Meenakshi Narain Graduate Scholars at the LPC

The LHC Physics Center (LPC) at Fermilab ( seeks applications for the “Meenakshi Narain Graduate Scholars at the LPC (LPC-GS) 2024”. This program supports exceptional PhD Students from US CMS institutions to spend a year at Fermilab pursuing thesis research opportunities at the LPC. The preferred starting date for the appointment as a LPC Graduate Scholar will be Jan 1, 2024 for a duration of one year. These dates might be adjusted in individual cases, at the discretion of the LPC coordinators.

Students will be supervised locally by a senior mentor resident at the LPC, who needs to be identified at the time of the application. The Narain Graduate Scholars for 2024 will be selected based on a competitive process. The proposals will be rated based on the merit, its uniqueness, creativity, and relevance to CMS and LPC.

Current (2024) and previous LPC Graduate Scholars are listed here.

The applications must include a research proposal and three letters of recommendation, including a letter from the PhD advisor and a letter from the mentor. The due date for the LPC-GS 2024 program applications and supporting letters is Friday, September 1, 2023 at 11:59PM EST. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications will be accepted online at .

In 2023, the LPC Graduate Scholars program has been renamed in honor of the late Professor Meenakshi Narain who fought for and attained the funds for this program when she was LPC co-coordinator.

The LPC serves primarily as a resource and physics analysis hub for several hundred physicists at US institutions in the CMS collaboration. The LPC offers a vibrant community of CMS scientists from US and overseas institutions that play leading roles in analysis of data, in the definition and refinement of physics objects, in detector commissioning and operations, and in the design, and development, and construction of the detector upgrade. There is close and frequent collaboration with the Fermilab theory community. The LPC provides outstanding computing resources and software support personnel. The proximity of the CMS Tier-1 and the CMS Remote Operations Center at Fermilab allows critical real-time connections to the experiment. Fermilab technical facilities support detector instrumentation developments. The LPC also offers educational workshops and tutorials in analysis techniques, software development and organizes conferences and seminar series.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a Qualified Graduate Program with the Ph.D. as their degree objective at a member institution of the USCMS collaboration. The list of collaborating USCMS institutions is available at . At the time of application, applicants must have obtained the Ph.D. candidacy at their home institution, and must have established a defined graduate thesis project with a defined PhD thesis advisor.

Applicants are NOT eligible to apply if one, or any combination, of the following describes their graduate education status:

  • Applicant is in the last year of Ph.D research.
  • Applicant has not completed at least 2 years in graduate school.
  • Applicant has not obtained the Ph.D. candidacy with an established thesis project and PhD advisor at the time of application.
  • Applicant is in a Master's degree program, with a Master's as the terminal degree.
  • Applicant is in a Master's degree program with no thesis research requirement and program is not a pathway to Ph.D. degree.
  • Applicant's institution is not a member of the USCMS collaboration.
  • Applicant is not in good academic standing at their institution.

Application Material

  1. Research Proposal
  2. Research Proposal, with a maximum length of 4 pages (1 inch margins, font 12 pt. Times), pages numbered. The proposal should include the following:
    • A description of the proposed project (hardware, software, computing).
    • A description of the proposed physics analysis.
    • A justification of how the student, the project, and the analysis will benefit from the LPC collaboration.
    • The names of the PhD advisor and the LPC mentor. The expectation is that the proposal is prepared in consultation with the PhD advisor and the LPC mentor.
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    1. A letter of recommendation from the LPC mentor. The letter should include agreement by the mentor to supervise the student at the LPC, including weekly meetings, and to provide a mid-year report to the LPC coordinators. The LPC mentor should be a Senior Researcher (beyond post-doc) on CMS, either from Fermilab or from a university, resident at the LPC or with a presence of 75% or more of their time at the LPC. The student’s Ph.D. advisor is not eligible to act as the LPC mentor.
    2. A letter of recommendation from the Ph.D. advisor, supporting the application and detailing provisions for supervision of the student at the LPC.
    3. A letter of recommendation from a CMS colleague (can be non-USCMS) who is familiar with the student’s work.
  4. Curriculum Vitae

Start Date and Duration

The nominal starting date for the appointment as a Narain Graduate Scholar will be Jan 1, 2024 for a duration of one year. The start date is negotiable, but should be no later than March 2024. Renewal is possible but requires a new proposal. The maximum amount of time as CMS LPC-GS is two years.

Financial Support

  • The LPC-GS will receive a full year stipend of $32,000, which can be used only to cover the student’s stipend, fringe benefits, and fees.
    • No tuition costs will be provided.
    • No indirect costs or university overhead will be provided.
  • The LPC-GS will also receive a travel budget to enable attendance at a conference to present the work completed at the LPC and a weeklong trip to CERN for presenting the work during a CMS Week.

Questions about the CMS LPC Graduate Scholars Program may be directed to the LPC coordinators.