The Simons-NSBP Scholars Program (SNSP) is an exciting new program that provides undergraduate NSBP members with unparalleled summer research opportunities. The eight-week program, which is a partnership between the Simons Foundation and the National Society of Black Physicists, gives its Scholars a holistic experience and provides invaluable training for becoming a professional physicist.
The SNSP has a number of components that are specifically designed to provide Scholars with the best experience possible.
- Research: SNSP Scholars work on a wide range of projects that have included modeling gravitational waves in the early universe, developing sensors for measuring the Cosmic Microwave Background, and searching for new exoplanets. Each of these projects is at the cutting edge of its field, and our Scholars have been able to make valuable contributions to the projects on which they have worked. This year there will also be Quantum Physics and Biophysics projects.
- Speaker Series: There are a number of black physicists working on exciting projects in a variety of areas. Every week of the SNSP, the Scholars hear from a new speaker about their work. The 2020 speaker series featured, among others, Derrick Pitts (Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute), Carol Scarlett (Professor of Physics, Florida A&M University) and Delilah Gates (Graduate Student of Physics, Harvard University).
- Professional Development: The SNSP has weekly programming to help Scholars advance their career. These workshops discuss topics ranging from graduate school applications to writing documents in LaTex.
- Social Events: Life isn’t all work! Every week Scholars gather for events where they can put their work aside and focus on having fun. In 2020 these ranged from video games to cooking.
The 2021 SNSP may be in-person and/or remote, as described below. Given the conditions of the COVID pandemic, all in-person components are contingent on our ability to proceed safely.
- If in-person, scholars will work in New York City on projects with scientists at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, Center for Computational Biology or Center for Computational Quantum Physics. A small number of experimental projects may take place at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
- If remote, scholars will work remotely with scientists from a number of institutions around the US and Canada. These Scholars will attend the Opening Ceremony in person and be involved in all programming.
The program will have all the components listed in the Program Description above. The specific details for 2021 will be provided when the program begins.
The 2021 SNSP will kick off with an Opening Ceremony on June 14 at the Simons Foundation in New York City (assuming this is possible given the pandemic conditions). All Scholars (remote and in-person) will be flown to NYC for the ceremony and an intense five-day programming boot camp.
2021 Simons-NSBP Scholars will receive a generous stipend of $3,120 per month. Additionally, the housing expenses for those doing in-person projects will be covered (Scholars will stay in rooms at New York University). Finally, all travel and lodging expenses for the Opening Ceremony will be covered.
Applicants to the 2021 SNSP must submit the materials listed below. For full consideration, materials should be received by December 31. The first item is completed via the link below, the final three should be sent in one email to
- Complete the application form in the following link. This form will ask for the contact information for two people that will submit letters of recommendation on your behalf. Link: https://forms.gle/tM3dxGvp8bafEpde8
- Provide a personal statement stating why you are applying to the SNSP. This can be a statement about your interest in one area of the program (Astrophysics, Biology, Quantum Physics), what being a Scholar would mean to you, how you feel the program would benefit you, or anything else that you feel is important for evaluating your application. The statement should be a maximum of one page.
- Provide a current CV (or resume).
- Provide current, unofficial transcripts for all universities you have attended.
Scholars will be notified of their selection in February.
The SNSP is open to undergraduate members of the National Society of Black Physicists. We especially encourage applications from (i) students entering the final year of undergraduate studies and/or (ii) students studying in non-graduate degree granting departments.
If you aren’t yet a member of the NSBP, you can join here: https://www.nsbp.org/membership/regular-membership