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The GIRA program aims to encourage and facilitate greater involvement of physics graduate students in significant instrumentation development, to boost recognition of instrumentation work as a vital part of PhD training, to foster the growth of future HEP instrumentation experts in the US, and to strengthen university-lab ties on instrumentation development. GIRA has been established by the Coordination Panel for Advanced Detectors (CPAD), a standing committee of The Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society. You can find award winners from previous years under the CPAD webpage:

Award and Funding

We aim to award one or two proposals to be funded by the  DOE Office of High Energy Physics. Additional proposals may receive honorable mentions. The award will provide a stipend of $45,000 per year. The award is renewable for a maximum of 3 consecutive years total. The addition of a tuition supplement will be determined by OHEP on a case-by-case basis, with a cap of $65,000 on the total including a stipend.

The proposal must be for a graduate student to conduct research on high energy physics instrumentation, to be carried out mainly in the US at a university or at one of the following national labs: ANL, BNL, FNAL, LANL, LBNL, LLNL, ORNL, PNNL or SLAC. The applicant must name a faculty or staff mentor. Even if the work is not to be carried out at one of the labs, the project should include a staff partner from one of these labs. This may or may not be the same person as the mentor.

Eligibility and Terms

All students enrolled in accredited US Physics PhD programs are eligible to submit a proposal (only one proposal per applicant is allowed). Students must be already enrolled in order to apply. It is expected that most students applying will be in their 2nd or 3rd year, but there is no hard requirement beyond being enrolled. The start date of the fellowship can be chosen within 6 months of the award date. The student may not take classes for credit during the performance period, as the award is for full time research. Auditing and professional training courses are allowed, as this may be necessary for instrumentation work. There is no obligation to seek renewal; some projects and student research plans may be satisfied with just one year of instrumentation work, while others may call for two or more. The maximum expected award duration is two years with a third-year renewal only in exceptional cases.


The DOE and the GIRA award are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within HEP and the field of instrumentation which ensures equality of opportunity for applicants. In support of this commitment, GIRA encourages minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for this award. The GIRA committee considers all qualified applicants without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


2023 Dates

Application opens    January 15, 2023
Application deadline April 1, 2023
Results will be posted here June 15, 2023
Earliest possible project start Jul 1, 2023

How to Apply

Complete application packages including mentor and lab partner letters must be submitted by the student before the above deadline at:


Late applications will not be accepted.


Each application must contain:

  • Cover letter with at least two suggested references (no need to request reference letters, just provide names and emails)
  • Research proposal written by the applicant (3 page limit excluding references)
  • Applicant CV
  • Academic transcript or proof of enrollment in a physics PhD program
  • Supporting letter written by a mentor, indicating needed resources and expected availability (3 page limit).
  • Supporting letter from lab partner, if other than mentor (3 page limit).

The proposal should indicate the desired start dates as well as the sought duration of the fellowship.


Deliverables and Renewal

The expected measure of performance is one instrumentation publication per year of the award in a refereed journal or proceeding. Renewal of the GIRA award (if sought) requires no additional review as long as performance is met and the awardee contacts the GIRA panel and submits a `progress report’ which contains an abstract, summary of accomplishments,  work plan for the renewal year, and list of all talks and publications made. Renewal instructions will be provided with the award.  For renewal to a second year, the student may submit a progress report and publication plan in lieu of a publication. Renewal for a third year in extremely unlikely and will only be considered for an extremely strong case under exceptional circumstances.

Acceptable Publications

A publication must contain a significant fraction of the student’s original work in order to be acceptable. Review papers are not acceptable. Overviews of construction projects are not acceptable unless the student has management responsibility in the project. Papers with more than 10 authors must be accompanied by a letter from the mentor certifying that the student played a critical role.

Questions & Contact

See FAQ first. Send questions to gira (at) fnal (dot) gov