New User Training and Guidance

The MagNetUS leadership recognizes that the formal independent review process can provide a barrier for individuals with less experience or professional connections in the magnetized plasma field. Due to the proposal feasibility criterion, this system may naturally favor proposals from researchers with more experience in the field, including prior users of the MagNetUS devices as well as senior scientists and faculty. While the formal review process is integral to selecting high-quality research projects, we recognize the need to guide and train new and prospective users to make sure our field is diverse and inclusive. For this reason, the MagNetUS Outreach and Education Committee (listed below) has been tasked with implementing a New User Training and Guidance program geared toward helping prospective users develop research ideas, learn experimental and numerical techniques, understand the nuances of each plasma device, and generally become comfortable with planning and running experiments within the MagNetUS collaboration.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about magnetized plasma research and experimentation should contact the MagNetUS Outreach and Education Committee, especially those with ideas for experiments to be conducted at one or more of the participating facilities. Our goal is to work with students, postdocs, junior faculty, and those new to the field of magnetized plasma. We especially encourage members of under-represented and minority groups to contact us, including women and gender minorities, those at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and at other minority-serving institutions. In addition, we welcome researchers from small universities and community colleges, who may not have access to large facilities at their home institution.

The New User Training and Guidance program is outlined in the graphic below and will operate according to the following procedure:

  • Interested parties should contact the Committee through one of its members, or be referred to the Committee by other MagNetUS enthusiasts.

  • The Committee will periodically make announcements to remind the community of the service that it provides, and how to get involved.

  • The Committee will meet with prospective users in some capacity (e.g., virtually or at conferences). Meetings can be arranged with individual users, groups of users, or one-on-one with certain Committee members as needed.

  • In these meetings, the Committee will discuss research ideas with new users, and make recommendations about what facilities are best suited for the work. The Committee will reach out to scientists at these facilities and put them in touch with the prospective user(s). The interaction with facility representatives can result in additional training, tour of the facility, or data mining projects. However, these activities should be negotiated with the facility representatives and not the Committee

  • In one scenario, prospective users will be allowed to sit in or “ride along” on planned experiments at the target facilities in order to gain experience with the experimental procedure and develop relationships with local personnel.

  • In another scenario, the Committee will guide the new user(s) through the process of preparing and setting up a feasible experimental proposal, in cooperation with local scientists at the target facility. Note that, while work with the Committee is expected to improve the quality of the proposal, it does not guarantee that run time will be awarded to the prospective user.

MagNetUS Outreach and Education committee Committee:

  • Eva Kostadinova, Auburn University (email) - CHAIR

  • Noah Hurst, UW – Madison (email) - CO-CHAIR

  • Saikat Thakur, Auburn University (email)

  • Dmitri Orlov, UC San Diego (email)