Love Theoretical Physics?

One of graduates, Tomáš Gonda,  shares his personal experience  of this interesting and alternative Masters programme.  If you want to apply, closing date is coming up fast. Deadline date of February 1, 2017

Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) is a fairly new Masters programme offered by the Perimeter Institute (PI), one of the leading research centres in theoretical physics. It was created with an idea to offer an alternative to other similar programmes by avoiding grade-chasing aspect of these. This would enable students to focus on learning whatever they are most interested in without being forced to compete with the rest of the class.

Despite the fact that there are no official grades, there is an interview after each of the six core courses. It takes form of an informal discussion on the subject which can take many directions. A certain standard is required to pass each of these courses, but it is very rare that someone would fail the programme because of this.

The courses are often being taught by guest lecturers from other institutions apart from PI faculty members. This can be a bit of a hit and miss. Most of them are very good, but from time to time a lecturer who is not familiar with the context and style of courses can have issues adapting. Courses follow slightly different structure, being only 3 weeks long with a lecture every day, which might be one of the reasons for that.

One of the most important aspects of PSI is that it gives students a unique opportunity to interact with world-class researchers and this is very much encouraged. Thanks to the generally very open atmosphere at PI and the fact that the class is quite small, it is easy to get in touch with any of the faculty members or numerous interesting visitors throughout the year. The research aspect of PSI is also reflected in a sort of thesis carried out together with anyone from PI, Institute for Quantum Computing or University of Waterloo.

And last but not least, everything that one needs during the year is provided (meals, accommodation, laptop, etc.)

New student loans for taught postgraduate courses

The Scottish government has now introduced the new student loans for taught postgraduate courses up to Masters level, available from 2017-18 academic year. The maximum loan is £10,000, with up to £5,500 for tuition fees and £4500 for living costs, and there’s no limit on the funded places.

They are for UK students who meet the residency requirement (must have been resident in Scotland for 3 years, not including for periods of study). EU students will be able to apply for tuition fee loans from 2018 academic year. Applications open in April.

There’s more information now on the SAAS website

Focus on: NHS Medical Physicist

Jonathan Dixon, University of Edinburgh physics graduate and NHS Medical Physicist joined me at my physics career drop-in last week and gave an excellent presentation.

He introduced the different areas you can choose to specialise in and the training route ( working while you qualify).  The opportunities for progression and professional are good and appeal to those who want to apply physics in a healthcare context.I have attached his slides with his contact details. medical-physics-jonathan-dixon-nhs-stp_edinburgh

He encouraged students to:

  • contact him for informal enquiries
  • try and get a visit to an NHS medical physics department or an Open Day
  • look at the Careers Service resouces on medical physicist

Open days in Edinburgh at the Western General are regularly advertised each year by our current contact Bill Nailon

Data science winter fellowship: MSc students and final year PhDs

The Data Incubator is a Cornell-funded data science training organization. They offer a free intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. A variety of innovative companies partner with The Data Incubator for their hiring and training needs, including LinkedIn, Genentech, Capital One, Pfizer, and many others.

Who Should Apply

Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

More details on their website

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in their upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.