Visitor Categories

The Institute for Rock Magnetism is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art facilities and technical expertise to any interested researcher who applies and is accepted in one of three categories: Visiting Research Fellowships (10-day), U.S. Visiting Student Fellowships (5-day), and U-Channel Fellowships (7-day). It is also possible to arrange shorter, informal visits. See application information for each category.

Visiting Research Fellowships

These fellowships provide access to the full set of IRM instruments for up to 10 days. Topics for research are open to any field of study involving fine particle magnetism, but preference will be given to projects relating magnetism to geological or environmental studies, or to fundamental physical studies relevant to the magnetism of Earth materials. In general, projects that require only widely-available equipment (such as paleomagnetic or low-field susceptibility instruments) will be given lower priority than those that require a variety of more specialized rock-magnetic instruments (e.g., low-temperature, high-field susceptometers, domain imaging, Mossbauer spectroscopy).

The Fellowship is accompanied by a $8,000 credit to be applied toward instrument user fees and actual travel costs (note that a maximum of $750 can be applied towards travel costs). No funds are available for per diem expenses. Recent usage data has shown that $8,000 is sufficient to cover all desired instrument usage for the average Visiting Fellow.


U.S. Visiting Student Fellowships

This program aims to provide financial and instrumental support for advanced undergraduates and graduate students who seek to acquire state-of-the-art rock magnetic and/or paleomagnetic data for an individual research project.  Special consideration will be given to students requiring data for the completion of a senior thesis or preliminary data for a proposal to support continued graduate research. More advanced students may wish instead to apply for a regular Visiting Research Fellowship.

U.S. Student Fellows receive up to $500 for actual travel costs, and instrument usage fees are waived.

Visiting Students may spend up to five days at the IRM and will work with IRM staff to:

  • Design an experiment or set of experiments that will further your research interests.
  • Learn how to operate IRM instrumentation
  • Process and interpret the generated data
  • Identify specific, attainable research goals that can be achieved with future magnetic measurements.   

An individualized learning component will be an integral part of the Visiting Student Program. The format will be flexible and may involve a mini-seminar or group discussion activity with IRM staff and faculty. This will take place shortly after arriving at the IRM and will be focused on a particular aspect of magnetism most suitable to the student's project and educational background. 

This program is meant to help cultivate young researchers with an interest in paleomagnetism and rock magnetism.  We anticipate and encourage Visiting Students to apply for full fledged Visiting Fellowships at any point after their Visiting Student Program is completed.  

Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students at an accredited U.S. university or college. We strongly urge, but do not require, the student's home institution to commit to providing an equal, matching grant to the student.  


U-Channel Visitors 

For visitors whose purpose is primarily to use the u-channel (long-core) magnetometer system.

The IRM's u-channel magnetometer system is available for use to outside visitors through a short application process. To help you plan your visit, please keep in mind the following:

  • Access diameter is 4.2 cm, which will accommodate a standard u-channel core section up to 1.5 m long, as well as discrete samples.
  • Resolvable measurement sensitivity of the instrument is roughly 2-4 x 10-11 Am2. (SQUID noise is ~2-4 x 10-12 Am2 at high frequencies).
  • In-line treatments:
    • Alternating field (AF) demagnetization along three axes up to 170 mT (200 mT in the axial direction).
    • Axial acquisition of ARM up to 0.4 mT
  • Off-line treatments:
    • Axial acquisition of IRM up to 1.0 T
  • Accepted u-channel visitors are also encouraged to select a small number of pilot samples for more detailed rock magnetic analyses on other IRM equipment. These data may be used to explore the feasibility of returning to the IRM as a Visiting Research Fellow with a targeted rock magnetic study.

A fee waiver for instrument use may be granted if the user can demonstrate that the fee would constitute a financial hardship. Proposals will not be evaluated on the basis of ability to pay.


Magnetic Microscopy Fellowships (New in 2022)

Observations of micromagnetic structures in individual grains or measuring magnetic moments at high spatial resolutions are useful for understanding the origin of natural magnetic memory and its stability over geologic timescales. With the installation of an Asylum Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) and Quantum Diamond Microscope (QDM) we are pleased to offer a new fellowship category. MFM offers spatial resolutions of a few tens of nanometers for (sub)domain imaging, whereas QDM offers a range of resolutions from millimeters to tens of micrometers for high-sensitivity moment detection.

This fellowship offers specific access to, and expertise on, using one or other of these instruments. Owing to the time consuming nature of the measurements, this fellowship's focus is only magnetic microscopy on a limited number of samples. Access to other instrumentation at the IRM is limited as part of this fellowship. Visits are up to 10 days.

Applicants should contact us before applying to discuss project details, feasibility and sample preparation.


Remote Access Fellowships (New in 2022)

To give the magnetic community greater access to IRM instrumentation, this fellowship allows researchers to submit proposals designed around IRM staff conducting measurements on their behalf. The aim of fellowship is to provide support to researchers with limited resources, limited (or no funding) or an inability to travel. Preference will be given to graduate students coming towards the conclusion of their studies and early career post-docs.

As part of the application to the Remote Access Fellowship, applicants should provide a rationale for how the fellowship would benefit their research and help promote their careers.


Guest Researchers 

Many researchers may not have need for an extended stay at the IRM. If you require access to only two or three instruments, for periods up to 3 days, please contact us about scheduling an informal visit. 

These visits are accommodated throughout the year as scheduling permits. Please contact Facility Manager Maxwell Brown ( for more information and to arrange a visit. It is best to send a short (1 paragraph) description of what you propose to do along with dates you would be interested in visiting.


Extended Visitors

Depending on availability, the IRM accepts researchers for extended periods of time (e.g. 6 months/ 1 year). These visits must be coordinated with IRM faculty who agree to host the applicant. Please contact Facility Manager Maxwell Brown ( for more information, or IRM faculty directly if an overlap of research interests exists. It is best to send a detailed description of the proposed study and an estimated timeline.