Mark Robbins Honored With Simons Fellowship

Mark Robbins, a theoretical physicist and professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University has been awarded a Simons Fellowship in Physics, which provides scholars with the opportunity to spend a year away from classroom and administrative duties in order to pursue research interests.

Robbins is among 27 theoretical physicists to receive this highly competitive, honorific fellowship.

“I am very excited about the opportunity provided by the Simons fellowship. Most other funding sources for sabbaticals are tied to a home institution. The Simons Fellowship will give me the flexibility to pursue collaborations with colleagues at a number of institutions as research projects unfold,” said Robbins, who plans to visit the active soft condensed matter groups at University of Pennsylvania and New York University, as well as experts in polymer science at The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany and at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Robbins also will use the fellowship to follow up on new partnerships that arise out of a three-month program that he is co-organizing on the “Physical Principles of Multiscale Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation in Soft Condensed Matter” to be held this year at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara.

Simons Fellows are chosen based on research accomplishment in the five years prior to application and the potential scientific impact of the fellowship. The New York City-based Simons Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. It funds a variety of grants, fellowships, and projects.

During his sabbatical, half of Robbins’s salary will be paid by Johns Hopkins and half by the Simons Foundation. The foundation also pays up to an additional $25,000 for expenses related to the fellowship, including travel.

“Professor Robbins is a world leader in theoretical physics, and in the application of high performance computing techniques to the study and modeling of a wide variety of physical phenomena,” says Daniel Reich, chair of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy. “We are delighted that through the Simons Foundation, Dr. Robbins will have the opportunity to expand his research program by developing and extending his collaborations with other scientists around the world.”