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The PhD and the PostDoctoral Programmes of CHIPP
Ever since its creation in 2003 teaching and education was one of the main goals of CHIPP. The statutes of the CHIPP Association have taken up this thrust, which was already part of the CHIPP Constitution, and stipulate:
A quantitative step forward has been made in 2008 with the ‘Swiss Centre of Advanced Studies in Particle Physics in the LHC Era’, which was funded by the Schweizerische Universitätskonferenz SUK and the ETH Council for the 2008-2012 period. These funds are supplemented by approx. 1.5 MCHF of Eigenleistungen (real money = additional funds or positions at a given institute, assigned to the Centre) from the three Cantonal universities involved. The Centre places emphasis on:
The Centre fostered the optimal exploitation and interpretation of the data, which are collected by the ATLAS, CMS and LHCb experiments, operating at the Large Hardron Collider (LHC) at CERN. In three worldwide competitions, 9 PostDocs had been selected to support the Swiss research groups active in the three LHC experiments. The Center was also part of a Swiss wide policy – reaching beyond particle physics – to promote the integration of, and cooperation between, the different types of Higher Education Institutions. The way it had been set up respects the unity of Teaching and Research and contributes considerably to consolidating the strong position of the participating institutes at the forefront of particle physics by adding value to the existing excellence.
The Centre comprised three Cantonal universities (Berne, Geneva, Zurich) and the two ETHs, but involved also the PSI and the Computing Centre CSCS Manno.
One important element for maintaining the high quality of the physics education in all Swiss Higher Education institutions active in Particle Physics over the next decade or so is to invest in Human resources and to make sure that the next generation of researches get the best possible education. The complete education process from Master to PostDoc should therefore be complemented by a coherent and well balanced set of programmes adapted to the individual needs and requirements of each education level.
In this philosophy, the institutes involved in CHIPP have agreed :
The CHIPP Doctoral Programme is a framework for Swiss high-energy physics doctoral students to participate in doctoral classes throughout Switzerland. Any student of a participating institution may enroll in a class at any other participating institution. The participating institutions, with a link to their current class programs are:
University of Geneva &
EPFL (3eme cycle)
The CHIPP doctoral programme also includes the courses, schools, and workshops organized by CHIPP.
Video lectures and web forums from the Virtual Institute of Astroparticle Physics can accessed at www.cosmovia.org.
The Swiss experimental and theoretical Particle Physics community has proposed to the SNF a ProDoc Educational Module for advanced studies in ‘Particle Physics in the LHC Era’ to create scholarships of highest international reputation, aiming to attracting the best young scientists worldwide to study in Switzerland. Existing graduate students in the collaborating institutions profit from this coordinated programme, which is complemented by ProDoc Research Modules at the individual institutes. The proposal has been accepted for the period 2009-2012 and 9 Doctoral students have been supported under the Research Modules. The fact that the ProDoc programme is discontinued by SNF places in the future an additional burden on the universities and ETHs, responsible for the PhD education.
This combined effort of all involved Swiss universities is essential to maintain a high quality of education for graduate students in a cost efficient way. Thus, the ProDoc organizes lectures and specialised courses for its members on all relevant aspects of LHC physics. The system conforms to the new PhD programmes of the participating universities in the Bologna system. The creation of such a ProDoc programme is in line with the aims of the CHIPP, which closely monitors the scientific quality and educational success of the programmes. They contribute to the implementation of the most important strategic direction of particle physics in Switzerland, as identified by the CHIPP roadmap in 2004.
The scientific responsibility for the programme lays with a member of the CHIPP executive board, who reports to the CHIPP Board and Plenary meetings regularly. The educational resources of the ProDoc primarily come from the doctoral schools of the participating institutions, as well as from existing CERN and PSI doctoral programmes; the research resources are provided by the SNF, the institutes concerned and CERN.
After the delayed start of the ProDoc educational programme in 2009, it is now well established as a Swiss wide educational programme in particle physics with special emphasis on the physics programme of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The five institutes involved at EPFL, ETHZ and the Universities of Berne, Geneva and Zurich have agreed to allow their students to attend any doctoral level course organized in the two regional sites (arc lémanique, Zurich region) and to get credit for their participation. For the academic year 2009/10, most of the PhD students made use of this Swiss-wide offer.
For the ProDoc Research Modules, which are individual for each of the participating institutes, a total of 9 ProDoc PhD students (list) have been selected and assigned to the three LHC experiments with Swiss participation (2 each in Berne, Geneva, EPFL, and ETHZ, 1 at University of Zurich). Many of them are supervised by PostDocs working under the PostDoctoral programme.
More information can be found in the ProDoc training module request.
In a worldwide competition, the CHIPP institutes have filled 9 positions with outstanding PostDocs, selected from 106 applications. Six positions are attributed exclusively to data interpretation from the detectors, whereas three positions provide also IT experiment support and system administration and ensure the close collaboration with the Swiss Computing Centre Manno CSCS.
Updated : C. Blanchard, Dec. 2013