CAPSS 2023
Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School
May 7-13, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

This page has not yet been updated for CAPSS 2023.

What is the goal of CAPSS 2022?

Many students have already decided whether they intend to pursue a graduate career in astroparticle physics or not without having ever taken an astronomy or particle physics course. We aim to give students the opportunity to learn more about these fascinating topics before then! Students will virtually attend lectures at a world-class institute and will have preferential access to top-of-the-line educators and facilities during the school.


Where is CAPSS 2022 being hosted?

To the best of our abilities, we will hold CAPSS 2022 in-person at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, following applicable public health requirements, while the visit to SNOLAB in Sudbury, ON will be held virtually out of Queen’s. If regulations are relaxed or additional public health guidance is issued, the university’s event planning guidelines may be adjusted. For now, all visitors to campus will be required to have received a full-dose regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days before the start of an in-person CAPSS 2022. It is also possible that CAPSS 2022 will have to pivot to a virtual program, in whole or in part, in the event of new public health guidance or requirements.


Will there be a CAPSS 2023?

CAPSS 2018 was the inaugural edition of the Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School, and it and CAPSS 2019 were very successful. CAPSS 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, and in 2021 was held virtually. We plan to continue to hold CAPSS in person annually, with CAPSS 2023 hopefully being announced in Fall 2022.


Who are the instructors? What is the full program for CAPSS 2022?

This is on our Information page. Note, instructors and schedules have not be confirmed yet for 2022.

A list of past instructors include:
Prof. Joseph Bramante (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Erica Caden (SNOLAB/Laurentian)
Prof. Ken Clark (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Guillaume Giroux (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Ian Lawson (SNOLAB/Laurentian)
Prof. Ryan Martin (Queen’s)
Prof. Tony Noble (Queen’s/MI)
Dr. Tom Sonley (SNOLAB)
Prof. Kristine Spekkens (Royal Military College)
Prof. Aaron Vincent (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Lawrence Widrow (Queen’s)


Who is the target audience for CAPSS 2022?

This school is targeted at strong 2nd year and 3rd year undergraduate students in a Physics, Astronomy or Engineering program. We also welcome more senior students, particularly those not graduating this summer or who are not already accepted for graduate studies. Both Canadian and international students are welcomed to apply.


Are there any course requirements for CAPSS 2022?

While there are no set course prerequisites to attend CAPSS 2022, we require at least two years of standard undergraduate course curricula from a Physics, Astronomy or Engineering program.


I am a 1st year undergraduate student. Can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

We strongly suggest you wait until at least your second year to apply to CAPSS, as you will likely not have the necessary background to fully benefit from the school. However, you can certainly apply for consideration!


I am a 4th year undergraduate student. Can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

We welcome applications from 4th year and more senior undergraduates, particularly if they will not have graduated by the time they attend CAPSS 2022, i.e. if they will still be in their undergraduate program for next fall.


I am a graduate student. Can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

As this school has been developed with undergraduate students in mind, we are not accepting applications from graduate students. However, do consider the Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS), which may be occurring later in 2022.


I am an international undergraduate student. Can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

We welcome applications from both Canadian and international students. Note that with the school held in person, you will need to secure your own travel to and from the school. Sorry for the inconvenience!


I am a Queen’s University undergraduate student. Can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

We welcome applications from students from all universities, including Queen’s University.


How can I apply to CAPSS 2022?

Find out how to apply here.


What are the admission criteria for CAPSS 2022?

Selection of successful applicants will be performed by a committee that will be judging complete application packages which must include the following: your academic transcript, a letter of interest (1 page maximum) outlining why you are interested in the program, and a reference letter. Your transcript and letter of interest must be sent in a single email to summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca, while your reference letter must be sent from its author.


Can I send you my referee’s letter in my application package directly?

No, reference letters must be sent to us at summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca directly from the referee.


What is the application deadline?

The deadline to apply has been extended to February 24th, 2022, for both applications and reference letters.


Can I submit an incomplete/late application package and still be considered?

No, we will only accept complete application packages sent to us by the application deadline at summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca.


Can I edit my application package once it has been submitted?

No, you will not be able to modify your application package once we have received it.


When will I hear back about my application?

Due to the extended deadline, and the number of applicants, applicants will not be notified about the status of their application until March 29th, 2022.


Can I receive any course credits for attending CAPSS 2022?

No, this summer school is a non-credit program. However, attending to CAPSS 2022 will greatly benefit your education and research experience moving forward!


How many students will you be accepting?

Given CAPSS 2022 is intended to be held in person, we must limit the number of students for the classes, accommodations, and food constraints. We will likely admit about 20 students.


Is there a registration fee? When is it due?

There is no registration fee, but successful applicants will need to pay a reimbursable deposit fee of $100. This is to reserve their spot at CAPSS 2022. Successful applicants will be given information on how to pay this fee when they receive their acceptance letter. The fee will be fully reimbursed upon completion of the school. The deposit is in no way intended as a barrier, but to ensure that admitted students participate and use the accommodations and food we reserve for participants. We do not want to leave a spot open that could have been granted to a student we turn away due to capacity issues. If upon admission into the program a student is unable to provide the deposit, for what every reason, we will discuss how to best accommodate them.


What accommodations/meals/transportation are included in CAPSS 2022?

Successful applicants will have accommodations provided for them at Queen’s University from the evening of Sunday, May 8th 2022 until the morning of Friday, May 13th 2022.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided from Monday to Friday, inclusive. A banquet dinner will also be provided during one evening in Kingston, ON. Students will be responsible for paying for their other meals.

Note, this year due to COVID we are unable to travel to SNOLAB. Thus, no transportation will be provided in CAPSS 2022.


Is travel to Kingston, ON included?

Students will have to arrange for their own travel to and from Kingston, ON before and after the school. For those flying, we recommend either:

  • flying to Pearson International Airport in Toronto, then taking the express train to the downtown train station, and taking a Via Rail train to Kingston. The express train is free with a Via Rail connection.
  • flying to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, then taking the shuttle to the train station, and taking a Via Rail train to Kingston. The shuttle is free with a Via Rail connection.

Are there any travel grants available?

At this time, we will not be providing travel funding or grants for any of our successful applicants, but we encourage them to explore sources of funding for travel from their home institutions.


What do I do if I have food allergies?

If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please contact us at summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca.


What do I do if I have accessibility needs?

Please contact us at summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca and we will endeavour to address your specific accessibility needs related to the program.

For any other questions, please email us at