In May 2015, DOE’s Office of High Energy Physics will release a Request for Information (RFI) to help define a $10 million funding opportunity for a university accelerator program that is likely to be released in January/February 2016. The current university accelerator program awards approximately $10 million a year to 25 institutions and funds about 100 faculty, research scientists, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students. The 5 main focus areas have been:
• Beam physics and computation
• Plasma acceleration
• High gradient RF and RF sources
• Superconducting magnets and materials
• Superconducting RF
While this program has been well-run, the High Energy Physics Advisory Committee is concerned that the U.S. is not producing enough trained scientists and engineers skilled in accelerator physics and related technologies. Compared to Europe, which produces 100 PhDs each year in accelerator science, the U.S. only produces about 15. The Advisory Committee called for “recognizing accelerator science as a distinct academic discipline, and increase support for university investigators.” To respond to this recommendation, DOE’s Office of High Energy Physics will release an RFI next month that seeks ideas from universities on how to continue world-class accelerator R&D and train a world-class accelerator workforce.
The RFI will explore how academic programs can best be configured to produce more PhDs in this area, including:
• existing examples of cross-disciplinary academic programs in technology or applied science areas that have led to MS/PhD programs with long-term achievements,
• successful models and best practices for advanced student training and mentoring, and
• successful models of faculty evaluation, promotion, and retention.
This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of this program.
For more information, please visit:
DOE University Accelerator Program