PhD Research Training
Training courses in Particle Physics and Cosmology are offered to all students who have not previously studied similar modules. These provide a solid grounding in quantum field theory and group theory techniques. They also cover the Standard Model and beyond, including Supersymmetry, Strings and Branes. In the Summer Term, short informal specialised lecture courses introduce active research areas, helping students to decide on a thesis topic. There are regular weekly seminars, both from invited external speakers, and, more informally, by members of our own group. All PhD students are encouraged to give at least one informal seminar each year. All students complete extended problems in their first year, writing them up as formal reports. At the end of the first year, students attend the British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics. We hope also that all students will win a place on an international summer school during their time with us.
Our work is both theoretical and phenomenological. We believe strongly in maintaining close contact with experimental work. In fact, once enrolled with SHEP, students will undergo training within the NExT PhD School, offered through the NExT Institute.
Each student has two academic Supervisors (a lead one and a secondary one) and Advisor (in a pastoral role). These are assigned from day one for project studentships, otherwise the student is free to choose a lead Supervisor at the end of year one (and the secondary one is assigned by the group consequently). However, we encourage students to move freely from one `effective' Supervisor to another as their research interests evolve. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and interactive group, both professionally and socially. Our policy is to ensure that students finish their research work within four years at the most, though in many instances a PhD degree can already be gained after three years.