Assistant Professor Zhen Liu receives prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for early-career researchers

Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship to advance research

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (02/20/2024) — University of Minnesota Twin Cities Physics and Astronomy Assistant Professor Zhen Liu is one of only 126 early-career researchers who will receive a prestigious 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship. Awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships honor researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders.

Liu is a theoretical particle physicist whose research focuses on studying the nature of matter and the fundamental structure of the Universe. He specifically studies the science phenomenons at high energy colliders such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other collider programs. Liu also conducts innovative small-scale experiments in search of exotic particles, such as dark photons, axion-like particles, and millicharged particles. 

"Sloan Research Fellowships are extraordinarily competitive awards involving the nominations of the most inventive and impactful early-career scientists across the U.S. and Canada,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how Fellows take leading roles shaping the research agenda within their respective fields.”

Liu came to the University of Minnesota in December 2020. Prior to that he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland and a research associate at Fermilab, the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Liu received his bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

More than 1,000 researchers were nominated this year for the Sloan Research Fellowship. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship to advance their research. 

Read more about the Sloan Research Fellowship and see the full list of 2024 recipients.