Young Scientists contest - EIROFORUM


EIROforum is a collaboration between European intergovernmental research organisations. As world leaders within their respective fields of science, the member organisations of the EIROforum constitute the vanguard of European science, enabling European scientists to engage in truly cutting-edge research and be competitive on a global scale.

In support of the Young Scientist competition initiative, each of the seven EIROforum organisations is pleased to offer a prize of a 1-week placement for 1 person in their organisations.

The 7 EIROforum organisations are briefly described below. More information on EIROforum and each member-organisation can be found at

*CERN : The European Laboratory for Particle Physics is one of the world’s most prestigious research centres. Its business is fundamental physics – studying the nature of particles and forces by creating conditions in the laboratory close to those which prevailed at the time of the big bang, thereby finding out what makes our universe work and how it evolves. CERN was founded in 1954 as one of Europe’s first joint ventures. Since then it has become a shining example of international collaboration, growing from the original 12 signatories of the CERN convention to its present 20 Member States. Its top priority at present is to bring the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the associated experiments into operation during 2007.

*EFDA : The European Fusion Development Agreement was established in 1999 between Euratom and its partners in the field of controlled thermonuclear fusion. It provides a framework for European scientists to participate in the JET project, which is the world's leading research facility in magnetic confinement fusion and holds the world record of generating 16MW fusion power. Fusion power, which drives the Sun and stars, is investigated on Earth as a potential source of virtually limitless, safe and environmentally benign energy.

*EMBL : The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is one of top molecular biology institutes in the world. EMBL consists of five sites in four countries (Germany, France, Italy and the UK) with more than 1300 staff members from 60 nations. The institute has five missions: to carry out basic research in molecular biology, to train scientists at all levels, to offer vital services in the life sciences, to develop new instrumentation for biological research and to actively engage in technology transfer initiatives. EMBL was established in 1974 and is supported by 18 Member States.

*ESRF : The European Synchroton Radiation Facility, inaugurated in 1994, is Europe’s strongest X-ray light source. Synchroton radiation is a special kind of X-ray light, many orders of magnitude brighter than that of conventional X-ray tubes. The X-ray beams produced can be focused to spots on the nanometer scale, thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Using diffraction, fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging, alone or in combination, researchers gain valuable insights into – not only the static nature of matter – but, also, the dynamic behaviour of atoms and molecules on a timescale down to the picosecond level. ESRF is financed by 18 countries.

*ESA : The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the people of Europe. The Agency’s projects are designed to find out more about the Earth, its immediate space environment, the Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe to share the benefits of space with the whole of mankind. ESA has 17 Member-States.

*ESO : The European Southern Observatory is the leading European organization for astronomical research, with 11 member-states, and operating the world's most advanced optical telescope, the Very Large Telescope Array (VLT). The VLT is located at the Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert. It is the foremost facility for ground-based optical astronomy, both in terms of versatility, efficiency and capacity. In addition, ESO operates the La Silla observatory in Chile with state-of-the-art medium-sized telescopes. ESO is currently engaged, together with North America, in the construction of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). Japan may join this project. ALMA is being erected at a high-altitude site in Chile. Design studies for OWL, a 100-m optical telescope, are also being undertaken..

*ILL : The Institut Laue-Langevin is the world's leading centre for research using neutrons. The ILL operates the most intense neutron source in the world. Its suite of 35 high-performance instruments is used to probe the structure and dynamics of existing and newly created materials in the finest detail.
The range of scientific disciplines covers fundamental and particle physics, condensed matter physics, magnetism, chemistry, biology, crystallography and materials science. The ILL has 10 member states.