Supported by an International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) grant from the National Science Foundation, George Mason University (GMU) will conduct a nine-week, combined Summer research internship-training program for undergraduates in cooperation with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN houses some of the world's largest and most technically complex scientific instruments in the form of particle accelerators and detectors, and is one of the world's most vibrant and international research centers. All aspects of particle physics are pursued there: theory, research and development, information technology, experiments, and data analysis. CERN annually hosts a Summer Student Research Programme for nearly 300 undergraduates from around Europe and other countries. Participants in the IRES program will be part of this program, sitting in on specially-designed lectures and joining in planned (and unplanned) activities. Each student will undertake a research project in one of CERN's research areas.
Four undergraduate students attending a member institution of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or the Northern Virginia Community College will be selected each year to participate. The first week of the program will be spent at GMU in a preparatory workshop, and the remaining eight weeks will be spent in Switzerland and/or France at CERN. The program will include skill development, academic and career advising, international networking opportunities, and research experience under the co-supervision of an on-site CERN expert and Professor Philip Rubin, a particle physicist at GMU. Geneva and other parts of Europe, the Alps and the Jura mountains, and the Rhone valley, are all available for exploring. Participating students will each make at least one presentation at CERN, produce a technical note on the project undertaken, and write a short summary and evaluation of their experiences.
The program provides a round trip between Washington, Dulles Airport and Geneva International Airport, a (shared, double) room in one of CERN's on-site hostels, and a stipend.