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PSI is Switzerland’s largest research centre for the natural sciences and engineering. It conducts toplevel research on the subjects of matter and material, people and health, and energy and the environment. By means of fundamental and applied research, it has been working since 1988 on sustainable solutions to key issues arising from society, industry and science.
With its spallation neutron source, synchrotron light source and myon source, it operates major facilities that are unique in Switzerland and in some cases in the world. Each year, about 2,400 researchers from Switzerland and abroad carry out experiments here. On top of its research, PSI operates the only unit in Switzerland for treating specific types of cancer with protons.
Of the around 1,900 employees at PSI, 700 are scientists. Training young people is a top priority for PSI: about a quarter of the employees are postdocs, doctoral students or trainees. In 2013, about 800 doctoral students carried out measurements at PSI for their doctoral theses, 208 wrote theses while employed full-time at PSI and 93 trainees received training in a total of 14 occupations. Training and continuing education for schoolchildren, students and professionals are provided in the training laboratory, iLab, or at the PSI Education Centre.
In 2014, PSI will be focusing on its national large-scale facility SwissFEL, an X-ray free-electron laser, which will make visible brief changes in atomic and molecular structures and is geared to the requirements of Swiss research.