Simons-NSBP Scholars Program (SNSP)

The Simons-National Society of Black Physicists Scholars Program (SNSP) is an exciting new program that provides undergraduate NSBP members with unparalleled summer research opportunities. The 10-week program, which is a partnership between Simons Foundation funded organizations and the National Society of Black Physicists, gives its Scholars a holistic experience and provides invaluable training for becoming a professional physicist. The program began in the summer of 2020.

National Society of Black Physicists

The NSBP was founded in 1977 with the mission to promote the professional well-being of African American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and within society at large; you can join the mission at https://www.nsbp.org

Jim Simons with two NSBP members and current Harvard Ph.D. students Delilah Gates and Lanell Williams
 
The SNSP consists of a combination of research, professional development and social events over the summer.

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.

Speaker Series

There are a number of black physicists doing awesome work 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), Delilah Gates (Graduate Student of Physics, Harvard University), and Jahmour Givans (Graduate Student of Physics, the Ohio State 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, to karaoke.

 

2021 SNSP

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.

Compensation

 
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.

2021 SNSP Application

 
Applicants to the 2021 SNSP must submit the materials listed below. For full consideration, materials should be received by February 19. The first item is completed via the link below, the final three should be sent in one email to
S-NSBP@simonsobservatory.org.

  • 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 March.

Eligibility

 
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