Postgraduate Research Opportunities in Particle Physics at the Imperial College HEP Group
The High Energy Physics (Experimental Particle Physics) group at Imperial College is one of the largest in the UK and has a wide and varied research programme. The research interests of the group are outlined in the High Energy Physics section of the Annual Report and also in the research section of the Postgraduate Prospectus.
Initial application deadline for STFC-funded positions: 27th January 2017
Current research projects in Experimental Particle Physics include:
- CMS (compact muon solenoid) experiment at LHC, the world's highest energy collider, discovered the elusive Higgs Boson in 2012. This discovery resulted in the Nobel Prize being given to Higgs and Englert in 2013. CMS has also managed to place stringent limits on SuperSymmetry and other theories that go beyond the Standard Model. After the recent LHC upgrade, CMS is now taking data at the highest energies and rates ever achieved and will continue its search for physics beyond the Standard Model.
- LHCb, an experiment at the LHC, which is searching for deviations from the Standard Model in the decays of B mesons. The experiment uses the LHC as a prolific source of B-hadrons, providing the potential for a discovery of physics not explained by the Standard Model in Rare Decays and in CP violation measurements. The existing measurements provide powerful probes of new physics models and have revealed intriguing deviations from the Standard Model expectations. Further measurements are now being started with the data collected after the LHC upgrade and these measurements will allow the deviations seen to be explored further.
- T2K/Super-K/Hyper-K, the experiment through which we made the seminal discovery of electron-neutrino appearance from a muon-neutrino beam, and which continues to be the neutrino beam experiment that is making the highest-precision measurements. We are also working on Hyper-Kamiokande, the next-generation experiment that will follow T2K.
- Accelerator R&D including the Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment (MICE) and accelerators for use in medical facilities.
- SHiP is a proposal for a new facility at CERN that is led by Imperial group members. The experiment will search for the new particles predicted by so-called "Hidden Sector" models which are capable of accommodating dark matter, explaining the pattern of neutrino oscillations and masses, and the origin of the baryon asymmetry in the Universe.
- SoLid is a neutrino experiment searching for a new kind of matter with a novel type of 3D scintillator detector operating very close to a research nuclear reactor.
- Preparations for the LISA experiment, a next generation gravitational wave experiment in space.
- LUX, the leading dark matter search experiment operating at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, and the next-generation experiment LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ).
- COMET, an experiment to search for muon-to-electron conversion, a process that is yet to be seen, but which is extremely sensitive to deviations of the universe from the Standard Model. Phase-I of the experiment is under construction and is due to take data shortly, while a further phase is being designed, with construction scheduled in the next several years.
- Grid computing technologies required for carrying out the data processing in association with the LHC.
- Development of new classes of position detectors, based primarily on silicon, and designing the associated complex signal processing electronics
Each year we take on up to 15 postgraduate students for research within the group leading to a Ph.D. degree. Postgraduate students normally join the group in October, though other starting dates can be considered in exceptional cases. The period of attendance required for a Ph.D. is three to four years. Students follow an extensive programme of lectures in their first year, ranging from quantum field theory through to detector design, as well as starting their research projects. If appropriate, students spend their second year on-site at their experiment working with our teams located there.
We have about eight STFC studentships available to offer to suitably qualified, eligible candidates. In addition, we often have additional STFC or CASE studentships associated with specific projects. Studentships cover fees for all EU students; In addition UK residents receive living expenses (approx. £16,300 /annum, tax free, for 2016-17). Note that non-UK EU nationals who have spent the previous three years in the UK undertaking an undergraduate degree now meet the residency requirements above. For information about STFC studentships see the STFC web pages. Additional scholarships and funding opportunities are detailed in the Imperial College Postgraduate Prospectus. Students wishing to apply for postgraduate scolarships are encouraged to make contact early, ideally by December. The Postgraduate Prospectus also contains general information about admissions requirements, the application procedure, fees & scholarships, College facilities, accommodation, etc. See the Physics Department web pages for further information about the Department.
In addition we currently have one departmental studentship specifically for the SoLid experiment opened to a candidate immediately.
Initial application deadline for STFC-funded positions: 27 January 2017. For other scholarships, follow individual application guidelines.
Please use the online system linked from this page http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/how-to-apply/ to submit your formal application to Imperial College Registry. At the same time, we ask that you fill in the HEP group form at https://www.hep.ph.ic.ac.uk/phdform. This will help speed up the processing of your application in our group.
If you have problems with the above form, please email HEP-Admissions-Panel@imperial.ac.uk once you have submitted your formal application.
Postgraduate Fair & Group Visit
The High Energy Physics Group will be holding an Open Day and Group Visit on Wednesday 11th January 2017, from 12.30pm. We will describe the research that our group pursues, and the postdoctoral study opportunities that are on offer, and you will also be able to talk to group members, from current students to researchers and academics. We will also describe the application procedure in detail, so even if you are certain that you would like to apply for a position with us, you should still find it useful.
Please email HEP-Admissions-Panel@imperial.ac.uk to register for this event, or use the sign-up sheet that is provided in front of the postgraduate office, Room 316 in Blackett Laboratory.