By the summer of their first year in the Chemical Physics (CHPH) program, upon completion of two rotations, graduate students are expected to find a Ph.D. advisor at the University of Maryland and join that advisor's group. There are more than 100 Chemical Physics participating faculty members from seven different academic departments and two research institutes as well as several associated scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For students who are interested in collaborative work with another group outside UMD (e.g. at NIST or NIH), together with their UMD advisor, students may initiate a research collaboration with the outside group. This can be done with the assistance of existing partnership programs or independently. The purpose of this arrangement is to establish a genuine collaboration benefiting the two research groups and the student.

Students who are not able to find a laboratory on campus after finishing their third year at UMD may petition the Director for permission to join a laboratory outside of campus. Irrespective of the percentage of time the student spends in the outside group, the UMD advisor remains in the mentoring committee, which convenes once a year and monitors students’ progress. Student registration in CHPH898 or CHPH899 (pre candidacy and candidacy research) is contingent upon the yearly meeting and the associated synopsis of the meeting submitted to the program coordinator and the director.

NIST, NIH and JQI Collaborations

The Chemical Physics Program offers students the option to carry out their Ph.D. thesis research at NIST and NIH under the joint supervision of participating government scientists and University of Maryland faculty. Additional research opportunities are available under the auspices of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a partnership between NIST and the University of Maryland.