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Montclair State Faculty Member Marc Favata Earns Prestigious Simons Fellowship

Award will give physics professor chance to collaborate with scholars around the world

Posted in: Science and Technology

Marc Favata

Associate Professor of Physics Marc Favata has been awarded a 2018 Simons Fellowship in theoretical physics by the Simons Foundation, providing the Montclair State University faculty member the chance to continue his cutting-edge research abroad and work alongside fellow scholars in other parts of the world. Of the 12 scholars awarded Simons Fellowships for theoretical physics in 2018, Favata is the only honoree from a New Jersey higher education institution.

The Simons Fellows programs in both mathematics and theoretical physics provide funds to faculty for up to a yearlong research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances.

The $108,000 grant will allow Favata to further his research in gravitational-wave astronomy, with the goal to discover new areas that could be examined with the next generation of gravitational-wave experiments. The funding will allow him to visit colleagues in South Korea at the Ewha Womans University and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, as well as at the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany and at the California Institute of Technology.

“I’m very grateful to the Simons Foundation for this award,” says Favata. “This is an incredibly exciting time to be working in gravitational-wave science, and I’m looking forward to learning more about my field by collaborating with colleagues in other states and countries.”

Favata has been part of some of the field’s biggest research breakthroughs over the past two years as a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration, including the first-ever detection of gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes in 2015.

“We thank the Simons Foundation for its commitment to advance the frontiers of science,” says Montclair State University College of Science and Mathematics Acting Dean Lora Billings. “We are proud of Dr. Favata’s research program, as he continues to unravel the information provided by gravitational waves. This project is a great example of the cutting edge, collaborative research that provides unique opportunities for our talented students.”

To learn more about the Simons Fellows program, visit