Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) supports Summer Students


Group photo at IdeaSquare with the 2018 summer students supported by the STFC (Image: Noemi Caraban Gonzalez/CERN)


Earlier this week, the CERN & Society Foundation welcomed representatives of the STFC to a special event, taking place in one of the most innovative venues at CERN, IdeaSquare. Dr Jason Green, Division Head External Innovations & 21st Century Challenges, Mr Dave Brown, Assistant Programme Manager in the Particle Physics team, and Stephanie Hills, European Communications Officer for STFC, met with summer students from 33 countries around the globe. The students participate in CERN’s Non-Member State Summer Student Programme 2018, thanks to a great partnership between the STFC, CERN and the CERN & Society Foundation.

Everybody here treats me as an equal even if I am just a student. They sit down with me and answer my questions, while at the University there is always a distance between a professor and a student. At CERN they respect us for who we are. - Marina, Brazil

Dr Green presenting the STFC to summer students (Image: Noemi Caraban Gonzalez/CERN)

Back in Sri Lanka, there are not many funds for research, so there is not much research going on. So, everybody was asking me ‘What are you going to do next? Are you going to find a job?’ When I was accepted for the summer programme at CERN, they were wowed, even though they did not know much about CERN. They understood that there are opportunities for those in physics. - Fathima Noushin, Sri Lanka

For the second consecutive year, the STFC has generously supported the CERN & Society Foundation, giving the opportunity to 40 students from developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South and Central America to come to CERN for an intensive 8-week training. Funding for the students came via the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. This grant contributes to the scientific training of promising students, who receive valuable research experience, build collaborative networks and share knowledge across borders. 

During the event, the students learned more about the STFC and future opportunities in furthering their scientific education. The students also had the chance to share their experience at CERN and future plans and aspirations, receiving encouraging comments by the STFC representatives.

 My parents were very happy for me, especially since this position would be fully funded. I’m grateful for this funding as it would have been very difficult to come abroad without it! I’m so very lucky to be here! - Khawla, Tunisia

At CERN, in one single experiment, I can find more equipment and instrumentation than I could ever find back at home. I’m so happy to be here! - Carmen, Venezuela

Present at the event were also CERN’s International Relations Director, Charlotte Warakaulle and CERN’s Head of Associate and Non-Member State Relations, Prof. Emmanuel Tsesmelis, who emphasised the importance of the Summer Student Programme for enhancing science capital in the students’ home countries.


About Non-Member State Summer Student Programme

The Non-Member State Summer Student Programme is a CERN & Society project supported by external voluntary funding.  In summer 2018, 142 summer students from 66 countries around the globe will be trained at CERN, resulting in an overall participation of more than 1,300 students since the Programme officially started in 2003. Our ambition is to help strengthen the scientific capacity and knowledge capital of their countries, contributing to international scientific and cultural diplomacy.

About Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The STFC was formed in 2007 and is one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations. Its vision is 'to maximise the impact of our science and technology for the benefit of the UK and its people through their three strategic goals of world class research, innovation and skills, to generate knowledge, solutions and skilled people. The STFC is supporting the Non-Member State Summer Student Programme as part of its portfolio of activities from the UK Global Challenges Research Fund. You can learn more at

About CERN & Society Foundation

The CERN & Society Foundation is a non-profit charitable foundation, established in 2014 by CERN to enable private support for a variety of projects that go beyond fundamental particle physics in the fields of scientific education & outreach, innovation & knowledge exchange, culture & creativity. The CERN & Society projects aim to spread the CERN spirit of scientific curiosity for the inspiration and benefit of society. CERN’s particle physics research and other related activities continue to be funded separately through CERN Member States’ regular financial contributions. Please visit our website at