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Location: Villigen, Switzerland

Number of placements: 1 (Will only accept students who have completed the first two years of their studies by the start of the placement)

Period of placements: 10 weeks between July and September

Accommodation arrangements: PSI has a guesthouse located next to the institute where all PSI summer students usually stay together. The guesthouse charges approximately CHF 25 per night (~£20)

Financial support from hosts:  ~ CHF 2100 (~£1550) per month (for students who have completed at least first two years of study prior to placement). There will be deductions for local tax and social security of approximately 10%.

Language:  English / German (but you will also find many other nationalities working at the Institute).

Profile of institution:
The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is a multi-disciplinary research centre for natural sciences and technology. In national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry, PSI is active in solid state physics, materials sciences, elementary particle physics, life sciences, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology. It is the largest national research institute, with about 1,200 members of staff and about 250 students PhDs and is the only one of its kind in Switzerland. PSI is part of the federally-supported set of institutions in Switzerland, which also includes EPFL (Lausanne) and ETHZ (Zurich).  The Paul Scherrer Institute operates a third generation X-ray synchrotron source (SLS), the only continuous spallation neutron source worldwide (SINQ), receiving users from all over the world and having its own research groups with excellent international reputations.

Project areas:
Example topics (may be combined):

1) Analysis of atomistic configurations obtained with large scale molecular dynamics computer simulations. These simulations are performed to study dislocation-grain boundary interactions and coupled grain boundary migration.

2) Preparation of and participation in a Time-of-Flight neutron diffraction experiment at POLDI and/or synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments at the Swiss Light Source, followed by participation in the analysis.

URL for further information: and

Contact: Professor Helena van Swygenhoven