Hey all, I'm looking to apply for gradschool in the US at the end of this year and I'm currently struggling to figure something out I was hoping someone here might be able to assist me with. I intend to apply to the top 10-15 schools, but given the cost of applications, for universities further down the list I want to discriminate a bit more. Currently I see my research focus as theoretical physics with a lot of math and from talking to people/reading around I've heard some current hot topics on this front include amplitudes (especially twistor theory), Ads/CFT, string compactification, topological condensed matter, etc and then the really mathsy topics like topological QFT/string theory, ... What I'm trying to figure out is what are the good mid-tier (i.e. not top 10-15) schools with strong programs in these sorts of areas? I've found this very difficult to determine as no one at my current university works in these fields and it's hard to know who are the leaders in the field when you're not even in the field! I'm sure I can figure this out somewhat by scouring the web myself, but I thought there would be some people here who would know. If so I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!