by Iva Raynova. Published: 30 July 2016

The ALICE juniors form a community of people in the beginning of their career. Every Masters or PhD student is considered to be a junior member, and so are people who have obtained their University degree in the past eight years or their PhD in the past five years. They conduct a big part of the day-to-day data analysis, they perform service tasks, detector calibration and development, thus contributing to the smooth and efficient operation of the experiment.

There are certain factors pointing to the necessity for such group to exist. First of all, it is a way to address the specific issues that the junior members face and to work towards resolving them. Social networking is being stimulated within the group, which allows the fast and efficient exchange of useful information between the members. The group provides technical support to the newcomers, introduces them to the complex ALICE software and to the CERN facilities. It is also represented in the Collaboration Board, which allows seniors to consider the Juniors’ opinion when management decisions are being made.

The Juniors group has a Committee in charge of organising events, meetings and elections, as well as conducting surveys. In addition to that there is a Tutorial Committee, which gives analysis tutorials and provides information about various tools used in analysis, from which both junior and senior members benefit.

As every large group of people, the Juniors need somebody to express the collective voice and to serve as a link between them and the rest of the Collaboration. This is the role of the Juniors’ representatives. Their aim is to create a comfortable working environment. They actively take part in the discussions in the Collaboration Board and Management Board and they have three votes in the Collaboration Board’s decisions. The representatives, together with the Juniors committee, organise the Juniors day every ALICE week. It is an opportunity for junior members to present their work in a relaxed atmosphere, to exchange ideas and to discuss ongoing analyses in the Collaboration in simple terms, understandable for everyone. It is usually followed by a dinner, financially supported by the Spokesperson. They also make sure to give insights about different career options and tips on how the ALICE members could develop their scientific careers. If you have a question, suggestion or a comment, you could contact the Juniors’ representatives via email.

Most member states in ALICE have an ambassador, a contact person for juniors in different countries. His or her role is to forward the problems, opinions and suggestions to the representatives, so that they could be discussed during the Juniors’ meetings. The list of ambassadors can be found here.

If you are a junior member and being a part of the ongoing discussions is important for you, subscribe to the mailing list (alice-juniors@cern.ch) or join the ALICE Juniors Facebook group. By doing that you will have the chance to vote and you will receive important information.