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The Cyprus Institute coordinates a European Joint Doctorate Program

The Computational-based Science and Technology Center (CaSToRC) of The Cyprus Institute (CyI) will coordinate a consortium of 17 European academic and industrial institutions to implement a European Joint Doctorate (EJD) programme in computational sciences over the next 4 years. The program entitled "High Performance Computing for Life sciences, Engineering and Physics (HPC-LEAP)", is selected to receive a total budget of 3.7 MEUR. The Project coordinator is C. Alexandrou, Institute Professor at CyI and Professor at the University of Cyprus.

The program is under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of Horizon2020 and it is among about ten such programs that are being funded across Europe within this first call.  As such, it is a great success for Cyprus to be the coordinating country and it clearly demonstrates the attractiveness that an innovative PhD program can have on a European level. The Cyprus Institute has started an interdisciplinary PhD program in Computational Science three years ago as one of a handful of such PhD programs in Europe that are now spreading world-wide.  Last year the program was accredited by the Cyprus Ministry of Education. The participating institutions entrusted CyI the coordination of the program partly due to its already established computational science program. The University of Cyprus is an important partner in the program, clearly demonstrating the added value that a collaboration between a novel research institute and a leading university can bring in a country.

HPC-LEAP will implement a novel and interdisciplinary program of study engaging leading groups in Europe in their corresponding fields. These include the Physics Department of the University of Cyprus, the German Graduate School of the University of Aachen, the Physics Departments of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and Ferrara, the Mathematics Department of the University of Wuppertal and the Engineering Department of the Technical University of Eindhoven.   These institutions will work in pairs to deliver 15 joint PhD degrees in their areas of expertise funded by the program.  Another 10 academic institutions and industrial partners will be involved in the research projects of the PhD students delivering specialized expertise. These include leading computer vendors such as IBM-Zurich and NVIDIA, SMEs such as OakLabs GmbH, as well as, Cambridge University and Imperial College. The complete list of partners is shown in the diagram and a more detailed description of the program follows.

The HPC-LEAP program

While it is commonly acknowledged that computer simulations is a key methodology in science and engineering, educational programs that specifically target training of young scientists to grow into their roles as computational scientists in both the academic and non-academic environments are still scarce.

HPC-LEAP aims to support the career development and training of researchers in several computation based scientific disciplines. It will create a total of 15 PhD positions across the partner organizations to do cross-disciplinary research on the topics of High Energy Physics/Lattice QCD, Fluid dynamics/Turbulence and Computational biology/Infectious diseases. These research topics will be supplemented with horizontal activities related to HPC architectures and technologies and modelling and algorithm development.

The project will extend the traditional academic training by involving the non-academic sector in doctoral training, so that skills better match academia and private sector needs. It will provide enhanced career perspectives through interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility in the form of short-term secondments and internships at the non-academic partners combined with the innovation-oriented mind-set.

The project with a total budget of 3.7 MEUR will offer attractive working conditions and will enable the organization of training and networking activities around the PhD projects, including both open public eventsas well as targeted workshops and seminarsfor students.

HPC-LEAP will enable CaSToRC to further develop its PhD programme towards excellence, significantly expand its European network and build crucial competence in HPC applications, adding considerably to the increase of the competitiveness of Cyprus academia. 


List of partners:

PhD awarding Institutions

The Cyprus Institute (CY, Coordinator)
Bergische Universität Wuppertal (GER)
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (GER)
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (NL)
University of Cyprus (CY)
Università degli Studi di Ferrara (IT)
Universita degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata" (IT)

Other partners

Stiftung Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron - DESY (GER)
Imperial College London (UK)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (GER)
National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos"
Trinity College Dublin (IE)
University of Cambridge (UK)
IBM Research GmbH (CH)
OakLabs GmbH (GER)