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Research Fellow in High Energy Physics on Xenon Futures

UCL - UCL Physics and Astronomy

Location: London
Salary: £36,770 to £44,388 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 14th September 2021
Closes: 27th September 2021
Job Ref: 1878990

The appointment will be on UCL Grade 7.

The UCL High Energy Physics Group has an immediate opening for an outstanding PhD particle or astroparticle physicist to work on the Xenon Futures programme, conducting RD towards a future 3rd generation (G3) global rare event search observatory for dark matter searches and neutrino physics. The applicant will play a leading role in the construction, commissioning and operation of a new state-of-the-art facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) to measure trace quantities of radon emanation from construction materials used in rare event search experiments. Radon emanation has emerged as the dominant background source in the world’s most sensitive dark matter detectors and will be the limiting factor to exploring new physics in future experiments.

The new facility at RAL is designed to perform crucial RD to address this international challenge.  Combining radon detectors of unprecedented sensitivity with a novel gas system and low-temperature operation, the applicant will conduct the world’s first measurements of temperature-dependent rates and characteristics of radon transport in materials. This will enable the radio-pure construction of future dark matter and exotic neutrino experiments and deliver the high precision background models necessary to evaluate any possible signal. The applicant will also perform radio assays of materials and components with high purity Germanium detectors at the Boulby Underground Laboratory and with the ICP-MS facility at UCL, together with Monte Carlo simulations to determine background expectations in next generation experiments.

UCL are one of the leading institutes in the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter search experiment based at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), South Dakota, USA. LZ will be the world’s most sensitive search for galactic dark matter. The applicant will also have the opportunity to contribute to LZ, through on-site operations, calibrations, Monte Carlo simulations and analysis of the science datasets that may yield first discovery of dark matter – a result that would revolutionise our understanding of the universe.  The position is funded for 1.5 years in the first instance.

The applicant should have or be about to receive a PhD in particle physics or particle astrophysics and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at Research Assistant Grade 6B (salary £32,217 - £33,958 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button above.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Shanice Thomas,

Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Professor Chamkaur Ghag, (Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3463).

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23:59.

Interview Date: TBC

UCL Taking Action for Equality

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