Graduate Student Work

  • Graduate students at NSCL have the unique opportunity to do research at a national laboratory located on the campus of a major research university.

    What makes us unique
    The strong interaction between the experimental and theoretical scientists and the frequent visitors and users of the facility creates an open and academically stimulating atmosphere.
    NSCL is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research in nuclear science, nuclear astrophysics, accelerator physics and engineering. This is evidenced by the large number of publications in high-quality refereed journals and invited talks at national and international conferences.
    Most graduate students are financially supported with research assistantships when working on thesis projects. Exceptional students can be awarded an NSCL fellowship.

    As the premier rare isotope facility in the United States for the next decade, NSCL and FRIB are a high national priority, as expressed in the recommendations in the 2007 Long Range Plan of the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee. Experimental and theoretical insight gained at FRIB will lead to a comprehensive description of nuclei, elucidate the origin of the elements in the cosmos, provide an understanding of matter in the crust of neutron stars, and establish the scientific foundation for applications of nuclear science to society.

    Experimental science
    Graduate students in experimental nuclear science will be involved in all aspects of performing an experiment at NSCL: Writing a proposal which will be reviewed by an external Program Advisory Committee, designing an experiment, setting up the hardware, writing data acquisition and analysis code, analyzing, simulating, and interpreting the results, and finally writing a manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal. Theory students have access to world experts who frequently visit the laboratory and collaborate closely with local faculty.

    Accelerator physics
    Students in accelerator physics participate in the development of state-of-the-art technologies to create and manipulate beams of charged particles and greatly benefit from the in-house expertise and resources associated with the running of the Coupled Cyclotron Facility and the newly constructed Reaccelerator, as well as the development of FRIB.

    Meaningful work and travel
    You will be busy and have wide-ranging experiences as an FRIB Laboratory graduate student. Our graduate students:
    take an active part in the organization and daily business of NSCL and are represented on most laboratory committees.
    routinely present their new results at important national and international conferences. This provides exposure to senior colleagues and helps in finding new job opportunities after graduation.
    administer their own office space, meet weekly, and organize their own seminar series.
    contribute to many of the outreach activities offered through NSCL and participate in the governance process of the College of Natural Science and the Council of Graduate Students.

    Networking and fellowship
    NSCL graduate students also are encouraged to participate in some of the many student organizations at MSU. Including:
    Women and Minorities in the Physical Sciences (WaMPS), an all-inclusive organization founded by NSCL students and generously supported by the Physics and Astronomy department and NSCL.
    Council of Gaduate Students