The HERMES Network: a messenger of international cooperation

In June 2012, the CERN-HERMES Network was set up with the aim of enhancing collaboration between CERN and Greek research institutes and universities. Today, the network offers eight doctoral scholarships for Greek students in various biomedical-related fields. The students will be involved in research projects conducted in collaboration with CERN.


The CERN-HERMES Network (CERN-HEllenic Research network on Medical and novEl technologieS) was approved by the Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology in 2012 and by the CERN Director-General in March of the same year. The network has three main pillars: “The first is to develop common research projects between Greek and CERN teams. The second is to train young Greek students and researchers, and the third and final aim is to submit common proposals to the European Commission for Horizon 2020,” says Evangelia Dimovasili, technical coordinator of the HERMES Network.

Recently, the head of the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) agreed to fund eight doctoral scholarships to develop projects exclusively for CERN-HERMES research and activities in the broader medical physics and health-related technology field. “This pilot programme is just starting and the first students will be selected for the CERN doctoral programme at the end of January 2014,” says Dimovasili. “It is very significant that these first scholarships are being offered in the medical physics field. Moreover, IKY is very eager to offer the network more scholarships at a later date in order to increase the number of Greek fellows.”

“Transferring cutting-edge technologies from research laboratories to medicine is essential,” comments CERN’s Paul Lecoq, a network partner. “In order to do this, we need international and interdisciplinary teams of inspired people. This is what the CERN-HERMES Network provides us with.”

For the time being, HERMES only involves Greek institutes but negotiations have started with 25 other institutes from 11 European countries that have already expressed an interest in officially joining the network. “The network is an excellent platform to promote scientific, technological and cultural exchanges among different countries in the field of medical applications. We hope that HERMES will make it possible to steer research in innovative directions and will extend the research capabilities of the various teams involved,” says CERN’s Emmanuel Tsesmelis, Deputy Head of International Relations. “We hope that HERMES will expand and involve other countries.”

The full announcement regarding the scholarships and the application submission can be found here (in Greek only).

by Rosaria Marraffino