The School of Physics and Astronomy invites applications from motivated undergraduates for Summer Internship positions. Successful applicants will spend 6-8 weeks in Cardiff working with researchers, staff and students within the school. We are currently offering the following projects:
- Gravitational Waves Outreach Internship (any undergraduate)
- Gravitational Waves Research Internship (any undergraduate) *deadline1st April 2018*
- Ogden Trust Internship (Cardiff Undergraduates only)
- CUROP Internships (Cardiff Undergraduates only)
- Watching Galaxies Spin: Developing graphical interfaces for the KINetic molecular simulation (KinMS) tool
- Surface treatments for InSb based topological superconducting quantum information processing
- Electromagnetic followup of gravitational wave sources
- Assessing the effectiveness of a role model-based performance for primary schools on attitudes around STEM careers
- CUSEIP Internships (Cardiff Undergraduates only)
- Science Communication internship (any undergraduate) – with Las Cumbres Observatory, based in Cardiff University *deadline 6 May 2018*
Gravitational Waves Outreach Internship
We would like to construct a number of demonstrator Michelson Interferometers, to illustrate the operation of gravitational wave detectors. As well as an “exhibit-ready” model, there will be several which are suitable for use by school students at workshops.
This project would involve assisting with the set-up of the interferometers in the first instance. As well as the laser interferometers, the models will need interfaces to control them, as well as educational materials to accompany them.
This internship will be suited to physics undergraduate students with an interest and passion in explaining physics to a wider audience. Experience with experimental physics would be an advantage, as would experience with python coding, particularly if accompanied with interfaces with Raspberry Pis and/or Microbits). The internship is funded at £2100 for 8 weeks, or pro-rata for a shorter timescale (at least 6 weeks).
How to apply
To apply, please submit a CV, cover letter and academic transcript (a copy of your course marks) to Dr Chris North by 22nd April 2018. For more information, please contact Chris North directly. An interview (either in person or over phone/Skype) will be required.
Gravitational Waves Research Internship
Our internship programme gives undergraduates from around the world the opportunity to conduct research with us over the summer vacation.
Successful applicants can typically spend up to eight weeks here in Cardiff conducting research with a group mentor.
It is open to undergraduates worldwide now completing their second, third or fourth year of study.
This programme is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Leonid Grishchuk, who for many years was an inspirational member of the gravitational physics group.
Possible research topics include: modeling binary black hole orbits and their gravitational wave emission; strong field tests of gravity; the development of techniques for detecting gravitational waves from supernovae or from the inspiral of neutron-star and black-hole binaries.
How to Apply
Applications must include the following: an unofficial transcript (a copy of your course marks), a Curriculum Vitae, and two reference letters, preferably sent separately by your references.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 1 April each year. Applications should be emailed to Professor Patrick Sutton.
Ogden Trust Internship (Ogden Trust)
We would like to further develop a number of outreach and education activities that we use here in the School of Physics and Astronomy. These are related to a range of areas of physics and astronomy, and based to varying extents on our research here in the School.
This project will involve taking resources and activities we already have and developing them further. You should be willing to work as part of a team, but take responsibility for aspects of the project, seeking help and advice where necessary. It would also be desirable to have an interest in demonstrating science to a wider audience.
You will have a desk within the department, and a computer provided (though use of a personal computer is also permitted), as well as access to all the data required as part of the project. The internship is funded at £60/day for up to 8 weeks. The start date is flexible, but likely to be late June or early July.
How to apply
This internship is only applicable to current undergraduates at Cardiff University, and is funded by the Ogden Trust. To apply, please submit a CV, a cover letter and an academic transcript (a copy of your course marks) to Dr Chris North by 22nd April 2018. For more information, please contact Chris North directly.
[Please note, this project is separate from the Summer Internships which are available to Ogden Trust alumni.]
We have four projects funded by the Cardiff University Research Opportunities (CUROP) programme. Please note that these projects are only open to Cardiff undergraduates in their 1st, 2nd and penultimate years. For a full list of projects at Cardiff University see the full CUROP project list. Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd April 2018.
Watching Galaxies Spin: Developing graphical interfaces for the KINetic molecular simulation (KinMS) tool
From the rotation of nascent galaxies at high redshift, to the properties of supermassive black holes, the kinematics of gas clouds provide a powerful probe of the physics ongoing in these complex systems.
Staff in the School of Physics and Astronomy have created a software tool which reveals these kinematics. With this tool one can access the physical properties of the galaxies, and thus constrain their formation and evolution pathways in a simple and robust manner.
You would be in charge of crafting a user interface for this existing software tool (currently written in Python), conducting usability studies with potential users, using this feedback to improve the tool, and finally (if applicable) making a public release of the code.
A key component of all electronic devices is the fabrication of high quality Semiconductor/metal interfaces, for example, low resistance Ohmic contacts or high quality Schottky barrier gates.
The interface between a superconducting metal (e.g. Aluminium) and semiconductor is also crucial for potential topological quantum information processing applications, where a high quality, electrically transparent interface is required to induce superconductivity in the semiconductor, via the proximity effect.
This is one of the key requirements for the formation of robust Majorana Fermion quantum states (or Majorana Zero Modes (MZMs)), which have been proposed for uses in quantum information processing, and is currently an intense area of research globally.
The aim of this work is to characterise the semiconductor/metal interfaces of InSb QW 2DEG devices in which the interface has been subjected to various surface treatments (e.g. supination) prior to metal deposition.
Since the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, the hunt has been on for the sources of gravitational waves.
In August 2017 the first such source was identified with the detection of the merger of a binary neutron star. As the number of objects being detected increases more focus will be on identifying the sources from astronomical images.
This project will involve creating an online citizen science portal through which members of the public can categorise observations taken by astronomical telescopes. This will include taking observations through the Las Cumbres Observatory telescope network, creating comparison images, developing the online resources for people to use, and producing scripts or procedures for people to further analyse the results.
Assessing the effectiveness of a role model-based performance for primary schools on attitudes around STEM careers
This is an exciting project between Cardiff University and the social enterprise, science made simple (SMS), with research results feeding into the Physics Education Research Group (PERG).
Data has been collected from 7-11yr old audiences across Wales in the form of questionnaires and interviews and this project aims to identify patterns from this data of how audiences relate to different STEM role models that are introduced to them during the show.
The placement will give a good introduction to education research skills, including independent research, critical assessment of other research, academic writing skills and content analysis skills.
We have one project funded by the Cardiff University Student Education Innovation Programme (CUSEIP). Please note that these projects are only open to Cardiff undergraduates in their 1st, 2nd and penultimate years. Please send applications to email@example.com by 22nd April 2018.
Supporting the development of student scientific behaviour
The aim of this project is to add some final missing pieces to our jigsaw of student resources that support the development of scientific behaviours. Scientists record their work in real time in diaries then use this record when writing papers to communicate their findings to others. We currently have a suite of resources supporting report writing. Extensive use is made of these in training students and in providing feedback. What we and our students know is missing (because they tell us) is the equivalent resource for diaries.
The objectives of this project are to develop resources (i.e. the deliverables) in the form of “short” laboratory and “extended” project diaries. They will be primarily delivered to students via learning central and relate to 10 modules in levels 4 to 7 i.e. at all stages of students’ UG University education. The short diaries will directly support levels 4 and 5 whilst the extended project diary directly supports levels 6 and 7. The project is especially timely as the submission of diaries have recently become a required element of level 6 and 7 projects.
For more information please contact Dr Dave westwood.
Science Communication internship with Las Cumbres Observatory
Are you interested in space, design, or visualisation? We are running a 6 week, paid internship programme between June – August 2018 for undergraduate students. We are looking for students to work with the Las Cumbres Observatory education team to create tools for science communication, related to astronomy and robotic telescopes.
You don’t have to have a maths, astronomy or physics background to apply, but ideas and a creative spirit are essential. We are particularly interested in applicants who have skills in graphic design, HTML+JS, or Python programming, or electronic hardware.
Project: To create a tool to use robotic telescopes for science communication
Who: We welcome applications from artists, designers, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, engineers, anyone who has experience or interest in creating tools for science communication.
Eligibility: You must be going into year 2, 3, or 4 of your degree and be able to travel to UK
Where: Cardiff University, School of Physics & Astronomy, UK
Required skills (one or more of these would be perfect): Web design, graphic design, hardware design, Python programming.
Deadline for applications: 6 May 2018, 5pm BST
Studentship: A stipend of £275 per week will be paid