Graduate schools are not only a great source of information for PhD students. They also offer a way to do a lot of networking with a relevant group of people you don’t normally come in contact with. All PhD students at Nikhef are part of the Research School for Subatomic Physics (RSSP) with the exception of the theoretical physics department, who have their own school: the Dutch Research School for Theoretical Physics (DRSTP). Both of these require their member students to attend a summer school twice during their research period, preferably in the first two years of their employment. Students that are a part of the RSSP can join the Belgian Dutch German (BND) school every year around the beginning of september. This summer school is hosted in one of the three participating countries in a cyclical fashion and alternates every year between electroweak standard model physics and strong interaction physics. The DRSTP has two schools every year: the Theoretical High Energy Physics (THEP) school around the beginning of february and the Statistical Physics and Theory of Condensed Matter (SPTCM) school in the middle of march.
Although most PhD students attend one of the above graduate schools for two years, it is possible to visit other or additional schools during your employment. Below is a small list of examples.
- The International School on AstroParticle Physics
- The European School of High-Energy Physics
- The CERN-Fermilab Hadron Collider Physics Summer School
- The Scottish Universities Summer School in Physics
There are many more such schools in all fields of physics. Websites exist that compile courses and events for physics students, such as Conference Management Software and Summer Schools in Europe. Upcoming graduate schools will also be advertising themselves in some relevant research groups, so be sure to subscribe to your group’s mailing lists and keep an eye out for interesting events.