Welcome to CENTAUR!

NOW AVAILABLE: Post-doctoral and graduate student positions.



Provide the research experience necessary to develop the next generation of leaders in stewardship science in the area of low-energy nuclear science in support of the workforce and research needs relevant to the NNSA mission.


Stay updated on CENTAUR’s latest research advancements by following our Twitter account here.

Sam Tabor With his Award

New!  Congratulations to Sam Tabor   (Florida State University) for   winning the 2019 Mentoring Award   for the Division of Nuclear Physics   of the American Physical Society

New! On September 21, 2019, WU in St. Louis hosted a nuclear science “teachin” for area high-school science teachers. Fourteen teachers attended the “teachin” and were exposed to lectures and a hands-on demonstration. These experiences helped explain nuclear chemistry and the applications of nuclear chemistry. 

Dr. Paul Cottle’s Award

New! In August, Dr. Paul Cottle received an award from FSU-PC. The award recognized his unwavering commitment to supporting STEM initivies at FSU-PC and the surrounding Bay District Schools. Dr. Cottle helps foster a love of physics in the next generation. 

New! A group of CENTAURians, including 25 graduate students, met at Los Alamos National Laboratory in late August 2019 to hold the annual collaboration and Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) meetings back-to-back. The meeting began with presentations by several students to the collaboration and interested parties from LANL, which were reciprocated by talks on LANL research that afternoon. Some of the research overlapped strongly with CENTAUR participant interests (i.e. astrophysics), while some presented projects not directly related to low-energy nuclear science.

The next day the 1.5 day SAC meeting began, with six representatives from different national labs and universities represented on the SAC, who have been familiar with CENTAUR for the past year. Presentations reported on CENTAUR progress, including the triton-beam work at FSU, collaborative neutron detector work, and experimental and theory program highlights. Students had the opportunity to present their research posters to the SAC and other LANL employees. A highlight of the meeting was getting to videoconference with Professor Paul Cottle, a local school board member, the local science teacher, and three of the students from the nuclear summer school program started with CENTAUR funds in Panama City, FL.

The last afternoon concluded with tours of interesting LANL experimental areas, which many students agreed was a clear highlight of the trip. Students were afforded ample opportunity to discuss their research and network with national lab employees during the course of the successful meeting.

Check out event photos here!

New! The most recent CENTAUR graduate, Cole Pruitt, won an award for his poster at this summer’s Gordon Research Conference on Nuclear Chemistry. He is depicted below presenting his award-winning poster.

A CENTAUR graduate student presents his award-winning poster.

Here's what Cole Pruitt has to say about his experience in graduate school at Washington University in St Louis, "I joined the CENTAUR collaboration as a senior graduate student about a year before completing my dissertation. CENTAUR funding allowed me to delay my graduation so that I could expand my Dispersive-Optical-Model analysis to a much broader range of important closed-shell nuclei, increasing the impact of my research. I defended in April 2019 and am in the application pipeline for computational physics postdocs/positions at LANL and LLNL.

Below is a figure from my dissertation relevant to CENTAUR-funded period. It shows the matter density of O18 as calculated from our best DOM parameter set for O18, giving a neutron skin of ~0.20 fm."

Neutron and proton densities over radius, from the dissertation of Cole Pruitt.


Information about the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship program for graduate students.

Read the newsletter from Michigan State University about project milestones including accelerating beams in superconducting cryomodules and a successful circulation of liquid-lithium film at the Facility of Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).

Read the article from the University of Notre Dame Department of Physics about how CENTAUR helped fund a graduate student’s summer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Read the press release from Texas A&M University College of Science announcing the establishment of CENTAUR.

Visit our Opportunities page for information regarding hiring positions, programs and fellowships. 


Conduct basic research in low-energy nuclear science of relevance to the stockpile stewardship goals of NNSA.
The proposed research encompasses experimental and theoretical aspects of low-energy nuclear science, with an emphasis on stewardship relevant topics. Graduate students will be recruited and trained via the proposed NNSA relevant topics.
Create a partnership that allows for use of accelerators at Texas A&M and Florida State universities among other university partners and national laboratory collaborators.
The Center will provide opportunity for: collaborative use of accelerators and other research equipment among Center university partners and National Laboratories, intellectual exchange between academic research partners and research scientists at the DOE/NNSA laboratories, and provide broad and appropriate training in low – energy nuclear science.

Develop a workforce trained in the nuclear science relevant to support the DOE/NNSA laboratories.
Center efforts will focus on the recruitment, education, and training of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars (post-docs) in research areas and techniques applicable to the workforce needs of the NNSA. The trained students and post-doctoral fellows will not simply be experts on one technology, but be able to evaluate competing strategies for approaching experimental and theoretical nuclear science problems. Many will have collaborated with staff and/or interned at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Center for Excellence in Nuclear Training And University-based Research (CENTAUR) is a multi-institutional effort supported by a five-year, $10 million Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) grant from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA). CENTAUR will pursue basic research in low-energy nuclear science through experimental, theoretical, and technical programs using accelerators at Texas A&M’s Cyclotron Institute and Florida State University’s John D. Fox Superconducting Linear Accelerator Laboratory as well as facilities at the other participating institutions. Existing collaborations between scientists at Texas A&M and the NNSA national laboratories—including Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory—will be incorporated into center programs and expanded to involve scientists from all partner institutions, which include Texas A&M University, Florida State University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Washington, Louisiana State University and the University of Notre Dame.

To learn more about CENTAUR, from research programs and technical resources to available graduate student and postdoctoral funding, contact us.

Partner Academic Institutions

Texas A&M Logo
Florida State University Logo
Washington University in St. Louis Logo
Louisiana State University Logo
University of Notre Dame Logo
University of Washington Logo

Partner National Laboratories

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Logo
Los Alamos National Laboratory Logo

Award Number DE-NA0003841