NZCMS - CERN Summer Studentship Programme

Each year CERN offers summer studentships for undergraduate students who have completed 3 years of their degree studies to spend several weeks at CERN attending lectures and working alongside research groups. These studentships last from 8-13 weeks, and are carried out during the NZ winter (Northern Hemisphere summer)

Interested students should consult the website:

paying particular attention to sections such as "when to come". You are also encouraged to have a look around the CERN website

While the CERN summer studentship programme is principally for students from CERN member state institutes, and New Zealand is not a "member state" of CERN, NZCMS has been invited to nominate students to attend the programme. Several students from Canterbury and Auckland Universities have attended the CERN summer studentship programme in the last few years, including Giles Reid who spend three months at CERN in 2006.

Please note that the application procedure for NZ students is different to that published on the CERN website. Applications for NZ students wishing to participate in the CERN Summer Studentship Programme are assessed in the first instance by NZCMS, the collaboration of New Zealand scientists working on the CMS experiment, and selected applicants are invited to send full applications to the CERN summer studentship programme. Applications sent independently of NZCMS are unlikely to be considered by CERN.

The CERN website states that students must have completed 3 years full-time study. In the case of direct-entry students who have done two years study, it will be taking into consideration, but won't necessarily be a fatal factor in the decision - particularly as by the time of the placement, even direct entry students will have done at least 2.5 years study.

Note that the attachment dates are around June-August - which is during NZ University lecturing times. This will considerably impact on anyone doing a taught course, and before applying you should consult with your Head of Department about arrangements for obtaining course credit for attending the lecture courses at CERN (this applies particularly for taught-course medical physics students who probably not be able to obtain sufficient credit to attend this programme and complete their year's course work).

Part of our decision of nominees will include:

  • possibly some inclination (though not definite) to select candidates who do not have lecture courses, so are on research programmes at the time
  • potential of candidates to continue their work towards PhD study in the field of particle physics or CERN-related medical physics (preferably with enrolment at Canterbury or Auckland universities). This is so that the candidate will gain significant benefit from attending the summer studentship programme, and also because participating in a CERN summer studentship provides a strong background to a candidate for further research and may help in PhD funding applications
  • background courses attended/other knowledge - to maximise benefit from attending the lectures, and also because there is a significant component of the summer studentship where the student is attached to an experimental group in the areas of hardware, software, electronics, Monte Carlo simulation, ... - strong consideration will be given to candidates whose background expertise can be useful in their attachment

HOWEVER please note that generally NOONE fulfils every single objective, so don't be disheartened - please do think about if you would like to attend the programme, look through the website, and send me an application if you're still interested.

Applications are invited for summer studentship placements for 2007.

Applications to Jenny Williams by 5pm on Wednesday 10th January, providing details including:

  • CV
  • summary of academic record
  • plans for the coming academic year - taught courses/research course and subject
  • reasons for wanting to attend the CERN summer studentship programme - what you hope to get out of it
  • intentions for beyond the academic year
  • info on background which might help the application on the work-placement part of their summer studentship
  • general comment of what you hope to get out of a summer studentship at CERN
These can be fairly informally presented - it's not an essay competition - but you should aim to cover all of the above

At this stage is it unclear if we will be able to have one or two students on the CERN summer studentship programme. This depends on funding available from NZCMS to cover airfares and potentially to cover also accommodation/living expenses for additional students.

A decision will be made by Jenny Williams (Canterbury) and David Krofcheck (Auckland), in consultation with NZCMS colleagues, shortly afterwards on 1-2 applications to forward to CERN, at which time selected candidates will be asked to provide full CVs, two references and a covering letter which will be forwarded to CERN for their consideration.

Please feel free to contact me or David Krofcheck for further information.

Message from Emmanuel Tsesmelis, CERN Non-Member State Advisor

Dear All,

This mail is to inform you of the arrangements for the CERN Summer
Student programme, which takes place every year between June and
September, with lectures and other activities in the months of July
and August, and is open to students who have not yet completed a
Master's degree. There are a limited number of vacancies with full
CERN support for students from countries that are not member states of
CERN, such as yours.


Interested students should apply electronically to the following URL:
udents/summ/summ_apply.asp where additional information can be found.

In addition to this official CERN programme, we also accept some
students with external funding. Additionally, we may be able to find
limited CERN support for a few supplementary students, even if they
apply after the above deadline. However, the degree of support and the
administrative arrangements may not be the same as for the official

We ask you to advertise this opportunity to your most promising
students, and encourage them to apply to the above web site before 31
January 2007. Any post-deadline students should send electronic
applications directly to me, with a copy to including a CV and summary of their
studies, and arrange also for us to receive a letter of recommendation
from a senior physicist such as yourself.

The Summer Student programme is a uniquely stimulating experience, and
many CERN Summer Students later go on to careers in physics research,
so we look forward to receiving the applications that you encourage.

The final allocation of the CERN budget for Non-Member State Summer
Students has not been completed yet. There will, however, be some
places available as that occupied by Giles Reid in the past. They will
be allocated on a competitive, merit-oriented basis when all
applications are in. The best would be to send applications of
prospective student(s) with an excellent academic record and prospects
for an outstanding future scientific career.

Best regards,

Emmanuel Tsesmelis

Contact information for Jenny Williams:
Rm 704,
Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Canterbury,
Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8020,
New Zealand
Tel: +64 (0) 3 364 2987 ext 7559
Fax: +64 (0) 3 364 2469


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