Advanced Theoretical Tools and Simulations for Material Science, Nanotechnology, Biophysics and Biochemistry

The France Excellence summer school "Advanced Theoretical Tools and Simulations for Material Science, Nanotechnology, Biophysics and Biochemistry ", hold by Université de Lorraine will take place from June 30th to July 28th at Nancy.


The Venue:

Université de Lorraine promotes innovation through the dialogue of knowledge, taking advantage of the variety and strength of its scientific fields, and aiming at the promotion of knowledge transfer to irrigate innovation and economic growth as well as the progress of fundamental science.Being the university of a whole region, Université de Lorraine is a major actor of its economic and social development, building on intercultural and intergeneration links, coordinating a regional research policy, and giving access to higher education to as many inhabitants as possible.

Université de Lorraine offers curricula in all fields of knowledge: sciences, health, technology, engineering sciences, human and social sciences, law, economy, management, arts, literature and language. A specific focus is given to crossovers between fields and skills, to help students develop their own pathway.

Figures: 60,000 Students among which 7,924 foreign students 137 nationalities, 568 international researchers welcomed through the Euraxess Service Centre.

On 10th February 2017, The University of Lorraine received the “HR Excellence in Research” logo awarded by the European Commission after analysis of its European HR Strategy for Researchers. This award gives public recognition of its commitment towards a HR continuous improvement approach and action plan toward enhancing the: Status of Phd Students & Post-doctoral Fellows, The Recruitment and career's Researcher path, The Quality of life in the workplace, The International Mobility, The Professional ethics, integrity and values, and the Access and diffusion of knowledge


The Nancy_SIM 2018 Summer School:


High performance computing and numerical simulations are major tools for research, on the same level as theory and experience. Today, the contribution of these tools is indispensable in many scientific disciplines such as environment and climate, chemistry and biology, material physics and energy. 


The University of Lorraine (UL) is proud to host a variety of teams and research laboratories of high competence and very strong international visibility in this field. The broad disciplinary spectrum of their research activities covers the societal challenges, explicit priorities of ISITE Lorraine University of Excellence  -


The Lorraine Pact (State Region Plan) has enabled UL to finance a Mésocentre (regional computing center EXPLOR) equipped with Supercomputers and a “Simulation ” allowing, in the context of this school “Ecole d’Eté France Excellence”, to provide the opportunity for the students to use significant computing resources for practical work.


This EEFE School gathers theoreticians, Physicists and Chemists expert in developing and using theoretical methods and computer simulations to describe matter from atoms to supramolecular assemblies and to study the influence of environment on their physical and chemical properties. NANCY_SIM 2018 is a 4-week school that offers a program focusing on numerical techniques for the study of properties of many-particle systems. It targets advanced MSc students who want to learn these techniques to study topics in physics, chemistry or biology. The school consists of an integrated program of lectures and hands-on exercises. It offers a complete program to master basic and advanced simulation techniques including, molecular dynamics, free energy calculations, rare events, coarse graining, as well as a complete coverage of Quantum and mixed Quantum Classical Dynamics simulations.  See details below.

The city of Nancy



A beautiful town with plenty to offer. Capital of the Dukes of Lorraine, Nancy is known throughout the world for its array of eighteenth century architecture in the squares place Stanislas, place de la Carrière and place d’Alliance - listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1983. Recognized as a town dedicated to art, Nancy has turned to “live” culture, with a national opera, a ballet, a symphony and opera orchestra, a national drama center and 6 museums, among which is the unique, genre-transcending École de Nancy (School of Nancy museum).


Must-sees in Nancy: UNESCO World Heritage squares. The old town. The École de Nancy museum. The Lorraine museum. The fine art museum and its Glass Daum collection. The Museum and Aquarium. Art Nouveau. The botanical garden at Le Montet with its 20,000 species of plants. The marina and its water gardens.


The gourmet specialities: Bergamotes and Macarons de Nancy, Mirabelle plums, Quiche Lorraine.

The metropolitan area of Nancy has a population of 476,000 inhabitants, 105,400 of whom lived in the city of Nancy. It is home today to over 50,000 Students.


Average temperature in the summer time 22-27C. Relative Humidity ~70%.

Sunset and Sunrise:  05:35-21:40 July 1st and 06:09-21:15 July 30th



Arrival in France and Transfer to Nancy


Welcome in Paris: Saturday June 30th

Classes start on July the 2nd

Bus pick up at the PARIS CDG Airport toward Nancy (4. h Drive)

Residency: The residence 'Charmois' in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, depends on the CROUS Nancy-Metz. It has rooms and studios with individual showers, and access to Wifi and the wired internet connection. Students also have a TV socket and a telephone jack. Kitchens, a work room, a TV room, a music room and a laundry are available to all residents.  

The Residence is located within walking distance from the Science Campus where all major courses takes place. The site is served by public transportation (bus and tram)



The School will operate on an All Inclusive basis for all Meals but Breakfasts.


Lunch: CROUS (University) Restaurant the first week within walking distance.

INIST (CNRS Personnel) Restaurant (within 15 mn walk from the Science Campus) or lunch trays served on site the following 3 weeks.


Dinner: Social Dinners 3-4 times a week, these are taken in charge as part of the social events. Vouchers or stipends will be provided for other “free evenings”

Coffee and Cookies will be served weekdays on the school grounds.



Lunch provided during visits of sites.



A monthly pass for public transportation (TRAM, bus…) for the students will be provided. This should allow for easy access to Nancy center city (about 10 mn ride)


Return to China


Classes finish July the 27th

Return to Paris Saturday July 28th (Bus to the PARIS CDG Airport)

Scientific Program

Please find here the complete schedule 


Hands on Computers: 7h.30 (including TP)(Prof G. Monard and F. Pascale Ing.)  

Basics: Software and Hardware.

Introduction to Linux, use and Administration. Introduction to python and scripting languages.

Computer Programming and Numerical Methods. Using High performance computing.

Introduction to Statistical mechanics: 6h.  (Prof M. Henkel. Prof. D. Karevski) 

Introduction to the fundamentals of statistical mechanics: Classical mechanics in the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations and its relation to classical statistical mechanics, phase space and partition functions. Introduction to Methods of molecular dynamics



Molecular Dynamics Simulations:  7h30.  (Prof C. Millot and D. M. Tarek)

Force Fields, Integrators, Constraints, …

Advanced MD simulations (Multiple Time steps, ...)


Free Energy Methods:  3h.  (Asst. Prof, A. Monari, M. Tarek)

Theoretical and computational foundations, ABF, Metadynamics, …


Coarse Grain simulations:  3h.  (Dr. L. Monticelli INSERM LYON)  

Basics, MARTINI models for lipid membranes, Proteins.


Homology and Docking:  3h.  (Dr. Dave Ritchie INRIA LORIA NANCY)

Introduction to Structural bioinformatics; protein docking; protein-protein interactions; virtual drug screening



Electronic Structure 12h  (Pr. X Assfeld, Dr. A Monari, Dr. M Pastore)

Hartree-Fock, Density Fonctional Theory, Post-Hartree-Fock  Methods: Variational, Perturbative, Multiconfigurational.



Environment effects in Quantum Calculations 9h (Ast. Prof. F. Ingrosso, Ast. Pr. A Monari, Pr. G. Monard)

Modeling the effect of solvent.

Multi scaling Methods (QM/MM, QM/QM’),

Linear Scaling Methods (SEBOMD)


Exited states 4h (Dr. A Monari)

TD-DFT; Non adiabatic Dynamics



Supervised research projects, Hands-on workshops and other Research Activities 


Hands on Workshops: (Tutoring by Professors, Researchers and Postdocs)

Hands on Computers 4h30

Molecular Dynamics Simulations (Setting up and running simulations) 4h

Coarse Grain modeling (setting up and running simulations) 2h

Homology Modelling (setting up and running calculations) 2h

Docking 2h Electronic Structure: 8h Environment, excited states 6h


Seminars:  6 x 1h30

Research highlights: computational chemistry for Material Science, Biophysics and Biochemistry

Scattered along the 4 weeks.


French Courses 

Please find here the french class programme.

French Classes  36 h (by professors from the “French as a Foerign Language Department” DEFLE of the Université de Lorraine)

18h during the first week, then 2x3 hours for the following 3 weeks (Tuesdays and Thursdays after midday, lying in session of 4h (3 + 1h) with more and more cultural activities during the stay: activities wine, cooking, discovery of the city….


Cultural Visits 

Nancy (Spectacle Son et Lumière, Museums, City Tours ,…)


Several other guided tours will be organized: The first tour notably includes Place Stanislas and Place de la Carrière allowing the visitor to feel the lasting impression the last Duke of Lorraine made on the city. The many charms of the town:  Old, Medieval and Renaissance will be revealed thanks not only to its architectural gems, but also to its great shops, terraces and little cafés. The Ducal Palace, the distinctive hotels, the Craffe Gate and the Saint-Epvre church are some important monuments from Lorraine’s history.


From Place Maginot to Place Stanislas, Another tour will allow you to explore the sites which made up the business world around the year 1900: shops, banks and other buildings. The École de Nancy has successfully taken advantage of the progress in technology and the beauty of the decorative arts and crafts, so as to be able to engrave on stone, metal, glass and wood the entrepreneurial spirit which characterized the Nancy bourgeoisie of business.


Every evening in the summer, Nancy honors its architectural heritage with  ‘Rendez-Vous Place Stanislas’.  Place Stan becomes the destination to watch the outstanding works of our city, animated and projected in a spectacular technical display on the walls of five buildings within the square (hôtel de ville, Opéra, Fine Arts Museum, Hôtel de la Reine et Pavillon Jacquet), over 200 meters aside.


REIMS 1 Day visit 

 Please find here the visit programme 

Home of the most celebrated and celebratory wine in the world (Champagne for the uninitiated), Reims is the most important city in the Champagne region (200 km west of Nancy). The region is filled with history, and it has one of the most beautiful buildings dating from the Middle Ages. Despite the fact that World War I destroyed most of the old homes, the Art Deco style that the city was rebuilt in has its own special glamour. From antiquity to present days, Reims offers indeed a variety of historical sites: Gallo-Roman, medieval monuments but also museums of the 1st and 2nd World Wars.


Clovis, Frankish king was baptised by the bishop of Reims on Chritsmas Day 498 in a baptistery which is where Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims stands. It is thanks to Clovis’ baptism that Reims became the seat of the coronation of the kings of France.

The most famous event that has taken place at the Cathédrale Notre Dame happened on 17 July 1429, when Charles VII was sworn in as King, with Joan of Arc at his side. Between 1223 and 1825, 25 total coronations took place there.



STRASBOUG: 1 Day-visit to the Europeen Capital (cf. attached program).


Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand-East region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France, located 180 km East of Nancy. It is the formal seat of the European Parliament and is located near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. Its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River.


The one-day tour in Strasboug (3 hours Guided tour by a professional) will allow you to visit the historic city center and its 142m-high cathedral, a true gem of religious architecture. The Petite France is also a must-see, with its narrow streets, its half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, and its canals. The "Grande Ile" and the Neustadt are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

The afternoon, you will board BATORAMA, to enjoy boat trip for a 70-minute city tours. You will glide gently past the must-see attractions of the Alsatian capital, in particular the Petite France, tanners’ quarter, the Covered Bridges and the Vauban dam, the Neustadt imperial quarter, and the European institutions.

AMNEVILLE: Zoo and Relaxation at the SPA Villa Pompei.

In a wooded setting at the heart of the Centre Thermal & Touristique in Amnéville-les-Thermes, 50 km north of Nancy, Amnéville Zoo is one of the greatest Zoos in Europe. It covers 17 hectares of land and is home to 2,000 animals originating from 5 continents and belonging to 360 different species. It is the only French zoo to present a show of tamed tigers. It features as well a spectacular show with birds of prey flying free around the arena and presented on horseback by Bernard Bailly, a master-falconer, and his team. In this exceptional show you will see how a large snake-eating bird of prey hunts the most venomous reptiles.


After a long day visit and wondering in the zoo, you will be invited to relax 2-3 hours in Villa   Pompeii. Inspired by the Roman baths, Villa Pompei welcomes you in the enchanting setting of its thermal agora.  Villa Pompeii is the ideal cocktail to relax, escape and de-stress ... Inspired by the spirit and architecture of ancient Rome, Villa Pompeii draws its influences from the heart of Roman thermalism. A refined building with an authentic character, Villa Pompéi combines the nobility of materials with the benefits of thermal water at 35 ° C. Discover all the wealth of Agora Thermale's activities: indoor and outdoor spaces, tropical showers, hot marbles, underwater massage jets, cervical showers, booths and boiling seats, steam rooms, saunas ... Enter a new era , that of the intoxication of the senses and the metamorphosis of the emotions.

FREE Afternoons for Shopping.

"Les Soldes, ho lala". Summer sales 2017 are expected to start on June 28 and end on August 8 [dates can be slightly modified]. Sales season brings, for locals and tourists a sense of great opportunity. The savings during this time are considerable – usually 30-50%, and as high as 70% as the sale period goes on.  One the one hand, the prospect of fantastic deals on items generally out of reach for most budgets as even the major designer labels such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, et al drop their prices. The prospect of crowds, traffic, noise, and racks that have been left barebones from over-competitive fellow shoppers are on the other hand another Experience on its own. Students will have several occasions and free time to wonder in the City Center and in most Malls.







Advanced Theoretical Tools and Simulations for Material Science, Nanotechnology, Biophysics and Biochemistry

From July 1st  to 28th at Nancy

The total number of places is limited to 30.

The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.


Accommodation, meals (except breakfasts) and local transportation are all included.

The summer school will deliver 6 ECTS

The summer school is reserved to Chinese master students.

To apply, please follow the application procedure on the main page.

Price: 25.000 CNY

The French Embassy reserves a limited number of grants to students with an exceptional academic background. Grants cover the tuition fees but do not cover the trip from China to Paris.