Undergrad./High School Research

Research opportunities @ IHEP-CAS

What and why

Here you can find the HUD program to allow brilliant High school and Undergraduate students to do research projects working with Dr. Xuefeng Ding through various programs organized by Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) Education Department. The IHEP Education programs are for all IHEP researchers, and thus you may also contact other researchers.

The goal of the HUD program is to attract distinguished young students to get their hands dirty on the JUNO experiment, make contributions to real-world sceintific research at early age, and / or have fun joining cool technology and science.


  • This page is for high school and undergraduat students.
  • Please read the last section for application procedures.
  • For applicants with Bachelor degree, please refer to the Research Assistant.
  • For applicants with PhD degree, please refer to the Postdoctoral Research Associate.

List of projects

The research projects should be closely related to the JUNO experiment.

JUNO (Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory) is a neutrino experiment located at Kaiping, Jiangmen, Guangdong of China. It is around 53 km to both the Yangjiang and Taishan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Its center detector includes 20,000 tons of liquid scintillator contained in an acrylic ball of radius 17.7 m, and around 20,000 20-inch photo-multipliers. The primary goal of JUNO is to determine the neutrino mass ordering. At the same time, considering its large mass and execellent energy resolution, it has strong potentials to study the geo-neutrinos, solar neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos, DSNB, supernovae neutrinos etc.

The list of projects follows. For more details please contact the channel reference person or contact me directly.

Currently Dr. Xuefeng Ding mainly focuses on solar neutrino studies, and thus the projects would be about solar neutrinos. Solar neutrinos are produced in the core region of the Sun by the fusion of hydrogen into helium. With solar neutrinos, it is possible to study the core region of the Sun directly and in real time. The advantage of JUNO provide us unique opportunities to study solar neutrinos. The projects can be reconstruction, simulation, statistical analysis etc. Dr. Xuefeng Ding has made fundamental contribution to the discovery of solar neutrinos from CNO cycle by Borexino and has strong experience in solar neutrinos.

Parallel computing is rising due to thermal power limit of single core. Parallel computing pragramming skills is thus fundamentl skills enabling various computation heavy scientific tasks. In JUNO, fitting processes involving analytical detector response models and new physics models are time consuming yet fit the SIMD (same instruction multiple data) model and thus can benefit from parallel computing. CUDA math library and general purpose library Thrust with nVidia GPGPU makes it easy to accelerate algorithms with thousands of ALUs per GPU. The projects can be code optimization, profiling, new algorithm development, or ML program performance tuning. Dr. Xuefeng Ding has developed alone the GPU accelerated multivariate fitting software GooStats (based on GooFit), and has strong experience in cuda programming and HPC.

Machine learning has been applied in JUNO in various tasks, including reconstruction, particle discrimination, and background suppression. In IHEP, several research groups have worked on ML applications in JUNO and have achieved significant results and their ML algorithms outperforms traditional methods, so it is promising to explore the ML application in JUNO physics analysis. The projects can be ML algorithms review, execution time and analysis performance tuning, and automization. Dr. Xuefeng Ding has limited experience in ML but shall focus on ML technology in the next few years. His experience in CUDA and HPC shall also benefit the ML projects.

One CERN summer internship work is the online game particle-cliker. It’s similar to the ancient game “Universal Paperclips” (which now has a wiki page). We can do something similar. Wechat-app, web3, meta-universe, stable-diffusion, GPT-4, or whatever you think is interesting, but related to JUNO, or at least related to neutrinos. Use your imagination and be creative. Have fun!

How to start the project

You need to find a channel to initiate the project. Please refer to IHEP Education for exact information of channels, or check channels of your school.

Here is a list of existing IHEP Education channels:

  • Undergraduate
    • QianSanQiang YingCaiBan 钱三强英才班
      • Please verify that your school has participated in the program and contact the program reference person of your school.
    • KeChuangJiHua 科创计划
      • The project should last 6-12 months, constrained within July 1st and next June 30th.
      • Individual or group can apply
    • Summer internship 暑期实践
    • Final exam project 本科毕设
  • Graduate (Master or PhD)
    • Joint degree program 联合培养

The above channels are organized and supported by IHEP. They are open to all IHEP researchers. If you are interested particularly working with me, please contact the program reference person or contact me.

If the above channels are not available to you, for example, if you are a high school student or an international students, please write to me with the following materials and I will see if you are strongly motivated and if it is worth me figuring out the channel for you.

  • Cover letter
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact info of your reference person

General Tips for preparing materials

  • Cover letter should demonstrate you match the proposed position well.
    • You may explain how your skillset and experience benefit the project.
    • You should use objective information rather than subjective claim to prove it.
  • Personal statement (PS) is the document where you let HR/PI understand who you are.
    • No limitations. You can write any way as you like.
    • Usually HR/PI will look for answers of the following questions:
      • Do you have critial-thinking and problem-solving ability? Could you demonstrate it with personal stories / project experience?
      • Would you be able to finish the work, both from ability and from interest prospectives?
      • For difficult times, what would you do?
      • Would it be pleasant to work with you?
      • What do you expect to gain from us and from the project?
      • What is your plan after the project?
    • The PS and interview are important methods to measure you from different aspects, yet the measurement can be misleading and thus is only part of final decision input.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) is an academic history of you. It usually includes
    • basic info: name, birth year, contact
    • (optional) a short summary of research interest or achievement.
    • education history. period, degree, school name, advisor name, thesis title.
    • experience history. period, company / school / institute name, project target, your responsibilities, and your achievement.
    • award history. title, range (national/international/school etc.), and rank.
    • publications. including journal papers, pre-print, proceedings.
    • talks. including planery, parallel, and posters talk.
  • The reference person should be your teacher, advisor, mentors, or related senior. In rare cases it can be your parents, friends or neighbours if you think they are helpful.
  • The above are tips and not requirements. Feel free to be creative.
Xuefeng Ding 丁雪峰
Xuefeng Ding 丁雪峰
Associate Research Fellow

My research interests include neutrino physics, high performance computing, and machine learning.