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Research Fellow in High Energy Physics on the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Dark Matter Search Experiment

University College London
London, UK
Closing date
31 Aug 2022

Job Details

The UCL High Energy Physics Group has an immediate opening for an outstanding PhD particle or astroparticle physicist to work on the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Dark Matter Search Experiment. LZ is the most sensitive experiment in the search for galactic dark matter having recently published the world-leading constraints on dark matter interactions from its first engineering run that established operational performance as originally designed. LZ has now begun taking primary science data. Over the next 3 years LZ will explore entirely new electroweak parameter space, reaching an order of magnitude further than the state-of-the-art, towards a first discovery or constraints on the leading dark matter theories. The successful applicant will take a highly active and leading role in the analyses from these datasets with genuine discovery potential across a range of dark sector, exotic neutrino and Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) physics.

LZ, which brought together the LUX and ZEPLIN projects, was designed and constructed from the most radiopure materials over a 10-year period to deliver the largest ever dual-phase liquefied xenon time projection chamber, with 7-tonne active target. The purified xenon target viewed by nearly 500 photosensors is held in an ultra-low background containment vessel, in turn surrounded by an outer detector and water tank for shielding and located 1 mile underground in the Davis cavern of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) at Homestake mine, South Dakota, USA.

In addition to leading analysis of datasets the successful applicant will contribute to Monte Carlo simulations, statistical inference, and the development of novel techniques in data intensive science. The successful applicant will also be expected to take active roles in research coordination, leadership of working groups, and on-site operation and calibrations of LZ at SURF. The successful applicant will also have opportunity to engage in R&D across a range of topics towards the construction of the future global xenon-based rare event search observatory being developed by the new consortium made up of the LZ, XENON, and DARWIN collaborations who collectively developed and pioneered the world-leading xenon TPC technology.

The UCL High Energy Physics Group is one of the largest groups in the country and consists of around 90 staff comprising academics, long-term fellows, research staff, technical/computing staff and PhD students. The Group provides an exciting and supportive research environment with involvement in particle phenomenology, neutrino experiments, direct dark matter searches with underground searches and quantum sensors, particle astrophysics, lepton sector experiments, accelerator R&D and Data Intensive Science via our Centre for Doctoral Training.

This position is funded for 3 years in the first instance.

The applicant should have or be about to receive a PhD in particle physics or particle astrophysics.

Candidates must also have:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience in leadership or evidence of future leadership potential;
  • A commitment to high quality research demonstrated through a strong research record with clearly-defined individual contributions;
  • Evidence of outstanding promise and originality in research, demonstrated by a good publication record, commensurate with the applicant’s career stage;
  • Experience with computer programming, Monte Carlo simulations and advanced data analysis techniques;
  • A commitment to UCL’s policy of equal opportunity and the ability to work harmoniously with colleagues and students of all cultures and backgrounds.

In addition, it would be desirable if the applicant has:

  • Knowledge of multivariate analysis and statistical techniques, C++, Python and toolkits such as GEANT4 and ROOT;
  • Previous practical experience with rare-event search experiments and low radioactivity measurements;
  • Experience with noble gas dark matter detectors, including their construction, operation and auxiliary apparatus;
  • Experience with low-background techniques including gamma spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and radon emanation measurements;
  • Experience of working in an internationally collaborative environment;
  • Previous experience with supervision of PhD students.

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, inclusive of London Allowance) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Candidates will need to upload a CV (including a list of publications), a statement of research interests and plans (3 pages maximum), and the contact information for three references. A cover letter can be included using the “Statement in Support of your Application” section of the online form. Applicants should arrange for three letters of reference to be emailed to Lucy Keepking,, by the application deadline

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Lucy Keepking,

Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Prof Chamkaur Ghag,

For further details about the vacancy and how to apply online please go to and search on Reference Number 1885487.

Closing date: 31 August 2022.

To apply click here


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