The ILL Graduate School (IGS)

The ILL Graduate School (IGS) comprises between 50 and 60 PhD students of various mostly-EU nationalities who pursue their PhD research principally at the ILL but are enrolled in universities within the ILL Associate and Member countries (since the ILL has no authority to award degrees/diplomas).  The IGS currently benefits from a highly regarded international reputation and is also strongly supported by the ILL Scientific Council.

The core mission of the ILL PhD programme is to enhance the academic life of the ILL while at the same time training future experts in neutron science.  The PhD programme is in particular intended to help establish and strengthen close ties between ILL scientists and the academic user community that are complementary to those provided by the beamtime proposal system for user experiments. 

To serve this mission, the ILL finances every year about a dozen new full-time PhD projects, each providing normally 3 years of funding for a PhD student, such that the equivalent of approximately 40 running PhD projects are fully financed by the ILL at a given time.  A few of these projects are allocated via contracts with ILL member countries, but the majority are offered to the ILL user community at large. Co-financing permits a total of about 15 new PhD students to begin work every year (sometimes spending a first year at the home university). In addition, the ILL welcomes PhD students under Long-Term Visitor (LTV) status who are financed externally.

The ILL has responsibilities for the welfare of its PhD students and thus for providing training, not only in areas specific to the student's research activity, but also more broadly in science and technology, in communication skills, and in the official languages of the ILL.  The PhD students are therefore offered a varied pedagogical programme at the ILL that includes attending specialized schools/conferences (e.g. in neutron scattering), taking courses and tutorials (e.g. in computer programming), as well as presenting scientific seminars on their own.  Naturally, the major part of a PhD-student's training involves hands-on experience during research work, and this is provided principally by the local ILL supervisor. 

The ILL’s Administration Division also provides support through the Human Resources Service, which will set up the employment contract and ensure that students get paid and have access to the other benefits ILL staff enjoy.

Students are also represented in policy discussions through the Science and Colleges Committee (SCC), which provides an interface between scientists and students on the one hand, and Management and the Scientific Coordination Office on the other.

The IGS coordinates all the activities in relation with PhD students at the ILL.

Here you will find the management diagram (pdf - 772 Ki) of the IGS.

More information is available on the IGS intranet pages, for those having access.


A brochure has been edited that offers brief summaries of the various PhD projects running in 2018, including photos of the corresponding PhD students.  This brochure was distributed during the ILL/ESS User Meeting of October 2018.  An electronic version can be found here (pdf - 12.04 Mi).

(pdf - 12.04 Mi)