Third Joint Helmholtz-Rosatom School for
young scientists at FAIR.

Report: Third International Helmholtz-Rosatom School on FAIR Physics 

From October 6-13, 2013 the Third International Helmholtz-Rosatom School on FAIR Physics took place in Hernossios, Crete. The school was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), the Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS-HIRe for FAIR) and the FAIR Russia Research Center (FRRC). The BMBF support was realized via the BMBF-FSP 212 “NuSTAR.de” coordinated at TU Darmstadt.

The scope of the school was to bring together young scientists working on the physics of the Facility of Antiproton and Ion Research, especially from Russia and Germany. Here, the German side was represented by students from BMBF funded groups and students of HGS-HIRe for FAIR, the Russian side was represented mostly by students connected to the FRRC program funded by the Helmholtz Association and Rosatom.

Additionally four Polish students attended the Lecture Week. Indian students were invited, but unfortunately could not attend due to travel restrictions of Indian institutions. One Saudi-Arabian student could attend the lecture week, since he is doing his PhD studies within the HGS-HIRe Graduate School.

Group picture with the participants of the school.

The program covered all scientific pillars of the FAIR program, especially focussing on the large collaborations, i.e. APPA, CBM, NuSTAR and PANDA. Each topic was covered in one day, highlighting the experimental as well as the theoretical issues. Two additional days covered the accelerator complex itself and the IT infrastructure of FAIR. Given the

The day started with two lectures by internationally renowned experts. Due to the experience and the input from the HGS-HIRe program excellent lecturers could be found, who did not just use old presentations, but rather created presentations especially suited for the audience. This was especially important due to the audience with very diverse research backgrounds. Each topic was supported by one lecturer from the FRRC program, who gave insights into their research during a shorter afternoon lecture.

Students listening to the lectures.

The afternoon was then devoted to a prolonged discussion session and group work. Given the experience with previous lecture weeks it is quite hard to make sure that students from different countries get to know each other and discuss outside their usual peer group. Thus they were mixed up (by country, gender and research topic) to make sure they use the opportunity and build connections over the course of the week. During these group projects in the afternoon they worked on exercises and projects handed out by the lecturers of the day. Given the variety of scientific backgrounds some  students could handle the questions of the respective day better than others, however due to the mixing of the groups each group had the needed expertise to go through the exercises and projects. Since the topics changed during the week each student could contribute at some point of the week.

Two students working during the computer science project

The projects ranged from knowledge based questions, literature work, calculations to small programming projects and ensured a vital and stimulating learning environment.
The size of the groups was set to six to seven students, which has proven to be a good group size for such activities in previous courses in the HGS-HIRe schedule.

During the evening the answers of the different groups were collected and discussed with the lecturers of the day. Since the students were eager to present their results and asked much more questions than anticipated this session regularly ran overtime.

It should be noted that the resulting discussions were of a very high scientific level, which was noted by the lecturers at several occasions. Usually the discussions then went on over dinner.

Student working during the group work session 

In order to improve further lecture week the students were asked to evaluate the program afterwards. In an anonymous online survey the students were asked to rate the week according to four criteria: Impact of the course, Course content, Organization and Quality of the lectures. 

The possible answers were:

  • Very Poor (1) 
  • Poor (2)
  • Fair (3)
  • Good (4)
  • Very Good (5)

Below the numerical answers of the online survey. Overall the students rated the lecture week to be excellent, which also can be seen in the comments which have been made.

Quotes from the online student survey:

“Very valuable course. Many new (international!) contacts, interesting lectures on a broad range of topics. Of course, crete was a very beautiful place for such a meeting.”

“The course, gave me an great overview on the FAIR topics and I learned a lot in this one week. It was great to get to know other physics regions more and to connect with all the other students and scientists. The crete facility was perfect to concentrate on the lectures and to do group activities.”

“I think the course has met its aim, to connect young scientists with each other and to give them some deeper knowledge about the FAIR project, so that we all understand what we are talking about. For my personal objectives I have to say, they were 100%ly met. I wanted to learn more about the physics behind the experiments, and thanks to some great lectures, i did.”

Lecturers answering the questions in the evening

“From my point of view, the communication plays the most important role in science. Everyone could interrupt the lecturer and ask him a question. Fruitful discussions and group works were the best aspects of this school.”

Lecturers discussing with students.

“Lectures were well-thought-out and competently presented. The casual atmosphere of lectures encouraged to ask questions and discuss. “

It should be noted that the Third  Helmholtz-Rosatom School was a huge success and led to many fruitful collaborations and connections between the students themselves and between the students and the lecturers. We believe that these kind of schools are an important aspect of a truly international PhD education. It is crucial to continue these events, however due to their large scale they are not possible to finance without additional funding from e.g. BMBF or Rosatom.

The directors of the school, Frankfurt am Main,

Sascha Vogel
Hans Gutbrod


The list below above the participating students and their home institutions alphabetically. Positions 53 - 67 (in bold) are lecturers and organisers.

 1 Mohammed Almalki  University of Frankfurt, GSI
Bondarev Andrey SPSU
3 Tugba Arici University of Gießen, GSI
Ilia Ashanin MEPhi
Sergej Belogurov ITEP
Jacek Biernat  Jagiellonian University
Andrey Alexeevich Blinnikov MEPhi
Anton Valentinovich Bogdanov  MEPhi
Andrey Chernogorov ITEP
10  Irina Egorova JINR
11  Nikita Elizarov  JINR
12  Martin Galsuka University of Giessen
13  Tobias Gassner University of Jena, GSI
14  Pradeep Ghosh University of Frankfurt, GSI
15  Angel Givechev University of Darmstadt, GSI
16  Dimitry Glazov  SPSU 
17  Leonid Grigorenko  JINR
18  Szymon Harabasz University of Darmstadt, GSI
19  Benjamin Hess University of Tübingen
20  Dirk Hutter FIAS
21  Lukasz Jablonski Jan Kochanowski University
22  Anastasiya Andreevna Kalashnikova MEPhi
23  Ekaterina Khabibullina  MEPhi
24  Denis Igorevich Kirillov MEPhi
25  luliia Kliuchevskaia MEPhi
26  Olesya Alexeevna Korchuganova MEPhi
27  Darya Alexandrovna Kostileva  JINR
28  Benjamin Koubek University of Frankfurt
29  Oleksandr Kovalenko University of Heidelberg, GSI
30  Anton Andreevich Losev MEPhi
31  Anton Alexeevich Lukyanchuk  MEPhi 
32  Ilya Maltsev SPSU 
33  Mikhail Sergeevich Mironov MEPhi
34  Dmitry Morozov  IHEP
35  Rafal Najman Jagiellonian University
36  Andrey Orlov ITEP
37  Ilya Vladimirovich Ovsyannikov BMSTU
38  Vsevolod Alexeevich Panushkin  MEPhi
39  Dmitry Olegovich Ponkin JINR
40  Sascha Reinecke University of Wuppertal
41  Janet Schmidt University of Frankfurt
42  Petr Shatunov BINP
43  Vitaliy Nikolaevich Shetinin BMSTU
44  Ilya Vyacheslavovich Shirikov JINR
45  Alexey Sitnikov ITEP
46  Erzhan Muratovich Suleymenov MEPhi 
47  Patricia Till University of Frankfurt
48  Barbara Wasilewska Institute of Nuclear Physics PAN
49  Marco Wiesel University of Heidelberg, GSI
50  Vladimir Zaytsev SPSU
51  Albina Ziiatdinova  MEPhi 
52  Victoria Zinyuk University of Heidelberg
53  Dima Anuchin FRRC
54  Jochen Gerhard FIAS
55  Alexandre Gumberidze  GSI, EMMI
56  Hans Gutbrod FRRC
57  Andreas Heinz  Chalmers University
58  Beatrice Kaufeler FAIR
59  Ivan Kisel FIAS
60  Mariya Kosolapova FRRC
61  Marc Pelizaeus University of Bochum
62  Rüdiger Schmidt CERN
63  Jens Stadlmann GSI
64  Thomas Stöhlker University of Jena, HI Jena
65  Christian Sturm GSI
66  Sascha Vogel HGS-HIRe
67  Marc Wagner University of Frankfurt