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Royal Holloway is one of the six university partners, which, in collaboration with the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, together make up the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) consortium. SEPnet was initiated to promote physics in the South East of the UK and is supported by a large grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The six partner universities (Royal Holloway, Kent, Queen Mary, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex) have undertaken to work together to advance and sustain physics as a strategically important subject for the UK economy and its science base in the south east region. The benefits that SEPnet membership brings to Royal Holloway students include the following:

• An Employer Engagement programme which offers undergraduates the opportunity to take part in summer work projects as part of either an academic or industrial placement aimed, in part, to enhance career prospects after graduation.

• The chance to apply to the innovative two-year postgraduate Masters level degreeEuromasters – which includes both a taught and research component. Students have the option to change location in their second year to a SEPnet partner university or a research institution which may include CERN, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Diamond, ISIS or NPL.

• Provision of a fully equipped video conferencing facility enabling students to access teaching provided by other SEPnet members and funding for four main research themes ie Condensed Matter, Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Radiation Detectors and Instrumentation.

 Funding for the appointment of two permanent Fellowships/Lectureships in High Energy Particle Physics Phenomenology and two Fellowships/Lectureships in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics.


With our SEPnet partners we run a coordinated programme of outreach activities across the region to support the teaching of physics in schools and to convey the excitement of our subject to the next generation. Our involvement with these activities, together with the Department’s own outreach programme, is led by our dedicated outreach officer.

Explore Physics Outreach further.


SEPnet has initiated several exciting new research collaborations. As a result, we have established a strong and wide-ranging effort in Theoretical Physics in our Department.

The NeXT Institute for Particle Phenomenology has been established as a collaboration between the Particle Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Royal Holloway, the University of Southampton and the University of Sussex. NeXT promotes a new kind of interaction between experimental and particle physicists to enable rapid and accurate interpretation of the anticipated stream of data from the Large Hadron Collider.  This data will point the way to a higher level of understanding of the fundamental interactions of matter and forces as well as possible paving the way to follow towards an underlying grand unified theory. Two theorists have been appointed at Royal Holloway where they are embedded in the experimental particle physics group, and interact with the theory groups elsewhere in the collaboration.

The Hubbard Theory Centre has been established by Royal Holloway in partnership with the Harwell Science and Innovation campus, and in association with the University of London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). It will involve experimentalists and theorists working closely in tandem on the discovery and design of new materials, in which new quantum states with striking properties emerge from the collective behaviour of strongly interacting electrons. The Hubbard Theory Centre is led by Professor Piers Coleman (Rutgers University and Royal Holloway) and Professor Jörg Schmalian (US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University and RHUL). Dr Matthias Eschrig (formerly at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) and Dr Claudio Castelnovo (formerly at University of Oxford) have been appointed to academic positions held jointly at Royal Holloway and ISIS.


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