Piarulli receives early-career research award

Maria Piarulli, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program funding.


Piarulli was selected for her research program, “From Atomic Nuclei to Infinite Nucleonic Matter within Chiral Dynamics,” which falls under the Office of Science’s Nuclear Physics program office. The award is meant to support individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers.

“My research aims to develop a clear and coherent picture in which microscopic models
accurately describe atomic nuclei while simultaneously predicting properties of infinite matter,” Piarulli said. “It will make use of state-of-the-art computational techniques and high-performance computing to broaden the applicability of the Quantum Monte Carlo methods.”

Piarulli works closely with collaborator Saori Pastore, assistant professor of physics, and members of the university’s Quantum Monte Carlo Group. She is also part of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences’ Particle and Nuclear Physics, Cosmology and Gravitation research group.

“Maintaining our nation’s braintrust of world-class scientists and researchers is one of DOE’s top priorities — and that means we need to give them the resources they need to succeed early on in their careers,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement. “These awardees show exceptional potential to help us tackle America’s toughest challenges and secure our economic competitiveness for decades to come.” Researchers are expected to receive at least $150,000 annually for five years to cover summer salary and research expenses.