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Courtesy of M. Zahid Hasan group, Princeton University - graphic representation of the energy-momentum relation of electrons on the surface of a bismuth-based topological insulator

Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems

Learn More: Experimental Investigator Competition

Learn More: Experimental Investigator Competition




Research Scope of the Experimental Investigator Program


EPiQS experimental investigators will work on a variety of topics pertinent to the understanding of organizing principles of complex quantum matter. The solid-state systems of particular interest to this program (here termed “quantum materials”) include: strongly correlated materials; topological insulators; two-dimensional crystals and other low-dimensional systems; quantum magnets; complex oxide heterostructures and other hybrid, engineered structures. “Synthetic quantum matter” realized using ultracold neutral atoms, trapped ions, superconducting circuits, or photonic systems, is also of interest to the program.

The investigators may use any of the advanced techniques for investigations or creation of quantum materials. Their research may also focus on the development of novel experimental probes and techniques. Investigators may include materials synthesis as an important component of their planned research; however, advanced materials characterization must be the main component of their research. EPiQS has another program dedicated to scientists whose core expertise and interests are in materials synthesis.

The awards will focus on people, rather than particular research topics, materials, or techniques. When making final funding decisions, the foundation will assure that the selected group of investigators as a whole covers a reasonably broad range of physical systems and experimental approaches.

If you are unsure whether a particular research topic or approach qualifies for EPiQS funding within this program, you may contact us at

Award Details

The awards are anticipated to start in late 2014 and run for five years, ranging from $200,000 to $400,000 per year in direct costs. Individual grant budgets will be developed after the selection of investigators is complete. We anticipate selecting up to 20 investigators at various career stages.

Selection Criteria

The experimental investigator awards will be highly selective. Candidates who can show evidence of significant originality and accomplishments are encouraged to apply. They should have an outstanding track record, commensurate with their career stage, in applying and/or developing advanced experimental techniques for investigations of collective electronic behavior in condensed-matter systems. Investigators will be selected based on the significance of their past research, the quality of their current research, the potential for continued groundbreaking science in the future, and the probability that their future work will contribute to the goals of EPiQS.  Successful candidates will demonstrate a combination of the following qualities that sets them apart from other highly competent scientists in their field. 

  • They are current or emerging intellectual leaders in the field, consistently pushing into new areas of inquiry. 
  • They identify and pursue the most relevant physics questions in the field.
  • They develop new experimental tools and methods that enable novel or superior approaches to addressing fundamental physics questions.
  • They demonstrate outstanding promise of future original and innovative contributions.
  • They are willing to take risks and explore unproven and uncertain research avenues.


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must hold a tenured or tenure-track position as an assistant professor or higher academic rank at a U.S. academic institution. 

There are no restrictions on the number of applications from any eligible institution. Researchers with faculty appointments should apply directly and institutional endorsement is not part of the application process. The foundation encourages applications from women and members of minority groups that are under-represented in the physical sciences.

Any questions regarding eligibility or Moore Foundation policies should be addressed to

How and Where to Apply

This will be a two-stage competition. In the first round, candidates are asked to submit a pre-application consisting of the following documents: 

  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of most relevant recent publications;
  • An overview of the applicant’s most significant research achievements (not more than 500 words); and
  • A summary of the applicant’s planned research program (not more than 500 words).

All pre-applications must be submitted electronically at

The deadline for submitting a pre-application is April 21, 2014 (5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT).

Pre-applications will be reviewed by foundation staff with the help of external expert advisors, resulting in about 50-70 finalists. The finalists will subsequently be invited to submit a more comprehensive application, which will be reviewed by a panel of external experts. Based on the panel’s input, foundation staff will make the final selection of investigators.

Relevant Dates

  • The deadline for submitting a pre-application is April 21, 2014, 5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT.
  • Finalists will be invited to submit full applications on or around May 16, 2014.
  • Full applications will be due on or around June 17, 2014
  • The final selection of investigators will be completed by September 2014.
  • We anticipate that grants will be finalized by December 2014.