Fermilab Distinguished Scholars Program


Fermilab Distinguished Scholars are rotating multi-year appointments for U.S. theorists in either the Fermilab Theoretical Physics Department or the Theoretical Astrophysics Group. The Fermilab Director appoints Scholars for a term of two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension by mutual agreement. Fermilab Distinguished Scholars are expected to spend at least one month total per year in residence at Fermilab.  During the term of their appointment, Scholars will have a Fermilab affiliation and the same research opportunities and support infrastructure as Fermilab scientists.  Scholars will be encouraged to propose and/or participate in thematic programs organized with members of Fermilab’s Theoretical Physics Department and Astrophysics Group.

Current Distinguished Scholars


The Fermilab Distinguished Scholars program aims to:

  • Strengthen connections between the Fermilab Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics groups and the wider U.S. particle-theory community.
  • Broaden the Fermilab theoretical-physics research program through collaborations between the Fermilab Distinguished Scholars and Fermilab theory staff, postdocs, and students.
  • Strengthen connections between the U.S. particle-theory community and the Fermilab experimental program.
  • Increase the frequency and quality of interactions between U.S. particle theorists and Fermilab experimentalists.
  • Increase resident theoretical expertise in targeted physics areas to support the Fermilab experimental program.


Fermilab Distinguished Scholars should be tenured or tenure track faculty at a U.S. university, or hold the equivalent rank at a U.S. national laboratory. They should have a distinguished research record in particle theory or closely related areas aligned with some aspect of the Fermilab program.

Financial support

Fermilab will reimburse local expenses and travel expenses of Fermilab Distinguished Scholars. Scholars may be accompanied by one or two of their students or postdocs for all or part of their visits; Fermilab will also reimburse the local and travel expenses of these visitors. Fermilab will provide housing assistance, and offer childcare assistance for Scholars accompanied by their families. In cases of extended residences at Fermilab, teaching relief can be negotiated.

Advisory committee

New Fermilab Distinguished Scholars will be appointed each year by the Fermilab Director, selected from candidates nominated by the Fermilab Distinguished Scholars Program Advisory Committee. The committee consists of rotating members of the Fermilab theory groups and other U.S. theorists connected to the Fermilab program. The committee members are appointed by the Fermilab Director for three-year terms.

Advisory Committee

Rachel Bean (Cornell)
Aida El-Khadra (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Maria Gonzalez-Garcia (Stony Brook)
Aaron Pierce (Michigan)
Doreen Wackeroth (SUNY, Buffalo)
John Campbell (Fermilab, chair)
Nick Gnedin (Fermilab)

Past committee members

Andre de Gouvea (Northwestern), 2015-17
Howie Haber (Santa Cruz), 2015-17
Tao Han (Pittsburgh), 2015-17
Scott Dodelson (Fermilab), 2016-17
Csaba Csaki (Cornell), 2015-18
Maarten Golterman (San Francisco State), 2015-18
Laura Reina (Florida State), 2015-18