The LIGO Laboratory Award for Excellence in Detector Characterization and Calibration

 

About the Award and How to Apply

This award recognizes outstanding early career researchers who have made impactful contributions to gravitational wave astrophysics through LIGO detector characterization or calibration.

All astrophysical gravitational wave results, from signal detection to source property estimation through populations estimates, critically depend on a deep understanding of the detector noise and data calibration. Detector characterization efforts are responsible for improving the performance of all astrophysical analyses by mitigating the effect of complex and constantly evolving noise sources originating from the detectors' control systems or their local environment. Additionally, accurate calibration with well understood uncertainties critically enables astrophysical source property estimation, including sky localization, distance, mass, and spin.

Awardees will receive $1000 and each awardee will be granted a travel award to present an invited seminar on their research at one of the LIGO Laboratory sites: Caltech, MIT, LIGO Hanford, or LIGO Livingston.

The LIGO Laboratory Award for Excellence in Detector Characterization and Calibration is the sole external award sponsored by the LIGO Laboratory, to highlight the critical and fundamental importance of detector characterization and calibration to the broader astrophysical sciences.

For questions, please contact excellence.award@ligo.org.

 

Award Dates

The application deadline for the 2019 LIGO Laboratory Award for Excellence in Detector Characterization and Calibration will be announced in the future.

The LIGO Laboratory Award for Excellence in Detector Characterization and Calibration will be awarded annually in late December, with the application date deadline announced during or near each Fall LIGO-Virgo Collaboration meeting.

The invited seminars will typically take place within two months of the award date (by March 1 of the following year). Recipients will receive a certificate from the LIGO Laboratory Director at the following Spring LIGO-Virgo collaboration meeting.

 

Eligibility

Graduate students (Masters or PhD) and postdocs within the LIGO Scientific Collaboration working on LIGO detector characterization or calibration projects will be eligible to apply for the LIGO Laboratory Award for Excellence in Detector Characterization and Calibration.

Applicants can be individuals and/or small teams of 2-3 persons. Teams may include senior members, but they are not eligible for the monetary/travel award.

 

How to Apply

Applicants should arrange for the following documents to be sent in advance of the application deadline to excellence.award@ligo.org:

  1. A summary of a well-defined and delivered contribution to LIGO characterization or calibration efforts, written by the applicant(s)
  2. A letter of support from a senior member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration

The summary of achievement (suggested length 1-2 pages) should include:

  • A statement of the contribution to LIGO detector characterization and calibration in terms of a well-defined project, and the applicant's or applicants' specific role(s)
  • A summary of the impact of the results found or improvements delivered on the LIGO Scientific Collaboration results

The letter of support (suggested length 1-2 pages) should address:

  • The applicant's or applicants' individual contributions to the project
  • The impact and significance of the applicant's work to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the broader fields of physics, astrophysics, and astronomy