Panofsky Fellowship Overview

Important Dates

Panofsky Fellowship Application

Deadline: December 15, 2022


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Pief Panofsky

The Panofsky Fellowship honors SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s founder and first Director, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky. It is intended to recognize exceptional and promising early career scientists who would most benefit from the unique opportunity to conduct their research at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. While the scientific direction of the candidates is expected to have some overlap with existing programs, an emphasis will also be placed on the potential for innovation and growth of new opportunities, aligned with the overall mission and values of the laboratory, as their career develops. The intent is to foster the creativity and high achievement to which W.K.H. Panofsky devoted himself both as a researcher and as a visionary leader in enabling fundamental science research.

The Fellowship celebrates W.K.H. Panofsky’s breadth of activities and is awarded without regard to a candidate's particular specialty within our programs. The candidate's research plan should encompass one or more areas within the general scope of the science program at SLAC:

  • Accelerator science & advanced accelerator research
  • Applied Energy research
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical science
  • Computer science
  • Elementary particle physics
  • High energy density matter science
  • Material and condensed matter science
  • Particle astrophysics and cosmology
  • X-ray science, including ultrafast science and advanced X-ray instrumentation, at LCLS and SSRL

Applicants are encouraged to contact to find out the leads of a program to find out more details about the program and the context for developing their proposed research plan as a Panofsky Fellow.

Fellowship appointments are awarded by the SLAC Director following a lab-wide selection process. Candidates should be early in their career but have demonstrated significant experience at the postdoctoral level and be widely recognized as having potential for exceptional scholarship, breadth, innovation, and leadership. The appointment carries a five-year term at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with salary and benefits commensurate with the experience of the candidate and generous research support including funding for a postdoctoral researcher. Since the Fellowship's inception in 1989, Panofsky Fellows have gone on to play important roles in their fields as members of the Faculty and Staff at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory or other prominent research institutions.

Overall context of scientific staffing at SLAC:

SLAC offers several types of scientific research positions and career progressions, all in support of the mission and values of the laboratory. Individual research groups offer postdoctoral positions, which are typically filled by individuals who have recently completed their Ph.D. Directorates appoint scientists to entry and mid-career level positions as staff scientists in support of their research programs and facility user communities. The upper levels of the staff scientist series transition to lab-level appointments and confer a high degree of independence and expectation of internationally-demonstrated leadership.  SLAC, through Stanford University, appoints faculty at all levels as a means of attracting and retaining world-class scientific leadership for its facilities, and existing and future research programs. The Panofsky Fellows are expected to have demonstrated experience at the postdoctoral level with a clear potential to play an important role in their field at a level consistent with junior faculty or early career staff at the world’s leading research institutions and universities. As such, the Panofsky Fellows are positioned as a stepping stone between postdoctoral positions and early career ongoing appointments. As can be seen by reviewing past recipients, Panofsky Fellows are well positioned to compete for regular ongoing appointments at SLAC or other major research institutions as their next career step. Consistent with this goal, our expectation is that Panofsky Fellows exhibit a potential for innovation and growth, and an ability to create new opportunities as their career progresses. To be maximally successful, Fellows usually benefit from taking full advantage of the unique opportunity to conduct their research at SLAC, through research that takes advantage of our world-class facilities and programs or strategically creates new directions building on this foundation, thereby demonstrating alignment with SLAC’s long-term mission and values.