Exoclimes Simulation Platform (ESP) Summer School 2019
by Prof. Dr. Kevin Heng, CSH Director
Background, History & Motivation
The Exoclimes Simulation Platform (ESP) is a vision to provide the scientific community with publicly-available computer codes designed to simulate the climates of exoplanets, including radiative transfer, chemistry and fluid dynamics.
It is based on the belief that a healthy exoplanetary atmospheres community should compete to publish the best ideas, rather than be constrained by proprietary software. It is also based on the belief that science should be reproducible and accessible to everyone who is interested.
The ESP was created in 2011 by Kevin Heng and Simon Grimm, then at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, respectively, in Switzerland. They later moved to the Center for Space & Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern from 2013 onwards to start the Exoplanets & Exoclimes Group (EEG), which continues to develop and support the ESP till this very day.
The main code developers of the ESP are the current and former students and postdocs of the EEG, but the long-term dream is for the exoplanetary atmospheres community to step in and collaborate with us. All of our codes are open source and hosted on Github ( https://github.com/exoclime).
The next, exciting phase for us in this open-source movement is to teach the community how to use these codes, so that they may become both users and co-developers. To this end, we will conduct annual summer schools in Switzerland from 2019 onwards.
Application, Deadlines & Selection
The ESP summer school is aimed at students and postdocs who are interested in exoplanet science. Participants of the ESP summer school are competitively selected.
To apply, please send a one-page letter (use a maximum of 2 pages if you must) with the following information:
1. Introduce yourself, stating your past and current universities/institutions, area(s) of study and Ph.D/postdoc advisor(s).
2. Describe your current and/or future ideas for your thesis work and explain how the ESP will help you in your work.
3. List the names, affiliations and email addresses of two professors or senior researchers who will be able to serve as references for you. We may solicit feedback from these individuals if necessary.
We will vet and select participants based on achieving topical, geographic and gender diversity, as well as a balance between the academic experience levels of the participants.
This letter should be in PDF format and sent to Kevin Heng (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31st December 2018. Early applications are allowed and encouraged. Selected participants will be notified shortly and invited to pay the registration fee of 600 CHF. The various deadlines are listed below:
First announcement: 1st November 2018 (Thursday)
Application Deadline: 31st December 2018 (Monday)
Selection of Participants: 31st Jan 2019 (Thursday)
Registration Fee Payment Deadline: 28th February 2019 (Thursday)
Last Chance to Withdraw from ESP Summer School: 29th March 2019 (Friday)
Note that after 29th March 2019, we will be unable to refund your registration fee if you withdraw due to the policies of the Guarda Val hotel.
Venue & Registration Fees
The venue is the scenic Guarda Val hotel (www.guardaval.ch) located 1600 meters above sea level in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Participants will fly into the Zurich (ZRH), Basel (BSL) or Geneva (GVA) airports (in order of increasing travel time by train to Lenzerheide) and take the local Swiss trains to Lenzerheide. To encourage close interaction, we are capping the number of summer school registrants to 30.
The registration fee for the inaugural ESP summer school is 600 Swiss francs (CHF), which includes hotel accommodation for 2 nights, all breakfasts (2), lunches (3) and dinners (2), and coffee/tea breaks. It does not include any alcoholic beverages/drinks. It does not include the travel expenses you will incur as you travel to and from Guarda Val. The actual cost for each participant exceeds the registration fee, which means we are effectively already subsidising every student/postdoc attending the ESP summer school.