| The forthcoming year we hope to celebrated the
program in our series of Summer Student Programs. It all started
in 1982. Following suggestions from surrounding universities, it was
initiated by the former GSI director Prof. G. zu Putlitz (Uni
Heidelberg), and Prof. W. Nörenberg (GSI). In spring 1982 the
first 18 students were visiting GSI for 6 weeks. The program was so
successful that it was decided to enroll a second group from the first
list of 150 applicants for a second program during the same year for 8
weeks during the summer break. Ever since the student program takes
place in August/September.
The main structure was already set up in those days. Every student
joins one of the research groups and works there on a confined study
project. The program is accompanied by a series of lectures which
introduce into in the various research branches at our
laboratory. Students stayed in our guest rooms in Wixhausen, the so
called barracks. In 2008 the barracks were closed and from then on the
summer students stayed in hotels in Arheilgen. There is a welcome
party and so far we always successfully suggested to the students to
organise a barbecue party to which they invite their tutors and
lecturers. Initially the program had an open end after the sixth
week. The Darmstadt rally initiated and worked out by H.
Nienstädt and the visit of Merck
were parts of the program right from the beginning. Five years later
the organisation was passed over from W. Nörenberg to
Jörn Knoll, who is still engaged in
organizing the program. Secretaries of the program were initially
Elsbeth Rass until 2000 , followed by Heide Rinnert until 2009,
followed by Marina Nymphius. Now the present secretary of the Theory
Group, Gabriela Menge, is in charge of this position. With the
foundation of GSI's Graduate School
HGS-HIRe, responsible for the training
and education of students at GSI and its partner universities, the
Summer Student Program became a program component of the graduate
school in spring 2010.
Due to mutual interests of students and of the research groups, the
number of participants increased steadily over the past years with now
an admittance of about 35 to 40 students. Initially only German
students were our guests with some intruders, e.g. from Poland due to
a collaboration. With the unification first East-German students from
East-Berlin, Dresden, Rostock and Jena participated. In 1993 our
former director H. Specht opened the program to the international
community. The language of the program from then on has been English.
Since then we had students from more than 40 different countries from
West and East, including places such as Armenia or Palestine and
recently from Asia, Africa and North, Middle and South America. Also
the number of women among the participants increased.
The international mixture has always been well received among the
students. They are curious about the life, the studies and culture of
the different countries, and friendships and groups were formed across
the nations already in the first weeks. In particular the Grill
party, organised by the students, initiates joint actions for the
preparation of of salads and delicacies from the students' home
countries, for live presentations with guitar concerts, songs and
merry dancing during the party. The weekends are frequently used for
excursions by bike (now provided by the institute) or taking advantage
of the weekend offers of the German train system with trips to
Köln, Frankfurt, Heidelberg or Freiburg. In 1999 an excursion to
Weingarten (near Karlsruhe) was organised to watch the total solar
eclipse; however a big cloud prevented this in the last moment!
After an introduction phase in the first weeks the participants
quickly take up their work and are actively contributing to their
projects. In the sixth week real action comes up, because they are
going to write their reports about the project, about 4 pages are
suggested. In the last twenty years the reports were written in Latex
and compiled together into one pdf-document, printed by the GSI
printing office, such that each participant can take home a copy of
this journal. In addition they organise a seminar, where in a 20 min
talk each student presents the results of his/her project. These
activities are now supported by corresponding soft skill training
sessions in scientific writing and presentations.
Every year a few students keep on with their subject and return to GSI
for their Diploma or master work or later for their PhD thesis.
Presently more than 25 former participants of the last 6 years'
Student Programs work as PhD-student or post-doc here at GSI. A few of
them started their research career with the program as for instance N.
Hermann, participant of the second program in 1982, who is now
professor in Heidelberg.
During the years 2004 and 2005 the program was supported by INTAS, an
INTernational ASsociation formed by the European Union to support
young scientists from the New Independent States (NIS) of the former
Soviet Union. In 2009 the program was supported in part by the
Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and
Ion Research (HGS HIRe for FAIR), the PhD forum of German
Universities collaborating with GSI/FAIR. From spring 2010 on the
Summer Student Program is integrated into the education canon of
Participants' countries of origin:
Updated, July 2019, Jörn Knoll