Best PhD prize to Raphael Skalidis

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The Institute of Astrophysics is excited to share the news that the Best PhD thesis Prize - "Emilios Harlaftis" of the Hellenic Astronomical Society for 2023 was awarded to Dr. Raphael Skalidis. The prize, awarded every two years, honours the memory of astrophysicist Emilios Harlaftis, who passed away in 2005 at the age of just 39, and will be presented during the upcoming conference of the Society on June 25, 2023.

Raphael Skalidis comes from the town of Rethymno and from an early age he had a love for the Cretan lyra and physics. Thus the choice of the city of Heraklion for high quality studies in physics and many "extracurricular" professional opportunities for a young 18-year-old lyra player was obvious. After a couple of years as a student, Raphael became more excited by physics and astronomy and putting Cretan music as a side activity, he completed all his studies (BSc in 2016, MSc in 2018, and PhD in 2022) at the Department of Physics of the University of Crete.

His doctoral thesis, was entitled "Estimating of the magnetic field strength in the interstellar medium" it was performed with the support of the PASIPHAE research program ( at the Institute of Astrophysics under the supervision of Prof. Konstantinos Tassis. Having already received the best doctoral student award from the Association of Friends of FORTH in 2019, and thanks to the international recognition that his thesis research results received, Dr. Skalidis had many offers as the next step of his PhD, including a Kavli Fellowship from Stanford University (USA) and a  Cosmic Origins Fellowship from Chalmers University (Sweden). In the end Raphael chose Caltech, where he continues his career as a postdoctoral researcher since November 2022.