News & Events

Introducing the 2022 Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQPAC)

To strengthen a sense of community among early career researchers, the Highly Qualified Personnel community (HQP) has nominated new members for the 2022 Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQPAC). 

In 2021, the McDonald Institute analyzed the governing committees within the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence to understand models that supported effective community engagement. Based on this research, eight HQP formed the inaugural HQP advisory committee. Over the last year, the committee worked alongside the McDonald Institute to provide programming and training opportunities to the HQP community, such as MInteract and EIEIOO. 

This year’s committee will consist of six HQP from across Canada, at various academic levels who have been recommended by members of the astroparticle physics community. The committee will provide input into the investments and program development for the HQP community through experience and peer recommendations. Simultaneously, the HQPAC looks to connect network members to the wide range of opportunities available to them.

 The 2022 HQPAC committee members are:

  • Melissa Baiocchi – Undergraduate / Co-op Student, McMaster 
  • Rhea Gaur – Doctoral Student, TRIUMF
  • Christopher Chambers – Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University 
  • Sean Daugherty – Postdoctoral Researcher, SNOLAB/Carleton 
  • Ryan Kaufmann – Masters Student, UBC 
  • Hector Hawley Herrera – Doctoral Student, Queen’s 

The vision for the committee is to establish the recognition of the advisory structure in hopes that an HQP lead election can take place in the upcoming year. The HQP elected to the committee will gain leadership and community development experience within the astroparticle physics network. 

 If have any questions or you’re interested in joining the HQPAC, please contact Zac Kenny at


Join the McDonald Institute HQP Community on Discord

The McDonald Institute HQP Advisory Committee has created a community Discord!

This group is open to anyone involved in the Canadian astroparticle physics community and aims to provide a space to ask questions and have discussions about the various aspects of studying, working, and researching in the field. In the spirit of the Discord platform, there are also channels to share pictures of your pets and other social

Access the discord here: