Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Particle physics

STFC supports UK physicists working on particle physics projects across the world. It includes funding STFC facilities such as the particle physics department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and contributing to international facilities such as CERN.

Partners involved:
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The scope and what we're doing

STFC funds UK physicists collaborating in projects all over the world.

STFC supports physicists working on a wide range of experiments in our own laboratories, such as the particle physics department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and university research through its experimental and theory consolidated grants, fellowships and studentship grants.

STFC is one of the major contributors to CERN and supports UK researchers working on all four of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors:

In addition STFC has made a significant investment in the computing (GRID) infrastructure as part of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG), which is vital for handling the massive amount of data that CERN will produce.

The LHC detector upgrade programme is an essential part of exploiting the LHC investment and the UK is playing a prominent role in the international construction programmes underway to support the upgrades and has contributed many of the key technical advances required.

Other major areas of fundamental particle physics research are the study of neutrino masses and mixing, and lepton flavour violation. STFC-funded physicists are actively involved in groundbreaking experiments in these areas, such as:

STFC also supports an active theory community. Theory is fundamental to the progress and understanding of experimental physics, both in the short term in relating to currently operational experiments, as well as in the longer term of proposing new ideas which will become the focus of tests in the future.

STFC funds the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, which is a leading international centre for research in particle physics phenomenology, providing the theory and analysis behind the experiments carried out at the LHC.

Theoretical physics links closely with mathematical physics and a number of examples are supported both by STFC and EPSRC. Find out how STFC and EPSRC support research in theoretical physics and mathematical physics.

Opportunities, support and resources available

First year high energy particle physics graduate students are invited to attend the High Energy Physics Summer School, which provides students with the basics of particle physics early on in their research studies.

Who to contact

Karen Clifford, Head of Particle Physics


Governance, management and panels

The particle physics programme is guided by the Particle Physics Advisory Panel and based on our science challenges.

Last updated: 23 November 2022

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