Opportunities for Underrepresented Minorities


The LIGO SURF program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented students (such as African American, Hispanic, and Native American, females who are underrepresented in their discipline, and first-generation college students) in science and engineering Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs and to make opportunities in gravitational wave science more visible to students not traditionally exposed to it. The program supports Caltech's commitment to training a diverse set of science, technology, engineering, and math leaders. Students from groups that are historically underrepresented in science are strongly encouraged to apply to the LIGO SURF program and identify their minority status in the application. Students that are elected for a LIGO SURF Fellowship may elect to be associated with the Caltech WAVE Program, and may also elect to be considered for a Carl Albert Rouse or a Victor M. Blanco Fellowship.

NSBP and the Carl Albert Rouse Fellowship

A photo of Carl Albert Rouse
Carl Albert Rouse

The National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) sponsors the Carl Albert Rouse Undergraduate Research Fellowship for research with LIGO Laboratory.

About Carl Albert Rouse

After earning a Ph.D. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1956, Dr. Carl Albert Rouse became the first African American to successfully enter into a career as a professional astrophysics researcher. Dr. Rouse's thesis research was in the field of particle physics. After graduate school he took a position as a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he studied screened Coulomb interactions utilizing quantum mechanics theory. Read an article of the American Astronomical Society published in the 2006 Spectrum Newsletter (H. Oluseyi, "Contributions from the first half-century of African-American solar astronomers", pp 1-3 and 14-16) of the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy.

About NSBP

Founded in 1977 at Morgan State University, the mission of the National Society of Black Physicists is to promote the professional well-being of African-American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and within society at large. The organization seeks to develop and support efforts to increase opportunities for African-Americans in physics and to increase their numbers and visibility of their scientific work. It also seeks to develop activities and programs that highlight and enhance the benefits of the scientific contributions that African-American physicists provide for the international community. The society seeks to raise the general knowledge and appreciation of physics in the African-American community.

NSHP and the Victor M. Blanco Fellowship

Victor M. Blanco
Victor M. Blanco (Credit: HispanicPhysicists.org)

The National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) sponsors the Victor M. Blanco Undergraduate Research Fellowship for research with LIGO Laboratory.

About Victor M. Blanco

Read an autobiographical essay by Victor M. Blanco for the 2001 issue of Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics ("Telescopes, Red Stars, and Chilean Skies", Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, V39(2001):1:18)

About NSHP

The National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) began in 1996 as little more than an idea but today represents (through its members and contacts) the single largest collective of Hispanic-American physicists. A society that can uniquely speak to why we chose physics, the challenges we confronted, the ways we entered the world of physics. Our members include students, faculty, and professional physicists. And though most of our members are Latinos/as ... all are welcome to join us.

NSHP meets annually at the SACNAS meeting and at other times with our partners in physics - the National Society of Black Physicists, the American Physical Society, and the American Association of Physics Teachers.