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Students' training & teaching activities

The ILL hosts around 40 PhD students. The topics of these PhDs cover every possible type of research with neutrons.

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Students' training & teaching activities

Students' training

Besides the skills and knowledge directly related to the PhD project, training in neutron science will be provided by lectures organised by ILL staff, with some input from Université Joseph Fourier (UJF). Lectures will be arranged in cycles of two years, and cover the basic principles of neutron scattering plus more specialised areas. Students are expected to attend all lectures on basic principles, all lectures in areas related to their own research, plus many of the lectures in areas further afield so that in total they attend 75% of all lectures. In addition, students may be offered lecture courses on practical subjects such as cryogenics. Students are also encourgaed to attend ILL College seminars and general seminars. Attendance at ILL lectures can qualify students for credits. This has to be confirmed however with the home universities. The students and their supervisors are responsible for establishing this with their universities.

Presentation skills will be developed progressively throughout the period of study. Initially, and for students without much prior experience of public presentation, the student body will organise regular, informal meetings at which short presentations are given by each student. Each student will also be required to give at least one public presentation each year, run as part of the College seminar series. In the first two years of study the student would be required to give a 20 minute presentation, culminating in their final year in a talk of 45 minutes in length, again run by the College. Every student is also expected to participate in the annual "clip session", making a 5-minute presentation of their work in front of the rest of the student body and ILL staff, particularly scientists. Prizes will be awarded to the best talk for a student from each year, as judged by the ILL Directors present in the clip session.

As of 2011, a new training opportunity is available to PhD students who wish to develop essential skills for presenting their work. This is an interactive course lasting a total of 12 hours and involving a high degree of student participation. Each participant is expected to prepare and give presentations to the rest of the group. To begin with, these presentations are of a general nature, but the end of the course focuses more specifically on scientific presentations. All presentations are filmed, allowing participants to see themselves in context and analyse their own strengths and weaknesses. Presenters also receive feedback from their fellow participants at the end of each presentation.

Students are expected to be available to present their work informally to visitors to the ILL. They are encouraged to present their work orally or in the form of posters at workshops and conferences held inside and outside ILL. Certainly by their final year of study at ILL each student should have given – or at least planned to give – a full-length talk at an international conference.

Students must take part in any safety training required of those who work at ILL.

Students may take advantage of training providing by the ILL in languages, as well as programming, computing, the use of many, standard forms of commercial software and also technical skills (for example in cryogenics). It is possible that some such courses may be offered jointly by ESRF and ILL.

A summary of all training undertaken each year will be submitted in the student‟s activity report.

Teaching activities

The ILL allow the student to teach a reasonable number of hours at the host university, but do not cover the associated travel expenses.