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Job id: 082986. Salary: £43,205 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 23 January 2024. Closing date: 29 February 2024.

Business unit: Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sci. Department: Physics.

Contact details: Professor Francesca di Lodovico. francesca.di_lodovico@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

A vacancy for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work within the T2K, Hyper-Kamiokande, and Super-Kamiokande experiments has arisen at the Experimental Particle and Astroparticle Physics (EPAP) Group, 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 T2K, Hyper-Kamiokande, and Super-Kamiokande collaborations. We especially encourage applications from female and minority ethnic candidates and other groups who are under-represented in physics. 

The postholder is expected to take a leading role in the DAQ system for the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment towards the start of data taking in 2027. There is also the possibility to provide some contributions to T2K/Super-Kamiokande data analysis. 

The successful candidate will be supported to make significant contributions to these experiments including R&D, software/computing, analysis. 

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 King’s College London at the Strand Campus, but will require periods at the experimental facilities at J-PARC and Kamioka in Japan 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. 

The Department of Physics has had a distinguished scientific tradition since its foundation in 1829.   We are committed to both educational and research excellence with a wide variety of BSc, MSci, and postgraduate programmes driven by research.   

The Department of Physics at King’s College London is diverse, international and friendly with a positive atmosphere of collaboration and support between research groups. We currently hold a silver Athena Swan award and Juno Champion status from the Institute of Physics (IOP). We offer a welcoming environment and welcome applications from applicants of all backgrounds.  

Celebrating diversity and supporting staff is important to us and we offer a range of provision including caring support (including a Parenting and Carers Fund and the Carer’s Career Development Fund), training, and a variety of diversity and inclusion networks. Staff can apply for flexible working to help them balance the demands of their professional and personal commitments and we offer comprehensive leave policies for parental, adoption, surrogacy, dependant, and shared leave.  

The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES) comprises Chemistry, Engineering, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics – all departments are highly rated in research activities and have a wide-ranging portfolio of education programmes.  The university is making investment in NMES and both student and staff numbers are growing. Our staff come from over 45 countries and 56% of our students are from outside the UK. KCL staff are principally located on the Strand Campus in the heart of central London, further details available at  https://www.kcl.ac.uk/nms  and   https://www.kcl.ac.uk/physics

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract  for 24 months until the 31-Mar-2026 (whichever sooner)

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

Key responsibilities

  • Contribute towards the Hyper-Kamiokande, Super-Kamiokande and T2K Experiments located in Japan. The postholder will take a leading role in the DAQ system for the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment towards the start of data taking in 2027 and also provide some contributions to the T2K and Super-Kamiokande physics.
  • Responsible, under the general guidance of the EPAP group principal investigator, for undertaking the programme of work.
  • 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 project as appropriate.
  • Undertake such other duties as may be reasonably expected by the line manager or Head of Department.
  • Conduct empirical research as required by the research programme.
  • Collect data and undertake any appropriate analysis of data as requested.
  • Maintain appropriate databases, keeping accurate written and computerised records and to ensure that these records are stored in a secure place, and to maintain 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 postholder 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.
  • 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.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

1.       Applicants should have, or be about to gain, a PhD in experimental particle physics

2.       Ability to programme in C++ or Python

3.       Strong analytical skills

4.       Commitment to health and safety in the workplace

5.       Understanding of the research process

6.       Ability to proficiently document results and work done

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

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

9.       Appropriate publication records

10.     Experience on working in the design and construction of HEP detectors

Desirable criteria

1.       Ability to programme in html, PHP

2.       Experience with DAQ

3.       Experience with calibration sources

4.       Experience with photosensor systems

5.       Experience of working in an internationally collaborative environment

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.