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Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professorship of Physics and Astronomy

Margaret Burbidge

The UC San Diego Department of Physics invites nominations, including self-nominations, of women physicists and astronomers for the Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professorship Award. We are currently accepting nominations for Academic Year 2023 – 2024. The nomination period runs October 10, 2022 – January 31, 2023 and the form can be found here.

The purpose of the visiting professorship is to bring eminent female physicists to UC San Diego on a short-term basis for collaborative research interactions within the department. The appointee is not required to do formal teaching, however a department colloquium and public talks to students are encouraged.

This professorship is made possible by the generous support of the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Current Visiting Professors


Misty Bentz

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Georgia State University
Fall 2021


Lisa Randall

Professor of Science
Harvard University
Spring 2022

Past Visiting Professors

Elena Aprile

Elena Aprile

Professor of Physics
Columbia University

Annie Colin

Annie Colin

Professor of Innovative Materials for Energy
École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles

Smitha Vishveshwara

Smitha Vishveshwara

Professor of Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Women faculty members or research scientists in any area of physics or astronomy are eligible for nomination. Non-US citizens must be eligible for J-1 Scholar visa status. A UC San Diego Faculty Host must be identified prior to submission of the nomination.

Term of Appointment

Full academic quarter (12-week) appointments are encouraged, though shorter appointments will be considered. The visit must run for consecutive weeks, and the awardee must be in residence at San Diego for the duration of her appointment. Exact starting dates are negotiable but must take place during the UC San Diego academic year.


The stipend is $1,500 per week plus $150 daily for living expenses, for a maximum of 12 weeks. We will cover one round-trip to and from San Diego for the appointee. There is no provision for travel for family members; however, additional funding is available to support child-care expenses for the appointee while in residence at San Diego. The granting of the award is subject to home institution and UC San Diego approval of funding arrangements.

In addition, appointees will be allocated a fund of $3,000 while in residence to support events with student groups and junior faculty, such as lunches, refreshments at public talks, etc.


Appointees are expected to be on the UC San Diego campus for the duration of the Burbidge Visiting Professorship term. A faculty host at UC San Diego needs to be identified before the nomination and provide a letter of support. The appointees have no teaching duties, though they are strongly encouraged to present a department colloquium, and to interact with students and faculty as role models for women in physics and astronomy. Appointees will be asked to provide an end of term report after the conclusion of their appointment.

Research Proposal

The research proposal is prepared by the nominator (the candidate for self-nominations) and should discuss the value that the candidate will bring to the UC San Diego Physics Department and campus. Candidate research supported by multiple faculty across the department and campus is strongly encouraged. Research proposals must not exceed two single-spaced pages in 11 pt. or larger font.
Nomination Period:
Oct. 10, 2022 –
Jan. 31, 2023
Nomination Form
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