The mission of the MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics is to sustain a distinguished, on-campus postdoctoral fellowship program for the Department that identifies, recruits and supports the most talented and promising young physicists at an early stage of their careers. This initiative was made possible by the encouragement and generosity of Mr. A. Neil Pappalardo (EE ’64), an MIT alumnus with a long history of generosity to both the Institute and the Department of Physics.

The program traditionally appoints three new Fellows per academic year for a three-year fellowship term each. Fellows are selected by means of an annual competition for which candidates cannot apply directly, but must be nominated by a faculty member or senior researcher within the international community of physics, astronomy or related fields.

All MIT Pappalardo Fellows in Physics are provided with:

  • complete independence in selection and focus of research direction within the MIT Department of Physics throughout their three-year fellowship term;
  • active faculty mentoring fostered by weekly luncheons and monthly dinners with faculty and guests during the academic year, which promotes scientific exchange and professional growth for the Fellows;
  • a competitive annual stipend with an annual cost-of-living increase, combined with $10,000 per year in discretionary research funds; and
  • MIT Medical Affiliate health insurance coverage for Fellows and their dependents.

Program Administration

The Physics Department Head appoints the members of the program’s Executive Committee, which includes a rotating faculty membership responsible for the review, evaluation, and selection of candidates, and one staff Administrator who directly administers the program.

The Pappalardo Fellows themselves are responsible for the selection, pursuit, and development of research within physics, astronomy or related fields, as well as active participation in the scientific and social activities of the program and MIT physics community.

These goals are largely accomplished by on-campus collaboration with a particular physics faculty member and his/her research group, physics colloquia attendance, and regular participation in the Fellows’ weekly luncheons and monthly dinners, which take place at MIT during the academic year.

List of Pappalardo Fellows

  • Kevin Burdge, 2021-2024
  • Anna-Christina Eilers, NASA Hubble Fellow: 2019-2022; Pappalardo Fellow: 2022-2024
  • Joshua Foster, 2021-2024
    Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics; Theoretical Astrophysics; Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Nicholas Kern, 2020-2023
  • Manki Kim, 2021-2024
    String Theory; Cosmology
  • Benjamin Lehmann, 2022-2025
    Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Rohan Naidu, NASA Hubble Fellow: 2022-2025; Pappalardo Fellow: 2025-2027
    Astrophysics (Instrumentation/Observation/Experiment)
  • Aviram Uri, 2021-2024
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

  • 2023-2026 Fellows will be posted in early 2023.

  • Mustafa Amin, 2008-2011
    Theoretical Astrophysics
    Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University
  • Denis Bandurin, 2018-2021
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    NUS Presidential Young Professor and Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • James Battat, 2008-2011
    Experimental Astrophysics; Experimental Nuclear & Particle Physics
    Associate Professor of Physics, Wellesley College
  • Zhen Bi, 2017-2020
    Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
    Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University
  • Guy Bunin, 2013-2016
    Biophysics & Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics
    Assistant Professor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • Rachel Carr, 2016-18, 2020-21
    Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Assistant Professor of Physics, United States Naval Academy
  • Paul Chesler, 2009-2012
    Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Fellow, Black Hole Initiative, Harvard University
  • Hugh Churchill, 2012-2015
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Arkansas
  • Marija Drndic, 2000-2003
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics; Physical Chemistry; Nanoscience
    Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Henriette Elvang, 2005-2008
    Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics
    Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Richard Fletcher, 2016-2019
    Atomic Physics
    Assistant Professor of Physics, MIT
  • Michael (Misha) Fogler, 2000-2003
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Professor, University of California, San Diego
  • Joshua Folk, 2003-2004
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Margaret Gardel, 2004-2005
    Experimental Biophysics
    Professor, University of Chicago
  • Julieta Gruszko, 2017-2020
    Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Jeff Gore, 2007-2010
    Professor of Physics, MIT
  • Ilya Gruzberg, 2001-2002
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Professor, Ohio State University
  • Jeongwan Haah, 2013-2016
    Quantum Information Theory
    Researcher, Station Q, Microsoft Research
  • Matthew Headrick, 2003-2006
    String Theory (quantum field theory, general relativity, geometry)
    Professor, Brandeis University
  • Or Hen, 2015-2017
    Experiment Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Associate Professor of Physics, MIT
  • Walter Hofstetter, 2001-2004
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Professor, Institut für Theoretische Physik, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • David Hsieh, 2009-2012
    Experimental Condensed Matter
    Professor, Caltech
  • Nitya Kallivayalil, 2007-2010
    Experimental Astrophysics
    Associate Professor, University of Virginia
  • David Kaplan, 2004-2007
    Astrophysics (Experiment)
    Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • David Kielpinski, 2002-2005
    Quantum Computing; Atomic Physics
    Senior Staff Data Scientist, CircleCI
  • Itamar Kimchi, 2015-2018
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kirill Korolev, 2010-2013
    Soft Condensed Matter Theory; Biophysics
    Associate Professor, Boston University
  • Yoav Lahini, 2012-2015
    Senior Lecturer, School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University
  • Lampros Lamprou, 2017-2020
    String Theory
    Postdoctoral Fellow, The Simons Foundation
    “It From Qubit” Collaboration, University of British Columbia, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Benjamin Lane, 2003-2006
    Experimental Astrophysics
    Principal Researcher and Team Lead, Systems & Technology Research
  • Lu Li, 2008-2011
    Condensed Matter Experimental Physics
    Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Laura Lopez, 2011-2014
    Experimental Astrophysics
    Assistant Professor, Ohio State University
  • Karen Michaeli, 2010-2013
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Assistant Professor, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Michael L. Miller, 2005-2008
    Experimental Particle Physics
    General Partner, Liquid 2 Ventures, LLC
  • Bernhard Mistlberger, 2018-2021
    Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics
    Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Jocelyn Monroe, 2006-2009
    Dark Matter and Neutrino Physics
    Professor of Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Duff Neill, 2012-2015
    Quantum Field Theory
    Senior Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • J. Michael Niczyporuk, 2002-2004
    Theoretical Particle Physics
    Global Head of Open Banking and Real Time Payments, VISA
  • Yusuke Nishida, 2008-2011
    Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics
    Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Carlos Nunez, 2003-2006
    Quantum Field Theory and String Theory
    Professor, Swansea University
  • Robert Penna, 2013-2016
    Theoretical Astrophysics; Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Member, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Hoi Chun “Adrian” Po, 2018-2021
    Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
    Assistant Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Silviu Pufu, 2011-2014
    String Theory
    Associate Professor of Physics, Princeton University
  • Mallika Randeria, 2019-2022
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    Technical Staff Scientist, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Katherine Rawlins, 2003-2005
    Gravitational-wave Astronomy
    Professor, University of Alaska-Anchorage
  • Paola Rebusco, 2007-2010
    Plasma Astrophysics
    Physics Lecturer & Academic Officer, MIT Experimental Study Group
  • Carl Rodriguez, 2016-2019
    Theoretical Astrophysics
    Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Benjamin Safdi, 2014-2017
    Theoretical High Energy Physics
    Faculty, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Katelin Schutz, 2019-2022; 2023-2025
    Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics/Theoretical Astrophysics
    Assistant Professor of Physics, McGill University
  • Gabriella Sciolla, 2002-2003
    Experimental High Energy Physics
    Professor of Physics, Brandeis University
  • Robert Simcoe, 2003-2006
    Experimental Astrophysics
    Francis L. Friedman Professor of Physics
    Director, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
  • Inti Sodemann Villadiego, 2014-2017
    Condensed Matter (Theory: Hard)
    Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems
  • Marin Soljačić, 2000-2003
    Condensed Matter (Experiment); Condensed Matter (Theory: Hard)
    Professor of Physics, MIT
  • Joshua Spitz, 2011-2014
    Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Norman M. Leff Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor
  • Meng Su, 2012-2015
    Theoretical Astrophysics
    Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong
  • Jacob M. Taylor, 2006-2009
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Adjunct Professor, Joint Quantum Institute, University of Maryland
  • David Tong, 2001-2004
    Quantum Field Theory, String Theory, Solitons, Cosmology
    Professor of Theoretical Physics and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Arpita Upadhyaya, 2002-2005
    Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
  • Simona Vegetti, 2010-2013
    Theoretical Astrophysics
    Scientific Staff, Computational Structure Formation, Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik
  • Steven Villanueva, 2018-2021
    Theoretical Astrophysics
    NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Inna Vishik, 2013-2016
    Condensed Matter Experiment
    Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis
  • Ashvin Vishwanath, 2001-2004
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Professor of Physics, Harvard University
  • Michael Wagman, 2017-2020
    Nuclear & Particle Theory
    Associate Scientist, Fermilab
  • Fa Wang, 2009-2012
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory
    Associate Professor, Peking University
  • Haruki Watanabe, 2015-2016
    Hard Condensed Matter Theory; Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Associate Professor, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Olivia White, 2005-2008
    Soft Condensed Matter Theory
    McKinsey Global Institute Director and Senior Partner
  • Taritree Wongjirad, 2014-2017
    Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Assistant Professor, Tufts University
  • Sanfeng Wu, 2016-2019
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    Assistant Professor, Princeton University
  • Andrea Young, 2011-2014
    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
    Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Executive Committee

2022-2023 Academic Year

Deepto Chakrabarty
Professor of Physics
Department Head, Ex Officio

Nuh Gedik
Professor of Physics
Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Jeff Gore, Chair
Professor of Physics
Biophysics; Soft Condensed Matter Theory

Daniel Harlow
Associate Professor of Physics
High Energy and Particle Theory; Quantum Gravity and Field Theory 

Or Hen
Class of 1956 Career Development Associate Professor of Physics
Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics 

Scott Hughes
Professor of Physics; Division Head for Astrophysics
Astrophysics Theory

Erin Kara
Assistant Professor of Physics
Astrophysics Observation, Instrumentation and Experiment; Astrophysics Theory

Maxim Metlitski
Assistant Professor of Physics
Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Phiala Shanahan
Class of 1957 Career Development Associate Professor of Physics
Theoretical Particle and Nuclear Physics

Carol Breen
Communications and Pappalardo Fellowships Program Administrator

Annual Pappalardo Fellowships Competition

Pappalardo Fellowships Symposia