Investigating the Impact of the CERN Programme for High-School Students

Physics Education Research Doctoral Student Proposal


The educational offer of CERN includes several programmes for high-school students, 16 years and older, aiming at bringing them in contact with the scientific research at an early stage of their career.

Currently, the flagship programmes are Beamline for Schools and the High-School Student Internship Program (HSSIP). Beamline for Schools is an international competition where teams of students are invited to write the  proposal of an experiment suitable to be performed at the beam line of a particle accelerator, and win the opportunity to access an experimental facility to realize it.

HSSIP is a two-week long internship that gives students the opportunity to gain experience in science, technology and engineering at CERN. Beamline for Schools is running since 2014, while HSSIP started in 2017, with a pilot phase involving national programmes for 21 CERN member states. Both these programmes received very positive feedback from the participants, and the stakeholders involved in the organization, but a systematic study on their impact on young students is crucial to further develop and improve them.

The goal of this thesis is to study the effect of these programmes on the participants’ view of nature of science, and their career aspiration in the field of STEM. The research project will be conducted in the context of the specific format of each program, i.e. an international team competition, or a national or international internship.

Training Value

The successful candidate will get familiar with the methods used in physics education research, will learn about statistics, and will have the opportunity to take part in the development of current and future high-school student programmes at CERN.

Research Base

The successful candidate is expected to inscribe as doctoral student at a CERN Member State university (see the information below). The CERN PER Team is in discussion to base the project academically at a member state university.
The successful candidate will be physically based at CERN in Geneva.

Application Information

Please find all information regarding the formal application below. Please mention “PER-HSS” in your motivation letter, so that your application reaches us directly.