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Research Associate on the Dune Experiment

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Oxfordshire, UK
£39,375 - £43,313
Posting live until
4 May 2024

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Job Details

Research Associate on the Dune Experiment

Salary £39,375 - £43,313 Band D S2

3 year Fixed Term Contract

Location: The successful applicant will be based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire

Hours: Full Time (We understand the importance of work-life balance and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

Applications are invited for a Research Associate position in Experimental Particle Physics to work on novel neutrino oscillation analysis techniques for DUNE within the Particle Physics Department (PPD) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton laboratory. The post will initially be for three years.

PPD is one of the largest Particle Physics groups in the UK and contributes to all major PP experiments in the UK. PPD has been involved in the DUNE collaboration since early 2018 and provides technical leadership of the DUNE DAQ project.

Since 2023 there has been a new focus on DUNE's flagship neutrino oscillation analysis. DUNE will make use of a movable detector, DUNE-PRISM, that can change its position relative to the neutrino beam to sample different neutrino energy ranges. This feature enables a novel oscillation analysis that is uniquely robust to neutrino interaction mis-modelling. The capability of the analysis relies on a strong understanding of the neutrino flux prediction, the reconstruction and detector uncertainties at both the near and far detectors, and modern statistical inference techniques. The successful applicant will take a leading role in the development and presentation of this analysis and as such will build skills in a broad range of DUNE physics, simulation, and reconstruction topics. There may also be opportunities to join the team developing the DUNEPRISM prototype movement system at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to research on DUNE, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to work on the NUISANCE framework, which is a widely used neutrino cross-section data preservation and event generator tuning toolkit that will play a central role in current and future neutrino interaction model development.

The applicant must have or be about to receive a Ph.D. in Particle Physics or a similar field. Applications should consist of a CV, a covering letter (max 2 pages) explaining why the candidate is suited to this position and the names and addresses of three referees.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Dr. Luke Pickering (

Person Specification


-  Ph.D. in Particle Physics or similar qualification Experience of working on particle physics experiments

-  Good knowledge of C++ or similar multi-paradigm, compiled language

-  Good knowledge of modern systematic error propagation and statistical inference techniques

-  Ability to undertake original research and work independently with high degree of self-motivation

-  Ability to think logically whilst working on several activities in parallel

-  Fluent English and able to communicate & work collaboratively with large groups of people from many different countries

Additional information

Our team works on the DUNE Long-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation analysis, which requires the use of large-scale shared computing resources. Improved understanding of the effects of event reconstruction in liquid argon detectors and the neutrino beam simulation on the analysis will be possible areas of focus for the post. The majority of DUNE analysis code is written in modern C++ and is steered by shell scripts via existing Fermilab computing tools. Any experience in these areas may be considered a plus, however training will be provided.

There will be some travel required, including frequent trips to Europe and the USA.

Employee benefits:

We are offering a 3 year FTC with a whole host of benefits including:

  • 30 days holiday (in addition to 10.5 bank holidays and privilege days).
  • Flexible working hours.
  • An excellent defined average salary pension scheme.
  • Employee shopping/travel discounts.
  • Excellent learning and development opportunities.

We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are invested in crafting an environment that is welcoming and encouraging of all, to help us achieve the highest possible standards in our work and organisation together. In this regard, we encourage applications from under-represented groups.

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, this is a place where there’s always something new to learn –about the world around us, about your career, but most of all, about yourself. Join us and discover what’s possible.


STFC imageAt the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), research is driven by practical applications and a curiosity to create a world-leading hub of scientific and engineering excellence. Our science and facilities enable researchers to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. Success typically requires long-term strategic investment, international collaboration on a global scale and the capability to push the limits of technology and engineering. To remain internationally competitive in our areas of science and to keep our facilities at the leading edge, we have to develop bespoke technology that cannot be reliably sourced on the open market, for example in detectors and instrumentation, accelerators, specialist engineering, optics and e-infrastructure. These technologies are often also applied to address broader societal and industrial challenges and we actively promote their translation and commercialization.

Why work for us
When you join STFC, you become a key part of one of Europe’s largest research organizations. We are trusted to support, enable, and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields that you could be a part of. With access to our world-class facilities, people like you are helping us to drive ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology.

  • The Particle Physics Department (PPD) is one of the largest particle physics groups in the UK. We design, construct and operate some of the most sensitive scientific instruments in the world, collaborating with partners in academia, industry and international laboratories such as CERN. We currently work with the ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, DUNE, Hyper-K, T2K, MICE, Lux-Zeplin, DEAP-3600, CERN RD50, Electron Ion Collider and AION collaborations.
  • The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a £93m UKRI investment over five years based at the Harwell Campus. This is a strategic element within the overall £1bn, 10-year investment into quantum technologies made by the UK since 2014.

Our benefits

  • 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days.
  • Flexible or hybrid working may be available dependent on role.
  • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%).
  • Sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym.

For more information on all of our employee benefits, visit

Who we are looking for
The UK has a world-class research and innovation system. Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the World Wide Web. Therefore it is vital for us to have the best people at all levels throughout UKRI. We want to continue to attract a mix of talented professionals, scientists and engineers.


Number of employees
STFC has 2594 staff members across the UK and UKRI has approx. 8000

Main areas of research
Our work encompasses everything from the physical, biological and social
sciences, to innovation, engineering, medicine, the environment, as well as arts and the humanities

Positions recently recruited for
Electronic engineers, data scientists, research associates CMS/DUNE, research associate on electron ion collider (EiC), ion trap physicists

Desired degree disciplines/class
A STEM degree

How to apply
Apply online at 

Closing date
All year round

Quantum physics and computing vacancies: E-mail
Particle physics vacancies: E-mail

Company info
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
OX11 0QX

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