Background

The NExT Institute has run the NExT PhD School since October 2009, under the auspices of the SEPnet Graduate School. The aim is to offer students a strong grounding in both theoretical and experimental aspects of particle physics, using the expertise of lecturers at the various SEPnet institutes. 

 

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NExT PhD school at glance

Sites

  • University of Southampton
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
  • Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL)
  • University of Sussex
  • Queen Mary University of London

PhD school director

Local coordinators


Students attending the school

  • 2016/2017: 10.5(Southampton) + 0(RHUL) + 4(Sussex) + 0.5(QMUL)
  • 2015/2016:   7.5(Southampton) + 0(RHUL) + 4(Sussex) + 0.5(QMUL)
  • 2014/2015:   9.5(Southampton) + 0(RHUL) + 2(Sussex) + 0.5(QMUL)
  • 2013/2014: 10.5(Southampton) + 0(RHUL) + 2(Sussex) + 2.5(QMUL)
  • 2012/2013:   9.5(Southampton) + 2(RHUL) + 4(Sussex) + 1.5(QMUL)
  • 2011/2012:      6(Southampton) + 1(RHUL) + 4(Sussex)
  • 2010/2011:      4(Southampton) + 0(RHUL) + 4(Sussex)
  • 2009/2010:      9(Southampton) + 2(RHUL) + 4(Sussex)

Detail on NExT students, (co-)supervisors and topics can be found here.
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NExT PhD school courses

The programme of the NExT PhD school includes compulsory core and optional non-core courses.
Among the core courses are:

  • Quantum Field Theory (QFT) parts I,II,II
  • Group Theory
  • Standard Model
  • Beyond the Standard Model/Supersymmetry
  • Phenomenology

See details here.
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Assessment

Each core course has problem sheets, which are assessed by lecturers.
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PhD students' facebook page

This facebook page is mainly a place for first year students to ask questions about courses, problem sheets, etc. to their peers, without interacting with lecturing staff. The page is in fact only accessible by PhD students (ie, not faculty, PDRAs, etc.).

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Lecture delivery via Access Grid

An efficient delivery of the training is achieved via use of JANET's IOCOM Visimeet software to broadcast and receive videoconferenced lectures. Various recording facilities are also in place. Remote access is also enabled through various Desktop/Laptop licences. Please see here for details and help.

Lecture delivery via Access Grid was a new initiative, and there were, inevitably, initial problems to be solved and lessons to be learned:
  • numerous software problems have been fixed in the network to make the audio and video delivery acceptable;
  • lecturers have learned to use the electronic white-board to complement what is written on the normal white board, which is also being broadcast;
  • all students are provided with lecture notes;
  • an expert on video-conferencing teaching methods gave a short course and provided much valuable advice on how to optimise the delivery of the lectures.

The NExT PhD School acknowledges the work of the on-site IT teams, without whose efforts the delivery of lectures would not have succeeded.  

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Further plans 
We will start to video-record all lectures as of October 2014.



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