Education and Training
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Education and Training by EUROfusion
The implementation of the Fusion Roadmap requires a new generation of scientists and engineers. There is still much to tackle on the scientific understanding of plasmas, materials and interaction. But meanwhile, also the engineering and design of components and systems is hugely important and requires many more people. Fusion devices are large and complex and eventually need to perform very consistent and eventually even economic. Therefore, the preparation of the ITER and DEMO generations of scientists, engineers and operators is one of the high-level objectives of EUROfusion during Horizon Europe. The European fusion laboratories recruit and train staff and education is implemented in the many universities that are linked via the consortium member institutes.
EUROfusion coordinates the many academic education programmes and implements various activities to support students, young researchers and engineers. On this page you will find an overview of this.
Education programmes and funds
EUROfusion coordinates and (largely) funds many educational activities, dedicated to academic training and education.
On the Master level, there are several dedicated programmes and besides that, many Master students from engineering and physics faculties do an internship or a thesis projects in fusion. For example in one of the EUROfusion member labs. Both via the labs and via FuseNet there is funding for stipends or internship mobility.
On the doctoral level, students receive stipends or are employees via the institutes. EUROfusion largely funds these. Various activities for all PhD students exist, such as the FuseNet PhD Event, and newer initiatives, including the Book of Research Profiles and international mentoring.
As part of their research, many students are involved in the EUROfusion work already, via one of the work packages.
FuseNet is an association that organises many activities for all education level. Besides the PhD Event, a new activity is also the Master Event. Since a few years, the Secondary School Teacher Day is another well-received activity, which is co-organised by many universities and labs around Europe. Part of the activities are made possible thanks to EUROfusion support.
Training of scientists and engineers
EUROfusion has two grant programmes, for early-career professionals:
The EUROfusion “Bernard Bigot” Researcher Grants are a 2-years postdoc scheme that are awarded (10 per year) to talented young scientists who propose advanced projects to continue their research and tackle scientific challenges that are still remaining (see the Roadmap Missions). They are evaluated on excellence and novelty.
The EUROfusion Engineering Grant (TBD with GA: ‘Traineeship’) is a 2-year engineering training programme, for post-master engineers to specialise and broaden their competences in fusion. The programme consists of two parts: individual assignments that are prepared in cooperation with the Project Leaders, to specialise in and contribute to a specific area of need. This can be engineering projects in magnets, RAMI, plasma-wall-interaction, stellarators or system codes, or one of the very many different challenges that are still open. The other part is the Joint Training Programme, where trainees get informed on and skilled in topics that are more transversal and useful for any fusion engineer to have basic know-how about. This includes among other things Operations, Nuclear Safety, Plasma Physics, DEMO Design.
Besides the education and training programmes, EUROfusion is well-aware that the amount of know-how is both huge and valuable. For ongoing training and knowledge exchange, more activities exist and are being implemented. A notable example is the EUROfusion Operations Network, bringing together specialists around several aspects of tokamak operation.