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JSA Promising Young Scientist Grant





The Jefferson Science Associates Promising Young Scientist program has two goals:

  1. To support our junior nuclear physicists.
  2. To promote the effective dissemination of exciting new developments in nuclear physics.


The colloquium plays a central role in ensuring that the developments of nuclear physics are shared with the larger research community and the general public. It is the primary means that we have to communicate our science with our non-nuclear colleagues. Effective colloquia can convey the excitement of new results, increase the odds of recruiting top caliber students to the field, and ensure that the public has a clear understanding of what is being accomplished with research funding. Unfortunately, many researchers fail to craft accessible colloquia, and quickly alienate general audiences by presenting talks more akin to high level seminars for specialists.

The JSA Promising Young Scientist program assists junior nuclear physicists in crafting accessible colloquium-level talks. This will have the immediate benefit of increasing the candidate's chances of securing permanent employment, due to the central role the colloquium plays in most hiring processes, and the long term benefit of improving the nuclear community's ability to communicate our exciting physics to the general public.

Select candidates are chosen on the strength of their application to be invited to a sponsor institution, where they meet for one on one interviews with faculty and administration. Visits culminate in the presentation of a colloquium-level talk to a general audience including non-specialists, graduate students and undergraduates. The speaker is required to craft a talk which will be accessible to this broad audience, and is provided guidance in this task. Depending on the candidate's career goal and target employment institution, the candidate may also deliver either a more detailed seminar for specialists, or a teaching demonstration on a topic of their choice.

Audience members are provided with an anonymous questionnaire with which to provide positive criticism of the colloquium. At the conclusion of the visit the candidate is provided with an aggregated summary of the audience response along with written comments from the individual meetings. This feedback will provide guidance on which aspects of their presentations and interviews went well, and which elements should be improved. Ultimately, this process will provide the candidate with an advantage when competing for permanent positions, and help the candidate to develop effective communication of nuclear physics to general audiences.


This program is open to all JLab-affiliated Post-Doctoral researchers.

How to apply

To apply for consideration, please send materials to by Sunday 8/18/2013.

Applications will be selected on basis of the quality of the submitted material.

Application review will begin on Monday 8/19/2013, but applications will be accepted after this depending on availability of funds.

Golden Rules of the Colloquium Speaker

Associated institutions

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