PhD students will work with both technical work for detector development and analysis of data from the ATLAS experiment at the LHC

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The Department of Particle Physics is involved in two experiments, ATLAS and ALICE, at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, ATLAS. The LHC is the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator and we study the collisions for a greater understanding of the higher energy scales (primarily ATLAS) and higher density (primarily ALICE). In addition, we participate in the planning of experiments at the European Spallation Source and also in the LDMX experiment, which searches for dark matter. The ATLAS group in Lund has been members of the ATLAS collaboration for many years and has many different activities in physics analysis – we are looking for new particles such as dark matter or exotic Higgs bosons and we make precision measurements of the Standard Model and luminosity. We also participate in the practical work with the detector and its software, and help to develop these for the future. We are looking for two new PhD students to join our ATLAS group.

Work duties

The new PhD students will work with both technical work for detector development and analysis of data from the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. The ATLAS group in Lund is involved in the ATLAS upgrade of the track detector (ITk strips) and the students will be able to participate actively in this work. In addition to this, there are two analysis projects:

Project 1: Develop and use new GPU- and other accelerator-based data processing methods for searching for dark matter using real-time analysis, and contribute to the ATLAS activities to transition to the modern software that uses the most advanced computer technologies. The objectives are to investigate relevant modern data analysis algorithms, such as those that use machine learning for anomaly detection; identify areas of ATLAS software where these algorithms will be most beneficial; implement the algorithms using accelerator-based techniques; and apply them to the search for dark matter.

Project 2: The search for exotic Higgs bosons from lepton interactions. The new data from the LHC at higher intensity and energy in the coming years make it possible to study physics with significant lepton couplings, for example, to observe and measure lepton-lepton scattering directly from the colliding protons, and search for double-charged Higgs bosons proposed as a solution to many of the open questions surrounding the properties of neutrinos. The doctoral student will implement these new signals in the ATLAS simulation, make an initial measurement with Run 3 data, and through the work with the new tracking detector, prepare the lepton measurements in Run 4. Strategies for triggering and identifying leptons are discussed in performance groups.

Please indicate in your application which project or projects you are most interested in.

In addition, there is the opportunity to participate in the HELIOS ( collaboration including courses and schools. The position as a PhD student is a research education and thus also includes advanced courses. The doctoral students will also be given the opportunity to participate in the supervision of Master’s and Bachelor students.

The doctoral students will be based in Lund, but research trips to CERN must be expected.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • passed an independent project ( project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject

Equivalent knowledge acquired through corresponding programmes will be assessed individually. In order to enable interdisciplinary initiatives and important specialisations in certain areas, students with qualifications in subjects other than Physics may be considered for admission.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Other assessment criteria

  • Experience in programming (for instance C++ or Python).

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
  5. The applicant should be interested in working in an international environment since a lot of the activities will be at CERN and possibly also at other international laboratories.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

The appointment of the successful candidate will be based on grades from the basic and advanced level courses, the requirements described above, and the ability to tackle the challenges described in the text. Special emphasis is placed on the quality of the degree project.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English.

Please apply online via Lund University’s recruitment system (see link below). All documents (except reference-letters, see below) are to be uploaded in the recruitment system as pdf, Word or similar files.

Applications must include the following:

  • a cover letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests
  • a CV
  • a link (preferred) or a copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis
  • contact details of at least two references
  • copies of grade certificates
  • any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Contact: Oxana.Smirnova and/or Else.Lytken

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

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Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2022/426
Last application date31.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CEST
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