Congratulations goes out to fellow US LHC Blogger Prof. Sarah Demers for just being awarded the Department of Energy’s Early Career Award. The announcement is naturally featured prominently on the website of her home institution, Yale University Physics Department. This award has recently replaced the long-standing DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award (OJI), which has awarded grants to promising junior faculty members from 1978-2008, an impressive run! The new Early Career award and has brought the previous National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award and DOE OJI awards together to a more similar format and award level.
These awards can mean a tremendous amount to a new faculty member in particle physics. I was fortunate enough to receive an OJI from the DOE, and fellow blogger Prof. Ken Bloom was fortunate to receive a Career Award from NSF, when we were both new junior professors. This allowed us both to support perhaps a graduate student and part of a postdoc’s salary as well as our own summer salaries while we established our research programs as new faculty members. Now Sarah has earned a peer-reviewed grant, which is a major milestone for a new professor, and which enables her to proceed with her successful research program without relying on university start-up funds (which eventually dry up). Here’s to Sarah’s future success!