The Dutch Research School of Theoretical Physics (DRSTP) is a cooperation
between the theoretical physics groups of six Dutch universities and of the
National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) with the
to implement a joint program of graduate education in theoretical physics
that draws upon a dynamic research environment;
to maintain and strengthen research in theoretical physics from a broad
unifying perspective that exploits the interrelationships between different
fields of theory;
to strengthen, both in research and graduate education, connections with
experimental physics, and other disciplines such as mathematics, computational science, astrophysics, earth science, physical
chemistry and the life sciences.
The DRSTP is based on the conviction that a joint venture of all the
moderately sized local theory groups, each with its own profile, offers
added value for the achievement of these objectives. The DRSTP represents a
sizable part of the national activity in theoretical physics, a field that
has a strong tradition in the Netherlands. At present there exists no other
organization that represents this field of research at the national level.
The DRSTP welcomes further growth, for instance, by cooperation with
institutions in neighbouring countries that share these goals. Often its
educational activities already attract students from neighbouring countries
and occasionally some of these activities are based on a close collaboration
with partners abroad.
Governing Board of the DRSTP, which consists of representatives of the
partners, is responsible for undertaking any suitable initiative to further
its goals. The Scientific Director of the DRSTP is responsible for
implementing the overall policy on behalf of the Board and for coordinating
the DRSTP activities. The mandate to carry out these tasks is based on an
official agreement between the boards of the participating partners, as
a result of which the DRSTP has been accredited by the Royal Netherlands
Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in June of 1994 and reaccredited in
1999, 2004 and 2010. The agreement guarantees means for a six year period in terms
of explicit staff commitments as well as graduate student positions. The
DRSTP is assisted in its endeavor by an international advisory committee of
Theoretical physics is based on universal principles. New concepts often
have a much wider validity than in the field in which they are discovered,
and methods developed in one field are sometimes very useful in another.
Hence theoretical physics is characterized by unity in diversity.
The research fields of the DRSTP are highly diverse, ranging from the
physics at the very smallest length scales to the large scale structure of
space and time, and from the study of building blocks of matter to the
intricacies of the many-body physics of condensed matter, be it quantum
matter, soft matter or bio-matter.
The methods employed in these various fields make up the universal language
of theoretical physics: formalisms such as the renormalization group and
quantum field theory, and various concepts of statistical, computational and
mathematical physics are universally applied and establish cross-talk among
the research fields.
The research areas covered by the DRSTP can be grouped into the following
broad and overlapping themes:
Theme 1: Particle physics,
cosmology, quantum gravity and string theory
Theme 2: Quantum matter, quantum
information, soft condensed matter and biophysics
The specific content of the
research program depends on the responsible project leaders, on their
creativity as well as their initiative to obtain research funding from their
home universities, the Dutch research councils of NWO, or from international
sources such as European Union programs.
The research program is carried out under the responsibility of the
Governing Board and the scientific director in accordance with the agreement.
The Governing Board of the DRSTP safeguards the objectives of the Research
School. It monitors the overall coherence and quality of the research
program. The Board discusses periodically whether the program remains on
the forefront of international developments. The Scientific Advisory Committee plays an essential part in these matters.
The DRSTP is also accountable to the faculties of the participating
partners. Therefore it reports regularly on past and planned activities,
both in research and graduate education, on the basis of information
presented in its yearly reports.
The partners in the DRSTP offer a joint program of graduate
education leading to a PhD. As part of the research training, under the
supervision of a member scientist of the corresponding node, the
Research School guarantees a wide range of educational opportunities for its
PhD students. They consist of advanced courses, seminars and topical courses
in the Netherlands, and international experience in the form of workshops,
summer schools or extended research visits abroad.
The Governing Board of the DRSTP decides on admission and monitors the
evaluation of progress with a prognosis of ultimate success after the first
year. This takes place on the basis of an "agreement of education and
guidance" between each individual PhD student and its supervisor(s), to be
submitted to and approved by the Board upon admittance.
advises the Governing Board. It also assembles the content of the yearly
program of regular activities. Standard advanced courses are published in
a nationwide survey. Special PhD courses are offered within the DRSTP, in
quantum field theory, statistical physics and in theoretical condensed
matter physics, or result from joint efforts with other research schools.
The input of graduate students in the
Research School takes place in the form of a
PhD Student Council that meets regularly with the Scientific Director and the
chairman of the
Governing Board and the Educational Board (which also has one
Individual members of the DRSTP play a pivotal role in helping to organize
many summer schools and workshops, in the Netherlands as well as abroad, and
in serving as teachers in all the activities that the DRSTP undertakes by
itself or in cooperation with others.
The responsibilities of the DRSTP include:
the promotion of a stimulating research environment in theoretical physics;
setting uniform standards of quality;
making educational supplements available tailored to individual research
The Board also develops a wide range of activities in order to support an
exciting research climate from fund-raising, e.g. for postdoctoral fellows,
guest teachers or international mobility of DRSTP students, to the selection
of visiting professors, for example on the Kramers (UU), Lorentz (UL) or Van
der Waals (UvA) Chairs.