Post-doctoral Research Associate

King's College London

A vacancy for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work on low-energy neutrino physics and neutrino-less double beta decay (0νββ) has arisen in the Department of Physics, King’s College London.

We will welcome the successful candidate into the diverse Experimental Particle and Astroparticle Physics (EPAP) Group, to undertake research investigations in collaboration with the members of the EPAP group and the SNO+ and LEGEND experimental collaborations.  We especially encourage applications from female and minority ethnic candidates and other groups who are under-represented in physics.

The main physics goal of the SNO+ experiment, located in SNOLAB, Ontario, Canada, is to search for the neutrino-less double beta decay of 130Tellurium but the low background, low energy threshold liquid scintillator detector allows many other physics analyses including reactor anti-neutrinos, solar neutrinos, and super-nova burst detection. The successful candidate will be supported to take a leading role in the mainstream SNO+ physics analyses, with specific responsibilities for components of the optical calibration, detector modelling and background characterisations. They will also support detector operations towards loading Tellurium into the detector.

There will be additional opportunities to further develop our low-energy neutrino research programme, through background screening and modelling activities for the future LEGEND experiment.

Applicants should have, or be about to gain, a PhD in experimental particle physics and have substantial experience of active participation in a particle physics experiment. Hardware skills and good knowledge of C++ are highly desirable. The post will be located at Kings College London at the Strand Campus but will require periods at the experimental facilities at SNOLAB in Canada and Boulby underground laboratory in the UK for meetings and hardware-related activities.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until the 30th September 2025

This is a full-time post – 100% full-time equivalent

  • Develop analysis tools and techniques for optical calibration, detector modelling and background characterisations and contribute to main physics analyses of SNO+. 
  • Contribute towards the SNO+ experiment operations, including the commissioning of the TeA loading plant at SNOLAB and remote detector operation shifts. 
  • Contribute to the maintenance and operation of SNO+ optical calibration hardware. 
  • Take an active role in LEGEND background screening activities at Boulby underground laboratory and at KCL and contribute to the development of the LEGEND background model. 
  • Prepare reports of appropriate research results for public presentation through seminars and conferences. Contribute to writing papers summarising research findings for publication in peer-reviewed journals (of high international standing where possible). Contribute to other reports where possible.  
  • Any other relevant activities related to the low-energy neutrino programme as appropriate. 
  • Undertake such other duties as may be reasonably expected by the line manager or Head of Department. 
  • Maintain appropriate databases, keep accurate written and computerised records and to ensure that these records are stored in a secure place, and to maintain the confidentiality of all electronically stored personal data in line with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. 
  • Undertake literature and database searches for the research project, and to be able to interpret and present the findings of the literature searches and advise the research teams appropriately regarding potential projects as required by the line manager/supervisor/PI. 
  • Keep up to date with subject-related and professional issues, in particular, developments in the specific subject area. 
  • The duties of the post outlined above are not exhaustive, and the post holder will be expected to be co-operative and flexible, undertaking such administrative and other duties as may from time to time be reasonably expected of a member of research-grade staff in a university. 
  • These duties will be subject to review in line with the changing requirements of the Department or College, and with the development needs of the postholder as identified through regular review/appraisal processes.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Essential criteria

1.        Ability to programme in C++ or Python

2.        Strong analytical skills

3.        Commitment to health and safety in the workplace

4.        Understanding of the research process

5.        Ability to proficiently document results and work done

6.        Ability to organise and prioritise own work and organise research within the project timetable

7.        Familiarity with data analysis techniques, including Monte Carlo techniques and statistical analysis

8.        Appropriate publication records

Desirable criteria

1.        Experience of working in an internationally collaborative environment 

2.        Experience of low energy background screening techniques 

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