J. J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics

This award recognizes exceptional early-career scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of theoretical particle physics. The annual award consists of $1,500, a certificate, travel reimbursement up to $1,000, and a registration waiver to receive the award and give an invited talk at the APS April Meeting of the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF), or a DPF session at APS April Meeting.

Rules and eligibility

Nominations will be accepted for any doctoral student studying at a college or university in the United States including their study-abroad programs, for dissertation research carried out in the field of theoretical particle physics. The work to be considered must have been completed as part of the requirements for a doctoral degree. First time nominees for the 2024 award must have passed their PhD thesis defense between Sept. 1, 2022 and Aug. 31, 2023.

A candidate may be renominated once for this award in the year following their original nomination. In this case a new nomination package must be submitted. In this case a new nomination package must be submitted to the Committee, stating that the candidate had been nominated the previous year.

Process and selection

The nomination package should include:

  1. APS Prizes and Awards nomination form (nominee’s contact information, thesis date).
  2. A full copy of the nominee's Ph.D. thesis, along with up to four publications and/or reports describing the work.
  3. A thesis summary of no more than two pages prepared by the nominee.
  4. A brief summary of the thesis suitable for distribution as the basis of an article in the popular press.
  5. A complete curriculum vitae of the nominee, including a list of publications.
  6. A letter from the thesis advisor stating (a) the date of the thesis defense and the date the final thesis document was presented to the graduate school, (b) the names of those who will be writing letters supporting the nomination, (c) the role of the nominee in writing any parts of the thesis that have been published or submitted for publication (please identify these parts of the thesis), and (d) the specific contributions of the nominee, making comparisons with others.
  7. At least two letters supporting the nomination.
  8. Demographics form (if known/wish to specify age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the nominee)

Establishment and support

The award was established in 2010 by the DPF Executive Committee with funding coming from the J.J. Sakurai Prize Fund, in recognition of the role of Noriko Sakurai in the establishment and growth of the fund.

Recent recipients

Zhite Yu

2024 recipient

For discovering new jet polarization substructures resulting from quantum interference at high-energy colliders, advancing the QCD factorization for exclusive processes, and offering innovative solutions to the enduring x-dependence problem of generalized parton distributions.

Cari Cesarotti

2023 recipient

For exploration of collider signals of physics beyond the Standard Model, including the development and assessment of a novel collider event-shape observable tailored for distinguishing strongly coupled hidden sectors from background, and studies of physics at future muon accelerators and colliders.

Seth Koren

2022 recipient

For the discovery of novel approaches to the electroweak hierarchy problem and the elucidation of their experimental signatures.

Samuel D. Homiller

2021 recipient

For the discovery of novel methods to elucidate the property of the Higgs, and qualitatively new possibilities for Higgs physics overlooked for many years.

Katelin Schutz

2020 recipient

For highly original contributions to address the nature of dark matter using astrophysical, cosmological, and theoretical approaches, ranging from gravitational waves, large-scale structure, underground experiments, and condensed matter physics to effective field theories and non-perturbative techniques.

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

J. J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics

Nominations deadline
September 2, 2024
$1,500, a certificate, travel reimbursement up to $1,000, and a registration waiver

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