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Prospective Students/Postdocs Info Page

Student and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities in Experimental Cosmology at McGill

Introduction to Our Research Program/Group

groupPhoto2007.01.14.003small.JPGWe are a group of experimental physicists whose primary interest is understanding matter, its interactions, and how they evolve from the early universe to create the cosmology in which we live today. Broadly speaking, the Big Bang model is consistent with astronomical observations and experimental measurements as long as the theory includes an early period of Inflation (when the universe expands faster than the speed of light). Inflation predicts other signatures-such as a gravity wave background emanating from the inflationary era-may be encoded in the observable universe. Measuring this signature is one of the primary goals for modern cosmology.

Photo: The South Pole Telescope field team in front of the 10m instrument in Antarctica.

2006-12-11_McGillDfMUX_014.jpgNew cosmological measurements are facilitated by technological advances in the laboratory. Our primary instrumentation role is in the design and construction of a new cutting edge electronics systems. 
Building the experiment is only half the adventure---deploying it, handling the unexpected, dealing with systematic effects, and analysing the data is where the real fun begins. The timeframe, collaboration size, and complexity of these experiments are such that students can be intimate with every aspect of the experiment and analysis.

Photo: Digital multiplexer board developed in the McGill Cosmology Instrumentation lab.

Graduate Students

Photo: Technician John Smeros filling a liquid Helium dewar.

Student Opportunities: Students engaged in one of these experiments will gain a knowledge of cosmology, low noise electronics instrumentation, cryogenic sensors and detectors, and data analysis. Students will build and develop instrumentation in the lab, and analyze data from these instruments to better constrain cosmological models. Travel to the experimental sites is expected.

Photo: Postdoc Trevor Lanting and student James Kennedy commission a new cryogenic system in the lab.


Graduate student applicants should apply through McGill's physics department, have a first class academic standing, fellowship funding, intense motivation, and solid reference letters attesting to a strong ability to do research at the undergrad level. Check out the fellowship opportunities listed here

The deadline for application is early in the new year. Refer to: McGill Physics Grad Student Info Page for details.

Undergraduate Researchers


Photo: Claire Cohalan assembles an electrical wire harness for a test cryostat.

We frequently have undergraduate researchers in our lab through the following undergraduate research programs:

Please visit the appropriate webpages for information on these programs. We do not normally hire undergraduate researchers directly, but we do occasionally accept exceptional volunteer undergraduate researchers (apply by sending a cover letter, CV, and copy of your transcript to Prof. Dobbs). 

2006-08-24_McGillLab_005.jpgPhoto: Electrical Engineering undergraduate student Rajat Murkherjee debugs a digital electronics system.


We are currently accepting applications for postdoctoral researchers through our Tomlinson fellowships program, the NSERC postdoctoral fellowship program, and our internal McGill Astrophysics Fellowships. Please visit the fellowships page for more information or contact Prof. Dobbs directly.

Student Life

The McGill Graduate Association of Physics Students webpages have information about our department's intramural teams, tips for grad students, and other social adventures.