Summer Applications

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  Summer program applications are available
September 15 - January 31.

You are strongly encouraged to read the application and admission policy below before applying.

Eligibility and Admissions Criteria

Participation in the summer program of the Aspen Center for Physics is by application and invitation only. Application to the summer program is open to members of the entire international physics-astrophysics-mathematics-biology community at the postdoctoral level and above. A senior graduate student may be accepted as a participant only in exceptional circumstances.

Each year, the number of applicants is larger than the number of available places, and therefore we are unable to invite all those who apply. Scientific excellence is the single most important criterion in the selection of participants, as measured by past accomplishment or, for junior researchers, by promise. Relevance to a particular workshop is considered so that in each week of a workshop, there will be a strong group of participants who will contribute the variety of viewpoints and expertise needed to ensure the success of the workshop. Working groups that will bring scientifically outstanding participants to the Center and are on topics complementary to the concurrent workshop receive special consideration.

In order to broaden participation, special consideration is given to junior researchers, to applicants who have never visited the Center, and to the many worthy applicants who were not admitted in previous summers due to space limitations. In addition, special consideration is given to applicants from smaller institutions who have demonstrated a serious commitment to research and can derive particular benefit from the active research environment at the Center.

Application Instructions, Step by Step

All applicants need to provide:
  • contact information
  • current institutional affiliation and title
  • PhD year
  • list of three recent publications
  • brief description of research interests
If you think the admissions committee might be unfamiliar with your work, you may add a letter of recommendation to your application. Your recommender should email the letter to acp@aspenphys.org by January 31.

Applicants will be asked to indicate a preferred length of stay, in weeks. The Aspen Center for Physics provides a unique environment for extended discussion and collaborative research of a type not generally possible at shorter workshops and conferences. The Center thus requires that participants stay at the Center for a minimum of two full working weeks, with stays of three and four weeks encouraged and stays of five weeks possible (read more about the benefit/cost ratio of long stays here).

A small and strictly limited number of one-week stays are allowed each summer to enable attendance by physicists whose work is central to a particular workshop or working group but who are not able to participate for two weeks or longer because of professional or personal commitments such as laboratory management or childcare/eldercare arrangements. Read more about applying for a one-week stay here.

Before indicating your scheduling preferences and constraints, you should carefully review your other summer commitments to ensure that if admitted for the weeks you request, you can attend for the full working weeks that you are offered.

If you are applying to participate in a single workshop, first double check the weeks for which the workshop is scheduled here. If you are applying to participate for the entire workshop, put the length of the workshop as your length of stay and select "P" (preferred) for each week of the workshop. If your preferred length of stay is shorter than the length of the workshop, indicate your preferred length of stay. Select "I" (impossible) for the weeks of the workshop you CANNOT attend, select "P" for all weeks of the workshop you would prefer to attend, and select "A" (acceptable) for any week of the workshop that you would be able to attend for the full working week but is not your first choice. Please keep in mind that flexibility in scheduling improves your chance of being admitted. See examples here.
 
If you are applying to participate in a working group, you should first coordinate with the other members of the working group to agree on a preferred length for the working group (minimum two weeks) and determine the length of the period in which all members of the working group can be present at the Center. Each member should indicate "P" (preferred) for the weeks in those periods. To increase scheduling flexibility, and thus the chance that the working group will be accepted, the members of the working group can indicate "A" (acceptable) weeks. Please keep in mind that the beginning and ending weeks of our summer program are the least heavily subscribed. See examples here.

If you are applying to participate for individual research, you should first indicate your preferred length of stay. For each week of the 16 week summer program, put "I" (impossible) if you cannot attend for the full working week, "P" for your preferred weeks, and "A" for any week of the summer program that you would be able to attend for the full working week but is not your first choice. Please keep in mind that flexibility in scheduling improves your chances of being admitted, and that the beginning and ending weeks of our summer program are the least heavily subscribed. See examples here.

Persons applying to two or more workshops or other combinations of activity should add relevant information to the comments box. See examples here.

Applicants requesting a one-week stay because of professional or personal commitments may use the comments box to add any information that they want the admissions committee to take into consideration. See examples here.

Each member of a two-physicist couple who would like to participate in the summer program at the Center must complete a separate application.  Couples may apply jointly or independently. To apply jointly, both members of the couple should indicate this on their applications and provide the name of the significant other. With a joint application, both members of the couple will be accepted or not accepted together for the same weeks, and should coordinate with each other to put the same "P" (preferred), "A" (acceptable), and "I" (impossible) designations for each week. With independent applications, your applications will be considered separately. If both members of the couple would like to be at the Center for the same or overlapping weeks, please note that in the comments box on the application and include the name of your significant other.

Please note that if you are admitted and requested a stay of three weeks or longer, the length of stay you are offered may be shorter (though never shorter than two weeks) due to the Center's scheduling constraints.
  

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