Dear Foundry Community,
With 2023 well underway, I am looking forward to the many opportunities this year presents. We started the new year by welcoming students and early career researchers to the Foundry from around the world for the inaugural Winter School for Quantum Information Science, and I can’t think of a better way to return from the holidays than having such energy and engagement filling the halls of the Foundry.
In our last newsletter, I mentioned the challenges associated with uncertainty in the federal budget. I’m pleased to share that in the time since, Congress passed an FY23 budget that funds the NSRCs at a minimum of +5% from last year. Following this good news, the Department of Energy opted to fund the Molecular Foundry at an even higher level to enable us to optimize our operations. As a result, the next several months will be a busy and exciting time at the Foundry as we open several searches that had been on hold and pursue continued efforts to recapitalize aging equipment with exciting new capabilities!
Searches are currently underway for a Deputy Director and Administrative Assistant to guide and support the Foundry’s operational needs. We expect to post several positions for our Imaging facility very soon. These include a staff scientist to work with our new QSPLEEM, a facility research assistant, and two technical staff positions. Finally, our new Data Group will be opening a search for a data and software engineer to support implementing new data sharing and analysis pipelines for more integrated workflows as well as building data support infrastructure across the Foundry. Please feel free to spread the word among your communities!
As we look towards the opportunities on the horizon, it’s important to continuously assess our operations and impact while keeping lines of communication open. Along those lines, we recently held a meeting with the Foundry’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the first on-site meeting with this group of prominent scientists since the new SAB was established in 2021. This group assists the Foundry by providing guidance on organizational and scientific challenges. Throughout the day’s agenda, SAB members heard updates and details about the Foundry’s scientific themes and discussed research projects with scientific and technical staff. Their day concluded with time to meet with groups of staff and postdocs to gain perspective on their experiences at the Foundry. I’m pleased to report that the SAB members were unanimously impressed and excited about the Foundry’s science, cohesion, creativity and vision. Despite the challenges of the last 2-3 years, they believe we have successfully weathered the global challenges of the past few years and are providing scientific leadership in nanoscience.
To help keep that momentum going, I would like to remind you that our spring proposal call opens this week, and we will be accepting proposals through March 30, 2023. I’m happy to announce that for this call, we have been able to bring back our Opportunity Travel Grant program, which provides need-based support for users from Minority-Serving Institutions, institutions in underserved regions, or an Emerging Research Institution. More information about this program is available on our website. Many thanks to SkyDeck, the Berkeley Lab Foundation, and other donors for enabling this initiative to mitigate additional challenges that emerging researchers may face to access the vibrant and collaborative capabilities of the Foundry.
All the Best,