Thaxton's thesis is pictured in the foreground with books blurred in the background behind it

Hubert Mack Thaxton MA’36, PhD’38 was the fourth African American to receive a PhD in physics in the United States.

Hubert Mack Thaxton Fellowship

To provide more equitable access to physics research experiences for undergraduates, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Physics Department announces the Hubert Mack Thaxton Fellowship for the 2023-2024 academic year. Participating students will collaborate with a faculty mentor in the UW–Madison Physics Department on a research project aligned with the students’ interests. The program is designed to help participating students prepare for graduate education and/or other careers in physics and related fields.

Meet the 2024 Thaxton Fellows!

About the Fellowship

Duration: One year, including academic and/or summer terms. Eligible for renewal.

Compensation: Paid up to $3,750 within 12 months from start of fellowship, for up to 250 hours of work. Payment will be made in two increments. Schedule to be arranged with the faculty mentor. Participating students will also receive travel support to attend the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) conference, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference, an American Physical Society (APS) meeting, or a similar professional meeting.

Eligible Students: Undergraduate students seeking physics research experience at UW–Madison are encouraged to apply; students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. No prior research experience is needed. It is recommended that participating students intend to major in one of the physical, mathematical, computer, data, or information sciences, or engineering and/or have taken or are currently enrolled in a calculus course. Participating students do not need to have a declared physics major and do not need to have a specific faculty mentor identified in advance to apply.

Apply: Please apply through WISH. Members of the Physics Department Climate and Diversity Committee will review these expressions of interest and reach out to interested students to help connect them with potential research mentors.

Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed after 15 November. A second application review may begin after 15 February, depending on funding availability. 

About Hubert Mack Thaxton

Hubert Mack Thaxton MA’36, PhD’38 studied nuclear physics for his graduate work at UW–Madison, making significant contributions to the understanding of proton-proton scattering. He went on to a distinguished career in physics research, engineering, and education. Thaxton was the fourth African American to receive a PhD in physics in the United States. Brief biography by Ronald E. Mickens.


Inquiries about this opportunity should be directed to Keith Bechtol ( and Tulika Bose (, Chair of Climate and Diversity Committee).