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PITP is an international research institute, which receives funding from both inside and outside Canada. It is based in Vancouver, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), but also has nodes in the Universities of Sherbrooke and Calgary. PITP also has exchange agreements and extensive collaborations with institutes in Australia, Korea, and Japan. The PITP visitor centre in Vancouver hosts visitors for extended periods of time, allowing visiting senior researches, as well as postdocs and research students, to work together.

The main goal of PITP is to foster collaborative research in theoretical physics, supporting both the PITP visitor programme and a large number of meetings (including workshops and conferences), and summer schools. At present the PITP research programme has a strong emphasis on "complex systems". This includes condensed matter physics, as well as complex materials (including polymer physics and biophysics), quantum optics, and topics in theoretical quantum chemistry. The activities of PITP involve significant collaborations between members of the PITP Research networks and experimental groups, as well as links and collaborations with other research organisations in Canada and elsewhere. There is also a Public Outreach programme, which includes public lectures (notably the PITP-St.Johns series of public lectures).

PITP began operations in April 2003 at UBC. In its first 5 years its activities covered a very broad spectrum of activities across theoretical physics, and the activities during that time were organised into 4 different research networks, these being in Quantum Condensed Matter, Complex Systems, Astrophysics and Cosmology, and Particles and Strings. During these 5 years over 50 meetings, and 13 summer schools, were organised by PITP, sometimes in collaboration with other organisations, and over 150 researchers (including postdocs and research students) visited and worked at the PITP visitor centre, some of them for periods of over a year. Our nascent PITP postdoc programme also hosted 5 postdocs during this time. All of the meetings and schools run by PITP since it began, as well as the public lectures, can be found in the PITP archives, including videos and copies of talks or courses.

In 2008 it was decided to restrict the research activities of PITP to the areas of complex systems mentioned above, while at the same time continuing to collaborate with Canadian institutes like CITA and Perimeter, which specialize in other complementary areas of theoretical physics. This meant reconstituting a new set of PITP research networks. Our usual research activities (ie., meetings, schools, and the research collaborations at the PITP visitor centre) continue as before.

PITP is managed by locally by a management committee, directed by the VP Research at UBC. It is answerable to the PITP board, which oversees all PITP scientific operations, and also to the UBC board of Governors. The daily operations of PITP are carried out under the supervision of the PITP director, along with the PITP staff.

PITP can be contacted via the director, or the PITP administrator. Notices of upcoming events (including public lectures, courses, or meetings), can be found on this webpage. Application forms for funding for meetings or schools, or for postdoctoral positions, can be found on the funding applications section of the webpage. Those who wish to apply to join an existing network, or to set up a new one, should refer to the application forms on the research networks pages. Note that all applications are referred to an independent panel, whose members are not part of PITP.


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