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Graduate Study

 

The Department of Physics has active research groups in nine main areas of current physics research:

  1. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  2. Biophysics
  3. Condensed matter physics
  4. Elementary particle physics
  5. Nonlinear dynamics
  6. Nuclear physics
  7. Plasma physics
  8. Relativity and Cosmology
  9. Statistical and thermal physics

In most of these fields both experimental and theoretical work is in progress.

 

Modern facilities for graduate study and research include the following: 

  • Large-scale cryogenic laboratory;
  • Synthesis and strong magnetic field equipment;
  • Nuclear magnetic and electron paramagnetic resonance laboratories;
  • Extensive facilities for tunneling and force microscopy and nanostructure characterization;
  • SQUID magnetometry, and electron spectroscopy;
  • Well-equipped labs in optical spectroscopy, quantum optics, femtosecond spectroscopy and diagnostics;
  • Surface scattering;
  • Facilities for turbulent flow and nonlinear dynamics experiments;
  • Texas Petawatt and three 100TW lasers for high density plasma science.

In addition, we use several external facilities. Plasma physics experiments are conducted at the major national tokamaks in Boston and San Diego. Experiments in high-energy heavy ion nuclear and particle physics are conducted at large accelerator facilities such as Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York), CERN (Switzerland), and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Illinois).

Further information on facilities related to a specific field of interest can be found by visiting the appropriate research group.

 

Fellowships and Awards

The Graduate School

Award

Stipend

Health Insurance Assistance*

Tuition Assistance

Departmental Deadline

University Deadline

Recruitment Fellowships [website]

[See website and materials accompanying this table].

Continuing Fellowships [website]

Harrington Fellowships

$36,000 for 12 months

Yes

Full tuition and fees (9 SCH)

1 December 2018

18 January 2019

University Continuing Fellowships

$28,000 for 12 months

Yes

Full tuition and fees (9 SCH)

Bruton Fellowships

$1,000

No

No

OGS Summer Only

$7,000 for

3 months

No

Full tuition and fees (3 SCH)

1 March 2019

TBD

Professional Development Awards

amount varies

N/A

N/A

N/A

throughout semester

[see website]

The Department

General Summer Fellowships

[These are awarded based upon financial need,

no separate application is required].

Summer Fellowships for Senior Students

The Peter R. Antoniewicz Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Condensed Matter Physics

1 March 2019

N/A

The Jane and Mike Downer Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Laser Physics in Memory of Glenn Bryant Focht

The Dr. Byron P. Leonard Memorial Endowed Presidential Fellowship

Other University Awards [website]

The Michael H. Granof Outstanding Dissertation Award

[website]

1 December

2018

22 February

2019

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Report Award

[website]

William S. Livingston Outstanding Graduate Academic Employee Award

[website]

Externally-Funded Fellowships [website]

[The externally-funded fellowships listed below are only those which require a nomination

from the Department, all others are listed on the website linked above].

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship

1 December

2018

9 January

2019

Luce Scholars Program

1 August

2019

October

2019

Emergency Funding

Emergency Cash Loans

[website]

N/A

N/A

The Student Emergency Fund

[website]

N/A

N/A

                   

There are three major sources of internal fellowship funding for graduate students in Physics at The University of Texas at Austin: The Graduate School, The College of Natural Sciences, and the Physics Department itself.

The University of Texas at Austin, through The Graduate School, provides fellowship funding in three main phases of a student’s graduate career: Graduate Recruitment Fellowships (nominations for which are handled by the Graduate Recruitment Committee of the Department of Physics), Continuing Fellowships (funding generally intended to help a student in the final year of her or his dissertation), and Professional Development Awards (to fund giving a paper at a conference, which usually occurs between recruitment and the final year of dissertation).

The Department of Physics offers fellowship funding in two of these phases: Graduate Recruitment Fellowships, and Fellowships for Senior Students. Most Professional Development is funded at the departmental level by the research group to which the student belongs, though there are exceptions to this generalization. The Department also offers Summer Fellowships based upon financial need, however, no separate application is required for those fellowships.

There is one fellowship that is an exception to all of these statements, The Provost’s Graduate Excellence Fellowship is a graduate recruitment fellowship which is funded jointly by The Graduate School, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Department of Physics.

All those who are admitted to the graduate program of the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin are automatically considered for Graduate Recruitment Fellowships regardless of the funding source, therefore, there is no need to apply for these fellowships. More information about these fellowships can be found here.

In all cases, the materials required by the Department for all fellowship nominations include:

  1. A current CV,
  2. A current Research Statement, and
  3. A Letter of Support from your Research Supervisor.

All materials are due by the end of day on the deadline. Please note that, if you are selected by the Department for nomination to one of University’s fellowships, following the departmental process you will be required to submitted additional materials prior to the University deadline in the table below.

The Graduate School

The first three Continuing Fellowships described in the table above share a combined nomination process with the specific awards being chosen by the University-wide committee at The Graduate School.

Professional Development Awards fund travel to conferences for the purpose of delivering a paper or making a presentation. There are multiple deadlines each semester, so the best place to get information regarding these awards is from the source—The Graduate School—here.

You will note that The Graduate School offers summer support fellowships (OGS Summer Only fellowships) through each college, the departmental deadline for such nominations is 1 March.

Departmental Fellowships

In addition to regular summer fellowships (which are determined annually based upon financial need), the Department of Physics offers a number of fellowships for advanced doctoral students in the summer, the deadlines for applying for these fellowships, which are generally awarded to support a student fully over the summer, is 1 March.

Emergency Funding

There are two University-wide resources available to students to access emergency funds should the need arise, though neither is designed to provide more than temporary financial help:

  • The office of Financial Aid has Emergency Cash & Tuition Loan programs. The cash loan program is limited to $500, but exceptions can be made in extraordinary cases. Students would need to apply in person for larger loans.
  • The Dean of Students has a Student Emergency Fund. This offers aid in much smaller amounts (typically $25-$150), but it is not a loan and thus would not need to be repaid.

Other Awards

In addition to these funding resources, the Department awards a prize for the Outstanding Dissertation completed in the previous calendar year, the deadline for faculty to nominate their student’s dissertation for this prize is 1 March.

Similarly, there is an annual prize offered by the Department for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant or Assistant Instructor, the nomination deadline for this award is also 1 March.

Finally, The Graduate School offers several awards annually that are generously underwritten by the University Cooperative Society, more detailed information about these is available here.

The Graduate School also provides four Professional Awards, also underwritten by the University Co-Op Society: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award, and Outstanding Alumnus Award, details are available at the webpage linked above.

Outside Awards

The department encourages all of its students to take advantage of funding opportunities from sources outside of the University. The Graduate School maintains a very useful website on such opportunities, here.