Student summer at JINR

Education, 21 July 2017

Summer is a busy season at JINR when students come here for practices and internships. One of such programmes is a Summer Student Programme (SSP). Let’s talk about it in more detail.

The Summer Student Programme is quite a young programme, being held at JINR for the 4th time. Every year it is onwards and upwards involving more students from different countries. The number of JINR scientists acting as supervisors, is also growing. So, in the first SSP, in 2014, only 8 students took part, and this year the number of participants reached 45. These are students from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Egypt, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Mexico and Spain. Many of them previously visited JINR, for example, as participants of student practices which last 3 weeks. SSP is a long-term programme, designed for 6-8 weeks, and it gives students an opportunity to perform a scientific project at a higher and more advanced level. There is also a difference in the way of participant selection: the International Student Practice participants are selected by local organizers in their native countries, while Summer Student Programme participants pass a competitive selection at JINR. The programme does not have a definite timeframe – students may come to JINR starting from June to September, coordinating the time with the JINR scientific supervisors, and therefore must show more responsibility and independence at all stages of practice – from the application, to the final report on the performed work. For young people who are keen on science, the Summer Student Programme can be the first step towards a successful career at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

Social events, organized for participants of student practices, are an essential part of the educational process at JINR. It gives students an opportunity to get to know each other better, to get acquainted with the cultural peculiarities of other countries and nations, to feel more comfortable in the JINR’s country of residence, Russia, to establish friendly and scientific contacts, which eventually allow them to better exploit their scientific potential.

On 15 July, SSP-2017 students, together with participants of the UC International Student Practice, took a boat trip about the Ivankovo Reservoir and visited a tourist base on the island of Lipnya, where the Summer School of Young Scientists and Specialists of JINR was being held. The participants had a day of active rest, playing some sports games, enjoying bbq, walks around the island, songs and the atmosphere of friendly international communication.

And on 18 July, the participants of the SSP took part in the traditional event held in the JINR Visit Centre already for the second time this summer, called International Morning. The event was truly multicultural, with students from Belarus, Greece, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the USA, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.

Another important feature of the Summer Student Programme is that the main task of the SSP participant is serious practical work in JINR laboratories, whereas the main goal for the participants of the International Student Practice is to get acquainted with the Institute and opportunities it offers. Nevertheless, it is very useful for the practical work of young scientists to see with their own eyes the JINR facilities in operation. For that purpose two excursion days were included in the SSP programme. At the Laboratory of High Energy Physics, on July 19, Dmitry Dryablov acquainted SSP students with the legendary Synchrophasotron and the Nuclotron superconducting accelerator, and Alexander Tikhomirov together with Alexey Svidetelev ran an excursion to the hall for assembling and testing of superconducting magnets. And on 21 July, Alexey Voinov and Vasily Semin demonstrated to the SSP participants the accelerators U-400M and IC-100 at the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions. On the same day, an excursion to the Museum of History of Science and Technology of JINR was organized for the SSP studentsstudents where Director of the Museum Nadezhda Kavalerova spoke about the scientific activities of JINR and its history, and Vadim Skoy demonstrated the exhibits stored in the Museum and the “Experimentarium” hall which is especially popular with visitors.

The goal of JINR’s international student programmes is to attract young people to perform research at the Institute, which is being successfully implemented within the Summer Student Programme. Many participants of the SSP of the past years have established strong scientific contacts with JINR, and some have started their scientific career at the Institute.