20 places up for grabs in ESRF-ILL second joint international student programme


Undergraduate students are being offered the chance of four weeks invaluable experience living and working as scientists in the capital of the Alps in Grenoble, France. The joint ESRF-ILL international student summer programme is running for a second time after the success of the first ever scheme in 2014.

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The programme gives undergraduates from all over Europe, the opportunity to spend four weeks working in a research group at the European Photon and Neutron (EPN) campus, based either at the Institut Laue-Langevin or the European Synchrotron, the ESRF.

Throughout their time in Grenoble which would be from 6 September to 3 October 2015, the students will take part in experiments and attend introductory lectures on the principles and applications of both X-ray and neutron science.

The event is open to undergraduate students from any member or scientific associate country of the ESRF or the ILL. Competition is fierce as only around 20 places are available. The deadline for applications is 1 April 2015. All successful applicants will have their accommodation paid for and receive financial support.





Undergraduates on the programme kitted out ready for the lab.




Last year, 18 students took part in the scheme, including Marti Gilbert from Barcelona in Spain. Marti worked on ESRF’s ID13 beamline on a project called ‘Nano-focus X-ray scattering for the study of organic electronic materials’.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect before the programme which was recommended by my teacher. I found it interesting being in touch with so many scientists and they treat you as if you were one of them. I am enjoying both the work itself and the time we spend at the residence with other people who are also on the programme. I have made friends here”.

Diane Lançon, a PhD student at the ILL is one of the programme’s supervisors and thinks the scheme is mutually beneficial: “Since, like me, many of the supervisors are PhD students, I think the undergraduates really get a close up of what it's like to start a research project in a large scale instrument institute such as the ILL or the ESRF. Through his project, I really try to give my student an overview of the different aspects of my thesis work: beamtime, but also preliminary work and data analysis”.

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The students on a tour during the four week programme.




Co-organiser of the event, Patrick Bruno, who works at the ESRF, said: “After the success of the scheme last year we are pleased to be offering this opportunity to another set of undergraduate students. We like to give them a taste of what it is really like to work among scientists in a real scientific setting. We know last year’s undergraduates also appreciated the chance to make new friends in the process”.

More details can be found here.

Text by Kirstin Colvin

Top image: The students have a series of lectures on X-rays and neutrons as well as working on research projects in the lab.