STFC Support for Short Courses and Summer Schools

Intro to Astronomy 2015

Introductory Summer School in Astronomy 2015
(Credit: Zemogle)

The STFC’s Education, Training and Careers Committee has in recent years supported the following well-established short courses and summer schools:

  • introductory course in astronomy for new research students
  • introductory course in solar and solar-terrestrial physics
  • advanced course in solar and solar-terrestrial physics
  • British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics (BUSSTEPP).

In addition STFC supports the following:

  • Nuclear Physics Summer School
  • High Energy Physics (HEP) Summer School.

STFC are inviting bids against its budget for short courses and summer schools to be held in 2018.

The level of funding available for these will be set in the context of the overall level of funding and priorities within the education and training programme, but is unlikely to be more than in recent years. The courses and schools listed above will be expected to bid should they wish to have support in 2018 and will be considered in competition with any new submissions. 

Model of comet

Model of comet
(Credit: Mike Evstog)

Courses or schools must be held in a core research activity supported by the STFC studentships programme (astronomy, solar system science, particle astrophysics, particle physics, nuclear physics) and must be aimed primarily at STFC-funded PhD students.  Courses of a specialist technical nature will not be supported.  In addition, bids are being invited this year for short courses or summer schools in the areas of software engineering and instrumentation.

All bids must be contained within three pages and provide the following information:

  • the dates and venue¹ of the proposed course or school
  • justification for the course, in terms of its relevance to the STFC studentships programme
  • the number of STFC PhD² students who would benefit from the course or school
  • a detailed breakdown of the budget requested using the attached template (Word, 17KB) and including justification of these costs.  A maximum of £500 per summer school for management fees has been introduced.  Directors’ fees will not be paid in addition to this.  Previously schools have employed postdocs and students to assist with running the school and found these a valuable source of support.  These costs can be claimed as part of the £500 management fee. The maximum for any social excursion and/or conference dinner should be £50 per student (£60 in London). 5% of the total cost or £1500 (whichever is the least) will be permitted for contingency
  • information on funding or in-kind contributions to be provided from other sources. We expect holders of summer schools to seek commercial sponsorship wherever possible whilst retaining the scientific ownership of the school (for example, for a company logo to be included on the event website, branded notepads for attendees or a specific, identifiable contribution such as a conference dinner, transport. 
  • details of the proposed lectures and courses (all courses should include sessions on public engagement* and introductory courses should include a session on careers advice covering both academic and non-academic careers).
2015 Intro to Solar

Introductory Solar System Plasmas Summer School 2015
(Credit: Ross Barker, Glasgow University)

STFC is committed to ensuring that its policies and practices reflect the diverse needs and experiences of its employees and other stakeholders.  Accordingly, organisers of an STFC-funded summer school are required to ensure that the arrangements for the school comply with the STFC equality scheme and in particular that they place no barriers in the way of participation by students from any of the protected groups (gender, disability and race) and involve no discrimination or bias against any of the protected groups in the selection of lecturers.  Furthermore, recognising the important part played by role models in retaining under-represented groups in the STFC funded community, organisers should seek to ensure that the diversity of lecturers reflects that of the wider community.

If successful, organisers are required to provide a report to the STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee upon completion of the course. The report should include student feedback and gender balance between students.

Bids must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to Studentships by 17:00 on 29 September 2017.

*advice on public engagement content can be obtained from Neville Hollingworth

¹Once the bid is approved the venue should not be changed without prior approval from STFC
²STFC-funded & self-funded students can claim their attendance travel expenses from STFC


Atomic Processes school 2015

Atomic Processes school 2015
(Credit: Dr Ernst de Mooij)

2017 short courses and summer schools for STFC PhD students

The following short courses and summer schools will be held in 2017 for STFC PhD students.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000