May 14-20, 2017, Michigan State University

NS3 is a summer school for undergraduate students that aims to introduce the participants to the field of nuclear science. NS3 will be hosted by Michigan State University (MSU) and will offer lectures and hands-on activities covering selected nuclear science topics. The school activities will take place at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and will include lectures by local and visiting researchers, nuclear physics labs, a tour of the facility, discussions with graduate students and faculty, and more.

NS3 printable poster

Nuclear Science is an exciting field that addresses questions like “what keeps nuclei together?”, “how does the structure of nuclei evolve towards exotic isotopes?”, “how do nuclei interact with each other?”, and “how were the elements formed in the cosmos?”. At the NSCL all these questions are investigated through the study of exotic nuclei, which often have a large excess of protons or neutrons compared to the well-known stable isotopes. These very short-lived nuclei are produced by the Coupled Cyclotron facility and are delivered to the experimental areas to study their properties or even determine their existence for the first time. NSCL Theorists interpret experimental data and develop theories that describe and predict the properties of atomic nuclei and how they react in collisions with other nuclei in the laboratory and in stars.


The goals of NS3 are to:

1) Introduce basic nuclear science concepts through dedicated lectures and through experimental and theoretical techniques

2) Offer a visit to a cutting-edge research facility and an opportunity to meet its researchers

3) Present current research topics and open questions in nuclear science

4) To observe every-day activities at a major research facility and learn from the experiences of current graduate students.

Who can apply

NS3 invites applications from Physics Majors in US institutions. Prerequisites are Calculus, Introductory Physics I (Mechanics and Waves), Introductory Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism, Optics) and Modern Physics. Students should be at their second or third year of study at the time of application. Preference will be given to students whose schools do not offer a Nuclear Physics Class and/or a Nuclear Physics Lab. Applications from women and students from underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged.


Participation in NS3 is funded by the National Science Foundation and the NSCL. Local expenses (accommodation and meals) will be provided. In addition, participants will receive up to $500 (actual cost) towards their travel to and from MSU.

Important Dates

  • Application Deadline: February 17, 2017
  • Announcement of participant selection: March 17, 2017
  • Travel to MSU: May 14, 2017
  • School ends: May 20, 2017 around noon

Application Process

Interested undergraduate students should apply here

The application requires you to provide the following material:

1. Personal Information

2. Research statement in which you describe why this summer school is of interest to you.

3. Personal statement in which you present your future career goals and how this program will help you in that direction

4. Undergraduate transcripts

5. Names and emails of two professors/researchers who will provide letters of recommendation.


For questions about the school and/or the application process please write to: ns3@nscl.msu.edu

School Advisory Committee
  • Alex Brown
  • Hendrik Schatz
  • Michael Thoennessen
  • Chris Wrede
  • Remco Zegers
Organizing Committee
  • Peter Bender
  • Rebecca Lewis
  • Zach Constan
  • Tabitha Pinkney
  • Artemis Spyrou (chair)