, whereby a few graduate students accompany their advisors as participants in KITP programs. We believe that the KITP is an ideal place for such an effort. Suitably prepared graduate students can, in a semester at the KITP, significantly broaden their knowledge of physics and meet many research physicists working at the frontiers of knowledge.

Application

Since we wish to ensure that the students admitted are fully able to benefit from the program, and that it will not harm the normal progress of their graduate education, we require that the student's advisor nominate the candidate student. Students cannot apply to the program directly. Students who wish to participate should convince their advisors to nominate them.

Support for the Graduate Fellows will be provided in the form of reimbursement for local expenses (lodging and meals) up to a maximum of $2100/month. Some assistance with round trip travel between the Fellow's home institution and the KITP can also be provided. Nominations can be submitted by completing this form.

Alternatively, submissions will be accepted by regular mail:

KITP Graduate Fellowship
c/o Cori Montgomery
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030

The nominator should describe the student, explain why she/he is suitable for such a program, and acknowledge the minimum five month stay required in this program. Additional letters of support would be useful, but are not necessary.

Professor Lars Bildsten, Director
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030