Through the generous support of 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 about 300 undergraduates from around Europe and other countries. Participants in the IRES program will be part of this program. Each student undertakes a research project in one of CERN's research areas.

Six undergraduate students are selected each year to participate. The first week of the program is spent at GMU in a preparatory workshop, and the remaining eight weeks are spent in Switzerland and/or France at CERN. The program includes 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. Each participating students makes at least one presentation at CERN, produces a technical note on the project undertaken, and completes a short summary and evaluation of the experiences.

The program provides support for travel between home and Washington, D.C., 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.