The University of Winnipeg



Dr. Evan McDonough becomes first theoretical physicist awarded New Investigator grant

Evan McDonough standing in front of library shelf

Dr. Evan McDonough

The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Evan McDonough, a theoretical physicist and assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has been awarded a New Investigator Operating Grant valued at $50,000 from Research Manitoba. This is the first time this grant has been awarded to a theoretical physicist.

Dr. McDonough applies cutting-edge theoretical physics, such as quantum fields and extra dimensions, to problems in cosmology and astrophysics, following in the tradition of such greats at Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein.

With a background in string theory, Dr. McDonough’s current research is focused on dark matter. Part of a global effort to discover dark matter particles, his approach is to study the primordial processes operating in the first moments of the universe that produced the dark matter we observe today. This works toward solving the cosmological inference problem of connecting experiments in the present day to the origins and evolution of our universe. The new Research Manitoba grant will be used to fund a graduate student on this topic, working under Dr. McDonough’s supervision.

“This grant will launch the McDonough Astro-Particle Physics Group at the University of Winnipeg, which will investigate the primordial origins of the mysterious dark matter component in our universe,” McDonough said. “This comes at a decisive moment in my career as a theoretical physicist, enabling me to capitalize on the talent and skill available here in the province of Manitoba and build on the excellence of institutions such as the Winnipeg Institute for Theoretical Physics.”


Dr. McDonough is an assistant professor at the University of Winnipeg and the Director of the Winnipeg Institute for Theoretical Physics. Since arriving at UWinnipeg  in 2021, he has been awarded over $340,000 in research funding, including a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Subatomic Physics Discovery grant, a McDonald Astro-Particle Physics Institute Shared Resources Award, a CITA National Fellow, and the recently awarded Research Manitoba grant.

Prior to UWinnipeg, Dr. McDonough served as a Kavli Fellow of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and an Enrico Fermi Fellow of the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. He has also previously served as a Banting Fellow at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics and a research associate at Brown University. Dr. McDonough completed his PhD at McGill University in 2017.

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