Research Associate in High Energy Physics

Job summary

Applications are invited for an excellent opportunity to work on the Xenon Futures R&D programme towards the realisation of a 3rd generation (G3) rare event observatory for dark matter searches and neutrino physics. Within that programme this activity relates to novel measurements of neutron scattering in atomic and molecular gases.

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT00609
  • Date posted 22 November 2019
  • Closing date 6 January 2020

Job description

Job summary

Applications are invited for an excellent opportunity to work on the Xenon Futures R&D programme towards the realisation of a 3rd generation (G3) rare event observatory for dark matter searches and neutrino physics. Within that programme this activity relates to novel measurements of neutron scattering in atomic and molecular gases.

Duties and responsibilities

You will lead the technical development, construction, operation and analysis of data from a low-pressure gas Optical Time Projection Chamber for neutron detection. The day-to-day research will be conducted at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), and it will be closely linked to the RD51 Collaboration at CERN, the ISIS Neutron Facility at RAL, and to research partners in the UK, Europe and in the USA – these bring critical expertise in the various sub-systems, with the successful applicant expected to lead the integration of these elements into successful measurements.

Essential requirements

You must hold a PhD (equivalent) in Physics.

You must also be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • Expertise in developing and operating gaseous particle and radiation detectors
  • Expertise in neutron transport and detection techniques
  • Good knowledge of nuclear radiation detection techniques and related instrumentation
  • Experience with modern data acquisition systems and/or firmware and control systems
  • Experience in leadership or evidence of future leadership potential
  • Strong research record with clearly-defined individual contributions
  • Evidence of outstanding promise and originality in research, demonstrated by a good publication record, commensurate with your career stage

In addition knowledge and experience in the following areas would be desirable:

  • Experience in vacuum systems and gas handling/purification techniques
  • Good knowledge and experience of programming in C++ and/or Python
  • Expertise in Monte Carlo simulations and advanced data analysis techniques
  • Experience with photon sensing and related readout
  • Experience of working in an internationally collaborative environment

Further information

This is a fixed term position available immediately for up to 18 months.

The post will be based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Harwell Campus, Didcot, OX11 0QX). Other UK and foreign travel is likely to be required.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477 - £38,566 per annum.

The Imperial College High Energy Physics Group has a strong ongoing experimental programme encompassing the CMS and LHCb experiments at the LHC; the T2K, Super-Kamiokande and future Hyper-Kamiokande experiments in Japan; the search for sterile neutrinos with SoLid in Belgium; the future neutrino oscillation experiment DUNE at Fermilab and SURF in the USA; the search for dark matter with the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment in the USA; the search for charged lepton flavour violation with COMET in Japan; the MICE experiment in the UK; and SHiP and SuperNEMO activities and the development of future experiments. There are also significant accelerator, phenomenology and Grid computing programmes.

More information about the Department of Physics and the High Energy Physics Group can be found on our webpages.

The Department of Physics is an IoP JUNO Champion and an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner reflecting our commitment to building a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated community.

Further details about the position are available from Professor Henrique Araújo (Professor of Physics)

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact Paula Brown, Section Administrator,

If you experience any technical issues when applying online please email

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.



About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.