15-day ephemeral schools
GIRGEA organises fortnight-long schools in the different countries of its scientific network. These schools are supervised by Thesis students who then obtain a position in their country.
Our schools aim to train scientists who will then be professors in the universities of their country and train the new generations. We teach mainly in French but also in English when necessary. We address ourselves to students having a master’s degree and preparing a thesis. In some countries, when there is no master’s degree in his country, for the discipline concerned, the student will study in another country in Africa or France. This fact is rather rare, in the GIRGEA, it essentially concerns the DRC.
Our way of working has been to change the established rules to always require foreign students to emigrate to train in advanced disciplines. GIRGEA, on the contrary, organizes schools in interested countries and defines with the country’s academics the type of training they wish for their students. We also install measuring instruments in the countries where we train. And the data collected are accessible to researchers in their home countries.
Our schools are general schools in which specialists from different disciplines of solar-terrestrial relations, give an overview of their discipline. The different disciplines concern the sun, the interplanetary environment, the magnetosphere, the ionosphere, the atmosphere and earth sciences. This is important because the student who chooses a given discipline has a general idea about the other disciplines. Our schools mix researchers from different disciplines and countries creating positive scientific stimulation and links between researchers from the South.
For PhD students, we have also organised one-week training sessions in Brest, France, at the Ecole des Mines télécoms so that they can learn how best to use the data acquired in their country concerning GNSS: Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS includes the American GPS system, the Russian GLONASS, the European GALILEO, etc.). The school will cover all local food and training costs, with the student having to finance his or her ticket.
Our studies vary from country to country and adapt to the country’s interest. In the DRC, one of the most struck by lightning in the world, we have developed studies on lightning. As soon as a project starts in a country, we define the project with the country’s academics. After each school, the students selected during the school and who obtain their thesis, after 3 to 4 years of work, become professors in the universities of their country and develop the new curricula in their universities. And now in GIRGEA schools there are many former students who have become teachers in our schools.
Our GIRGEA network is based on ethical rules recognising the right of each country to develop the research it wishes. Our network takes care of finding the means for this development according to sharing rules. We bring the instruments, we train in the country. The teachers do not receive a salary, they are simply paid by the host country and generally they pay their plane ticket to participate in the school. Everybody’s doing their part.
GIRGEA is part of an international ISWI International Space Weather Initiative network (http://www.iswi-secretariat.org).
We work in cooperation with the French embassies in the various countries of our network, and with CRASTE-LF, the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology in French language affiliated to the United Nations (www.crastelf.org.ma/)
GIRGEA does not have a fixed budget defined annually, it seeks funding for each of its actions:
Dung for students
Research stays for researchers
Our funding is very varied and we have many partners, each school report has one in mind with the logos of the organizations that have funded.
For each school the host country finances accommodation and food for all participants (students and teachers).
The various laboratories pay the plane tickets to the professors and sometimes some students.
We use international organizations to pay for airline tickets for students without funding.