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Where to do Cosmology or nanotechnology research over Summer in England

  1. Feb 13, 2012 #1
    I'm a Physics Senior in the United States. I would like to participate in an Undergraduate Research Program in the UK this summer. I've applied to several here in the US, but I'd enjoy a pretense to both further my studies of novel space-time geometries using non-FRW models and visit some some friends in the UK while I'm at it.

    I'm having difficulty locating any programs that are similar to US REU programs in the UK. I'd like to either do research in cosmology (as above) or in the electric field effects of coherent photons on nanostructures.

    Can someone point me to a program that will allow this research? Which UK University is a good fit for these topics? Are there any particular experts I should be seeking out?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2012 #2


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    Such things don't really exist. If you find someone who is willing to supervise you, s/he may well be able to apply for some funding to support you over the summer (though, I think you're probably too late to do that this year). And such things will also depend on your immigration status (if you are not an EU national, you will likely not be able to get a visa enabling you to be paid while here for the summer).

    That said, since I work in cosmology, if you PM me some more details of your proposed project and your status, I might be able to have an ask around.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  4. Feb 18, 2012 #3
    Why not just pursue your own research? Several books on cosmology and GR have "tough" questions that can form the basis of little research projects...

    Maybe look for seminars and conferences that are happening in the UK. Simply tell the seminar organiser, by email, who are you and ask if you can attend. No doubt people will ask you about your research and you can get useful feedback, maybe even offers to join them! Example:


    If you are tempted at all by the prospect of doing a research degree in the UK you could look out for open days:


    There, again, you can discuss your research interests and maybe get offers to come and study with someone...

    Another possibility to get to talk to British cosmologists is "Outreach activities":


    Many of these activities are aimed at schoolkids, but some are aimed at "everyone". Could be a fun day out, especially in Brighton! (Nice seaside resort as well as centre for cosmology... ) You can "talk shop" over lunch...

    Jodrell bank is a great place to visit:

    http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/visitorcentre/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Feb 18, 2012 #4
    My advice would be to contact departments/potential supervisors by email and ask what opportunities are available. A lot of universities have some scheme to fund a few students through the summer to perform 6 - 10 weeks or research. I know the University of Manchester had 10 funded places last summer. Imperial College also has a particularly big scheme called UROP (undergrad research opportunities placement) and more details can be found here (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/urop). I'm sure many other universities will also have schemes.

    For nanotechnology I would look into the London Centre for Nanotechnology which is joint between Imperial and UCL. Also for nano, check out Manchester (the birth place of graphene!) and Bristol, both of which do a lot of research in the area. I know nothing about cosmology, but I hear that Durham University is good for computational cosmology.

    Bare in mind the funded placements are usually aimed at UK/EU students so it might be difficult to find funding. Still it never hurts to ask around there is certainly nothing to lose from trying.
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