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Focused Research Hubs in Theoretical Physics Awards

August 3, 2021

The U.S. National Science Foundation funds fundamental research to enhance U.S. competitiveness, economy, and people's lives. Focused Research Hubs in Theoretical Physics (FRHTP) promote a collaborative approach for early career scientists toward addressing focused topics that enhance scientific advancement, strengthen and diversify the scientific workforce, and broaden the potential impacts in theoretical physics.

"Focused Research Hubs in Theoretical Physics support fundamental scientific research," says Bogdan Mihaila, Program Director of the Division of Physics at NSF. "The FRHTP program provides funding for early career scientists to answer the next big theoretical questions of physics, as well as promote interdisciplinary collaboration." 

In 2021 three hubs are funded for a total of $9.75M over five years to enable the projects highlighted below. The FRHTP awards will provide support only for postdoctoral researchers and general support for hub-related activities that can be completed within the course of the award. These hubs will focus on one of the following topics 1. Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (TAMOP), 2. Quantum Information Sciences (QIS) and 3. Theoretical Nuclear Physics (TNP).

  • Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC), at the University of New Mexico, led by Professor Ivan Deutsch, will address big questions and challenges in the QIS field and will require interdisciplinary collaboration of postdoctoral fellows with backgrounds in computer science, engineering, and physics.
  • Institute for Theoretical, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP), at Harvard University, led by Hossein Sadeghpour, will further Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics by hosting targeted workshops and further developing early career scientists in this field.
  • Nuclear Physics from Multi-Messenger Mergers (NP3M), at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, led by Andrew Steiner, will involve a team of multiple principal investigators and senior scientists across 26 institutions promoting international collaboration in multi-messenger astrophysics. 

More information about these FRHTPs and the program can be found on NSF's website, as well as a full list of awards.


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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