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Energy@Stanford & SLAC 2020 FAQs

Q. Where is the conference held?
A. This conference is usually held on Stanford campus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course will be offered fully virtually this year. The course dates are Monday - Thursday, August 31 - September 3. We will meet on each of these days from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Pacific Time (15:00 - 19:00 GMT). the daily course schedule will be confirmed shortly.

Q. What can I expect to learn from this conference?
A. This unique opportunity will introduce you to the breadth and depth of energy expertise at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Through interactions with leading faculty conducting innovative energy research, networking, fun activities, and field trips to energy-related facilities, you can enhance your Stanford education.

Q. Are there any prerequisites to participate in this conference?
A. No prerequisites or a technical background are required to participate in this program. Graduate and professional school students from all backgrounds with an interest in energy are encouraged to apply. The conference speakers will cover energy research at Stanford and why certain energy issues may be important to understand. If students would like to learn more depth about technical aspects, they are welcome to interact with the speakers one-on-one after their talks or during any of the networking opportunities.
If you're interested in a broad introduction to the subjects of climate change and energy, the Precourt Institute for Energy and KQED public media have created a series of interactive Energy & Climate e-books. The e-books, Clue into Climate and Energy, and their companion iTunesU courses can be downloaded free of charge from iTunes.

Q: If I am unable to commit for the entire week of the conference, may I attend certain sessions only?
A. No. Networking among the faculty and graduate students interested in energy is an essential component of this conference experience and enrollment is limited. Therefore, we are only accepting applications from incoming and current Stanford graduate and professional school students who are able to participate in the entire week of activities that run Tuesday – Thursday, September 8-10.

Q: How much does the conference cost?
A. The conference is free.
Through the Stanford Graduate Summer School site, you are able to apply for this four-and-a-half-day conference for free. If accepted, you'll be asked to sign and upload the Student Participant Fee Agreement to officially register for the event. The agreement is to ensure that participants are committed to attending the entire conference (Sept 8-10, times to be confirmed) taking place across the Stanford campus. By uploading this Agreement, you are confirming that you will fully attend all course sessions. This Agreement authorizes the Office of Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) to charge your Stanford bill a $100 deposit fee - only if you do not fully participate. You will see no charge if you fully participate.

Q. Does the Energy@Stanford & SLAC program offer credit?

Energy@Stanford & SLAC does not offer grades or credit. The course will not show up on your transcript, though you may want to list this on your resume or curriculum vitae as a professional or educational experience.

Q: After I apply online, when will I know if I have been accepted into the program?
A: You will be notified via email if you have been accepted, and you will be asked to submit a $100 deposit to confirm that you will be attending the conference's week of activities. Deposit due date is TBA.

Q: I am an incoming international student and required to attend a workshop on Maintaining Your Legal Status. Will it be a problem if I miss a few hours of the conference to attend this workshop?
A: This workshop is scheduled multiple times during the weeks before and after this conference and you should go to one of those. Dates and times of the workshop will be announced in July at

We do not anticipate our participants will have a scheduling conflict with this workshop.

Q: I am required to attend an orientation session in my own department for a part of the conference week. What should I do?
A: We are aware that incoming students at the Graduate School of Business (GSB) are required to check-in during the week of this conference. We are working with GSB to set up a priority check in for our GSB students attending the conference during the week. We are not aware of any other mandatory conflicts from other schools during the conference week. Please contact the organizers at if you believe you have a schedule conflict.

Q. What do I do if my faculty advisor asks me to meet with my lab group during the conference week?
A. You are responsible for notifying your lab group well before the conference to let them know about your commitment. Most faculty are aware of Energy@Stanford & SLAC, as many have spoken as part of the program. We can work with you to request your advisor to avoid making mandatory requirements during the week. Please let us know if you run into this situation.

Q: What is SLAC?
A. SLAC's full name is the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, SLAC has been operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy since its founding in 1962.

Originally called the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the lab was founded to conduct pioneering particle physics research with a unique 2-mile long particle accelerator. Over the years, this Nobel-prize winning lab evolved to become a multi-program lab, repurposing the original linear accelerator – called “linac” for short – into the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).
LCLS was the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser, pushing science to new extremes with ultrabright, ultrashort pulses that capture atomic-scale snapshots in quadrillionths of a second that reveal never-before-seen structures and properties in matter, and can be compiled to make movies of molecules in motion. Construction has begun on a major upgrade to LCLS that will add a second x-ray laser beam that is 10,000 times brighter with pulses that arrive up to a million times per second – greatly sharpening our view of how nature works at the atomic level and on ultrafast timescales.
SLAC is also home to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a pioneering synchrotron radiation facility primarily used for materials science and biology experiments. Now in its fifth decade, SSRL is still evolving and is well-positioned to make significant contributions to scientific discovery for decades to come.

Q. What kind of energy research is done at Stanford?
A. You may learn about the transformation of energy research at Stanford over the past fifteen years. You may also explore by topic of your interest in the research or faculty databases on the Precourt Institute for Energy website.

Q. I'm new to Stanford. What is campus life like?
A. At Stanford, students chart their own paths of discovery, learning and growth, and each journey is as unique as the individual. Experience the stories of five Stanford students in an immersive 360° video here.

Have more questions? Contact Arpita Kalra,