The joint Monash Warwick Alliance PhD
Community Expertise is the need to Understand
The Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD is part of our commitment to developing a successor generation of internationally experienced young researchers. For joint-research teams the contribution of outstanding, highly mobile PhD candidates brings additional capacity to support research collaboration.
Opportunities in Particle Physics
The Alliance Joint PhD enables researchers to study at two innovative and internationally renowned institutions. They spend one year at Warwick and one year at any of Monash's Australian campuses. Travel to the other institution usually occurs in the second year. Riley Henderson, a third year PhD student, joined the Monash Warwick Alliance Particle Physics group in 2020. He graduated from Monash University with a bachelor’s degree in science and computer science, completed an honours year, before starting his PhD in the School of Physics and Astronomy.
What are the benefits of a Joint PhD
Riley applied for a joint Monash-Warwick PhD position as it offered him extensive experience on the frontiers of research into particle physics and he would also get to travel and see the world which would help build his network and career. Initially his research was based on his home campus at Monash, but in 2022 he moved to the UK. Here he was hosted by the University of Warwick’s Particle Physics team, spending time at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, Switzerland, and attending conferences in Europe.
Preparing for research in the UK
The first 18 months of Riley’s PhD sped past and he soon had to prepare to head to his new temporary home at Warwick. He quickly found a flat with other university students who made him feel at home from the start and who have been great fun. The University of Warwick’s Elementary Particle Physics group welcomed him, and he quickly settled into his new surroundings with like-minded young physicists.
Extending Research Experiences
Day to day life at Warwick and Monash have not been dramatically different, but with one notable exception. Within the first month he visited CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which was something he had wanted to tick off his bucket list for some time. Since then he has made a number of other short European trips — for conferences, workshops and vacations — with nothing but a carry bag in hand. Many of the connections he has made whilst abroad, both professionally and personally, will be invaluable and cherished for many years to come.
“I was already taking full advantage of my new convenient location in Europe when I made my first trip to Geneva to visit CERN, this was a dream come true. For the first time I could see intimately the internal machinery of the LHC and the experiment that I have dedicated most of my productive hours to for the past three years. In the summer I will be returning to CERN to catch up on progress in the control room as the experiment is still running”- Riley Henderson (PhD student).
Monash Warwick Alliance in Particle Physics unlocks the capability to develop new simulation tools for precise experimental measurements, and to improve tools for interpretation of experimental results in the context of underlying theories such as the Standard Model and its extensions. Students and early career researchers at both universities are set to benefit from access to complementary expertise of the researchers and shared infrastructure assets and data sets.
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