Chicagoland Accelerator Science Traineeship Program

Applications for   Fall    semester due the preceeding April 15.

Applications for Spring semester due the preceeding December 1.  See below!


See the article in NIU Today.


Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Technology have teamed up with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory to create the Chicagoland Accelerator Science Traineeship (CAST) program. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the program provides up to two years of funding for graduate students at NIU and IIT to pursue studies in accelerator science, technology, and particle beam physics with active participation in research at these prominent national laboratories or with local industrial partners.

The competitive program offers accelerator and beam physics graduate students at NIU the opportunity to participate in relevant accelerator science at pioneering research institutions during their initial years of graduate study. 

Students in the program are expected to complete the two years of studies culminating in a Masters degree or admittance into a doctoral program in the accelerator field, and will participate in projects at the labs or with industrial partners.  A written thesis at the Masters level is expected of each participant. Possible research topics may include

  • modeling and optimization of accelerator and beam designs,
  • operation and system integration issues relevant to the development and upgrades of large-scale accelerator systems,
  • general beam instrumentation, measurements and diagnostics.
To be eligible to participate in the DOE-sponsored traineeship program, graduate student candidates must:
  1. be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident.
  2. be at least 18 years of age.
  3. be enrolled full-time in the Ph.D. or Master's (with thesis) degree program.

Applications will be accepted through April 15 for the following Fall semester; December 1 for the following Spring semester.  To apply, email with the following information:

  1. A personal statement with specifics regarding research interest in Accelerator Science and the expected benefits the applicant will gain from joining the CAST program at NIU
  2. Two letters of reference sent to Prof. Michael Syphers (alternatively, recent letters on file in the myNIU system can be used; refer to this option in the email, if applicable)
  3. A one-sentence statement of agreement to allow access to the student's academic records available on myNIU by the CAST selection committee

For further information and status of the Traineeship program please email