Early Career Researcher/PhD Positions - Scattering Amplitudes: From Geometry to Experiment (SAGEX)

Queen Mary University of London - School of Physics and Astronomy

We are pleased to advertise 15 Early-Stage Researcher (PhD) positions to begin in 2018/19, as part of the Innovative Training Network of the European Commission SAGEX "Scattering Amplitudes: from Geometry to Experiment". The positions will all last three years, and will allow all students to participate in an exciting programme comprising international schools, workshops, and secondments at academic as well as industrial partners (see the overview of the project below).

Overview of the project and of the training offered to all Early Stage Researchers of SAGEX

Scattering amplitudes, describing the observations of high-energy collider experiments, provide a window into the fundamental structures predicted by relativistic quantum theories. By identifying and exploiting seemingly disparate concepts from abstract geometry, symbolic big data, and phenomenological calculations, the SAGEX network will train the next generation of researchers in the new tools, approaches, and insights that will make possible previously intractable analyses directly relevant to current and near-future particle physics experiments. Assembling an unprecedented team of top scholars in mathematics, theoretical physics, and symbolic computation with major industry partners including Wolfram Research, Maplesoft, and RISC GmbH, we intend to leverage our successes, expertise, and world-class scientific challenges to provide a unique training opportunity for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in Europe.

Training of the network's ESRs will comprise an integrated curriculum of local and intensive network courses, schools, and engagement with active cutting-edge research. They will be seconded to at least one academic and one private sector partner of the project, building bridges between academic and industrial communities. SAGEX is set up to integrate several existing and highly recognised annual conferences with a series of new schools, workshops, and industry partnerships. Through developing invaluable analytic, computational, and soft skills, the ESRs emerging from this action will be eminently employable with the potential to become the next generation of European leaders in academia, industry, and the public sector. Finally, the training we offer, and the research carried out, will be made open and available, boosting not only Europe's continued leadership in the field of high-energy theoretical physics, but strategically allowing non-partner institutions with less domain experience to train scholars in relevant, in-demand skills.

The positions will be hosted at the following institutions:

  • Queen Mary University of London (QMUL): 2 PhD positions, ESR 1 and ESR 2
  • Humboldt University Berlin (HU): 2 PhD positions, ESR 3 and ESR 4
  • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY): 2 PhD positions, ESR 5 and ESR 6
  • Durham University (DU): 2 PhD positions, ESR 7 and ESR 8
  • CEA Saclay (CEA): 2 PhD positions, ESR 9 and ESR 10
  • Niels Bohr Institute (NBI): 2 PhD positions, ESR 11 and ESR 12
  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD): 2 PhD positions, ESR 13 and ESR 14
  • RISC Software GmbH/Research Institute for Symbolic Computation (RISC GmbH/RISC): 1 PhD position, ESR 15

The SAGEX consortium also includes academic partner organisations:

  • University of Oxford
  • ETH Zurich
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (Stanford University)
  • University of Hamburg;

plus private sector partners:

  • Wolfram Research
  • Maplesoft
  • Danske Bank
  • DreamQuark
  • Mærsk Tankers
  • Milde Marketing Science Communication
  • Ekaterina Eremenko Films.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact as soon as possible the scientists in charge of the projects.

How to apply and eligibility requirements 

Relevant links to the webpages to apply for each position will be provided on this website:https://sagex.ph.qmul.ac.uk/?page_id=6
Positions at different institutions will require separate applications.

Applicants will need to submit, for each application:

  • Transcripts from University.
  • Curriculum vitae of at most 3 pages.
  • Contact details of two referees. Please ask your referees to send letters to the contact person listed for each node.
  • Brief description of why the applicant wishes to become a PhD student within SAGEX.

Eligibility requirements: At the time of appointment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in the country for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before their appointment; AND shall also be in the first four years of their research careers at the time of appointment and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.


Please email directly the scientist(s) in charge of the project(s) you are interested in for further information. We expect most project to be advertised in April.


The salary is composed of Living, Mobility, and, if eligible, Family Allowance:

Living Allowance: €3,110 per month. This is then adjusted through the application of a country correction coefficient to the living allowance of the country in which the researcher will be recruited.
Mobility Allowance: €600 per month. All researchers are entitled to receive this. It contributes to the mobility related expenses of the researcher.
Family Allowance: €500 per month if the researcher has family.

Further information can be found here: ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/msca-itn-2017.html

Available projects:

Details of each project can be found here: sagex.ph.qmul.ac.uk/?page_id=6
Here we summarise the titles and host institutions for the 15 ESR positions:

ESR 1 (QMUL, London): Form factors and Higgs amplitudes from N = 4 super Yang-Mills to QCD 
ESR 2 (QMUL, London): From amplitudes to the dilatation operator of N = 4 super Yang-Mills.
ESR 3 (Humboldt, Berlin): Uncovering the kinematic algebra behind colour-kinematic duality
ESR 4 (Humboldt, Berlin): Integrability for amplitudes and correlators
ESR 5 (DESY, Hamburg): 4D ambitwistor theory for N = 8 supergravity
ESR 6 (DESY, Zeuthen): Differential equations for phase-space integrals and Cutkosky rules
ESR 7 (Durham): Amplitudes and correlation functions as generalised polytopes
ESR 8 (Durham): Perturbative simplicity in lower dimensions
ESR 9 (CEA, Saclay): Local loop-level recursion for nonplanar theories
ESR 10 (CEA, Saclay): Two-loop QCD amplitudes for next-to-next-to-leading order calculations at the LHC
ESR 11 (NBI, Copenhagen): Scattering equations, kinematic algebra and tree and loop amplitudes
ESR 12 (NBI, Copenhagen): Applications of amplitude results in effective field theory
ESR 13 (Trinity College Dublin): Soft limits and symmetries in perturbative gauge theory and gravity
ESR 14 (Trinity College Dublin): Perturbative amplitude computations from integrability
ESR 15 (RISC/RISC GmbH, Hagenberg, Austria): Computer algebra for special functions

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