I found the ACP grounds itself to be extremely conducive to thoughtful work, whether lively discussion with colleagues or solitary study. The preponderance of chalkboards and discussion space was also great for spontaneous discussion and explanation.
Application Dates and DeadlinesSummer applications are available September 15 to January 31.
Information You Need To ApplyYou will need to provide three recent publications and a synopsis of your research when you fill out your application. You will also be asked which summer weeks you prefer, and which are your secondary and tertiary choices. You might also review our summer workshops before going to the application as you will be asked to indicate in ordered preference workshops you might like to attend. Additional options are coming as an Individual Researcher or as part of a small Working Group (please read information below about Aspen's Working Groups).
Admission PolicyEach year, the number of applicants is larger than the number of available places, and therefore we are unable to invite all those who apply. Applications are due January 31 each year. Acceptance letters are sent in mid-March, and a waiting list is established. An effort is made to select a diverse group of physicists from a number of fields and representing a variety of institutions. Special consideration is given to physicists who have never participated or have not participated recently. In addition to academic physicists, physicists actively engaged in research in industrial or government laboratories are invited to apply. While there are no experimental facilities available, experimentalists are encouraged to participate in the Center's program.
The Aspen Center for Physics is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. The Center does not discriminate based on personal factors including (but not limited to) race, color, national or ethnic origin, alienage, age, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, political affiliation or philosophy, disability, or veteran's status. In its programs, on its campus, and among its participants and staff, the Center will not tolerate actions that constitute discrimination or harassment.
Aspen is not a summer school, and we do not admit graduate students unless they are contributing to the field at the level of an active researcher; i.e., they must compete with other applicants on the basis of their research accomplishments.
Participation in a workshop is not required for admittance and you may apply for multiple workshops. Individuals who apply in small working groups or to do individual research are favorably considered by the Admissions Committee.
Late applications have the lowest priority, and may not be considered at all, depending on the available space.
When completing the application form, please keep the following in mind:
FlexibilityIt is very important that we know how flexible your summer schedule is. Our office facilities are limited, and we are able to accommodate as many participants as we do only by making judicious use of this flexibility to even out the number of participants over the summer. Too rigid a schedule often reduces the chance of receiving an invitation. The pressure on our facilities is greatest in July and August, and least at the beginning and end of the summer program.
Desk SpaceYou must submit an application and be accepted if you wish to participate in the programs at the Center, even if you expect to have your own housing. We do not admit or provide desk space for physicists who just show up, including spouses who are physicists. If your spouse/significant other is a physicist and would like to work at the Center, he or she may apply for "Individual Research" space or to a workshop. You may apply jointly in which case either both or neither of the couple are accepted, or you may apply independently. We are unable to accommodate drop in physicists, uninvited postdocs of invited participants, spouses who have not applied, or other guests of participants at the Center.
CompanionsCompanions working on other projects should expect to work at their apartments. If both members of a couple plan to participate in the summer program, or use desk space, each must fill out an application form. On it, please indicate if you are applying jointly (both attend or neither attend) or independently, as described in the above section. Of course, we hope your immediate family will accompany you here, and most of the housing we provide is family-oriented.
Length of StayThe Center requires that theorists commit for a minimum stay of two weeks; a longer stay is preferred. A one-week stay is allowed only for experimentalists. The purpose of this policy is to maintain the special character of the Aspen Center for Physics as a place for extended discussion and collaborative research of a type not generally possible at shorter workshops and conferences. Participants are encouraged to apply for a stay of three or four weeks. However, the length of stay granted will also depend on the number of applicants and the space available. Stays of less than three weeks are strongly discouraged. Stays longer than four weeks are not common, and are generally possible only at the beginning or the end of the summer program.
Working GroupsSmall groups of physicists working together on research problems are a unique and integral part of the Aspen Summer Program. The Admissions Committee will make an effort to accommodate small Working Groups of two to six physicists who desire to have overlapping stays in order to pursue a well–defined project. Preference will be given to Working Groups not associated with the formal workshops. The first and second weeks in July and August are the busiest weeks at ACP. We recommend that working groups and individual researchers avoid these weeks in their application. For additional information and details on how to apply, scroll to the top of this page and click “Working Groups” on the left toolbar.
Change of PlansIt is difficult to replace participants who cancel late since most physicists will have their summer plans in place. Therefore, the housing deposit and registration fee are non-refundable unless a cancellation notice is received by April 30.
Letters of RecommendationIf you think the admissions committee is unfamiliar with your work, a letter of recommendation may be helpful. This should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31.
Arrival and DepartureArrival days are Sundays after 5:00 pm, and departure days are Sundays by 10:00 am.