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Training in theoretical Physics

Final Activity Report Summary - EUROTHEPHY (Training in theoretical physics)

The EUROTHEPHY project has provided 297 months of specialised research training to students who had recently completed formal university courses at the masters or diploma level. Typically, students were early-stage researchers at their home institutions with one year of research in the areas in which CERN TH has expertise, including cosmology, high-energy astrophysics, string theory, quantum gravity and field theory, as well as particle physics.

During the project, a total of 28 students from 15 nationalities were sent from their home institutions to the CERN Theory Unit for typical periods of one year. During their stay at CERN, students participated typically in a large number of (4-6) academic training courses and seminars, partly targeted to their specialised thesis area, partly aimed at broadening their scientific perspective, their language skills, or at alerting them of how their expertise can be of used in other sectors (e.g. via courses on statistical methods in finance). In addition, all students were enrolled in a specialised research training project, coordinated with their home supervisor and supervised by one of the experienced staff members in the CERN Theory group. Since CERN research staff has traditionally very few students, this lead typically to a very intense and efficient research supervision, in which students acquired practical experience in an international research environment. In fact, the vast majority of these projects resulted in multiple publications in refereed research journals, as well as oral presentations of research in seminars at CERN and at conferences and workshops abroad.

All students completed their thesis within the planned period or before, and most of them received offers for postdoctoral positions from leading institutes in their field of expertise. In their final report, students typically acknowledged the specialised research training in the CERN TH Unit as a highly beneficial experience for their career. The demand for fellowships in the EURETHEPY project exceeded the available positions by a factor appoximately 6.