UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy »

High Energy Physics

19 Jul 2024

Summer Student Opportunities

Brian Duff Summer Internship 2024

The HEP group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are offering two studentships to undergraduates interested in pursuing research projects over the summer. The key aims of the studentships are to give motivated undergraduates the opportunity to work on a research project, gain experience developing and writing a research proposal and presenting their research to their peers.

The exact timetable and location of the research project (on campus at UCL, or remote) will be agreed between you and your supervisor following a successful application.

The deadline for receiving applications is 17:00 on Monday 29th April 2024. General enquiries should be directed to the Group Administrator


  • Applicants should be undergraduates in the department of Physics and Astronomy or UCL Natural Sciences undergraduates with a physics major stream. The internships are for students in Year 2 (BSc or MSci) and Year 3 (MSci registered).
  • The main supervisor of the project will be a current academic in the department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Students will be provided a bursary of £2000 during the studentship and are expected to work on the summer project for a total duration of 8–10 weeks.

Application Instructions

  • Consult the list of projects below.
  • Prepare a cover letter, indicating your project preference and describing how your skills and physics interests are matched to the project. This should be 1 side of A4.
  • Prepare an up-to-date CV including details of your academic performance so far. This should be a maximum of 2 sides of A4.
  • Please emaild both documents as PDF files to the HEP group administrator by the deadline specified above.
  • Successful applicants will be notified in May.

Projects for Summer 2024

  • [P1] Probing New Physics Models at the LHC [Prof. Jon Butterworth] The LHC is producing a library of energy-frontier measurements which test how well the Standard Model (SM) works above the electroweak-symmetry-breaking energy scale, and also have implications for physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM). This project will use the Contur toolkit to compare data to SM and BSM predictions to push the limits of our knowledge at the energy frontier. See this web page for more information about Contur. The details and specific as to what models we would study will be discussed nearer the time. Contur is a python package running via the Linux/Unix shell.
  • [P2] Novel ML techniques for the hardare trigger of the ATLAS experiment at the High-Luminosity LHC era [Prof. Nikos Konstantinidis] By the end of this decade, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will enter its most challenging phase, the High-Luminosity (HL) era, with up to 5 times increase in the rate of proton-proton (pp) collisions, reaching a staggering 8 billion collisions per second! One of the biggest challenges for ATLAS will be triggering, the real-time selection of the most interesting pp collisions, e.g. those where a Higgs boson is produced. This project will explore novel ideas and ML algorithms for the ATLAS Global Hardware Trigger system to select such events within a timeframe of a few microseconds. The project will require good knowledge of Python and to have attended and done well in the course "Practical Machine Learning for Physicists" or a similar course in Machine Learning.
  • [P3] Calibrating a Neutrino Mass Experiment [Prof. David Waters] The Quantum Technologies for Neutrino Mass (QTNM) project pulls together cutting-edge technologies to measure the mass of the neutrino, one of the most important challenges in particle physics. This summer internship project will examine one idea for how to calibrate such an experiment, by providing a mono-energetic source of electrons similar to those emitted in tritium beta-decay. The overall aim is to understand whether this technique is feasible or not, based on a simulation study. The project will involve learning more about direct measurements of the neutrino mass, the detector that QTNM proposes to build to do this, and some of the possible calibration techniques. The simulation study will use a particle physics simulation toolkit (which uses C++) and Python to analyse the results. You should have a good knowledge of Python and either some knowledge, or an ambition to learn, about C++ and Linux/Unix systems.

Summer Student Programmes at National Labs

The two major European Laboratories for Particle Physics, CERN and DESY, and the leading US particle physics laboratory, FNAL, offer very attractive Summer Student programmes for 3rd or 4th year undergraduate students of Physics or related subjects (such as Computing, Elec. Engineering etc). These are unique opportunities to get a first hand experience of how research is conducted at an international scale.

  • The deadline for applications to the CERN summer school is generally at the end of January and further details are available from the CERN website.
  • The deadline for applications to the DESY is at the end of January and further details are available from the DESY summer students page.
  • The deadline for the application to the FNAL programmes is February. Further details on Fermilab internships are here .
  • The particle physics group at RAL also runs a summer student programme, details can be found here : the deadline for applications is usually in February.

Faculty Scholarship Schemes

The MAPS faculty offers opportunities and funding for students to work with a research group over the summer. Further information can be found on Moodle: MAPS Summer Research Internships. The student application deadline likely to be in March.