Davis-Bahcall Scholar Program

Sponsored by the Sanford Underground Research Facility, Black Hills State University, the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, and First Premier Bank.

2019 application
Application Deadline: Jan. 11, 2019

Past Davis-Bahcall participants

Do you find the concepts of dark matter and energy fascinating? Do you have a passion for science and a desire to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math? Are you looking to jumpstart a future research career? Will you be a university freshman or sophomore in the next fall semester – in South Dakota or have a home address in South Dakota? Then you could be a Davis-Bahcall Scholar!

Fifty years ago, Professors Ray Davis and John Bahcall proposed an experiment to confirm the nuclear processes taking place at the core of the sun by measuring a tiny particle called a neutrino in a large tank of dry cleaning fluid a mile underground. This experiment – which took place at the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D. – changed our understanding of particle physics and led to a Nobel Prize in physics for chemist Ray Davis. Today underground laboratories around the world continue the work started by these two renowned scientists.

Up to eight students will be chosen to participate in this all-expense-paid summer-study program. Two or three of the students enrolled at South Dakota universities will be designated South Dakota Space Grant Consortium Davis-Bahcall Scholars.

Program Summary

Davis-Bahcall Scholars will spend four weeks of their summer exploring the world of modern scientific research at some of the nation’s leading laboratories and universities. They will spend one week at the Sanford Underground Research Facility and travel to other research laboratories in the U.S. and in Italy.

Coursework will cover physics, plus a variety of other science and engineering topics. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, distinguished professors from all over the world.

Program Dates: June 9-July 14, 2019

Eligibility Requirements
Candidates must:
  • Be age 18 or older at time of travel
  • Be a high school senior or college freshman at time of application
  • Attend a South Dakota public, private or home school or postsecondary institution or have graduated from a South Dakota high school
  • Have a demonstrated interest in science, with the intent of pursuing an advanced degree in a math, science, engineering or technology field
  • Students may only participate in the program once

To apply for the Davis-Bahcall Scholar Program, candidates must submit:

  • Program application form
  • Official high school and college transcripts, including standardized test scores when possible
  • 500- to 700-word essay that conveys your interest, qualifications, how you would benefit from the program, and how you would contribute to the program
  • Letter of recommendation from a current science teacher
  • Resume detailing academic achievement and extracurricular activities

Finalists will participate in a virtual interview.

  • The interview panel will include three to five people
  • Davis-Bahcall Scholars will be chosen by mid-March

Submit application materials to:
Deb Wolf, Sanford Underground Research Facility
630 E. Summit St., Lead, SD 57754

Applications may also be submitted electronically to debra.wolf@bhsu.edu

Questions may be directed to:

Deb Wolf, Director of Sanford Lab Education & Outreach, debra.wolf@bhsu.edu