Research Fellow on the LUX-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Search Experiment

University College London
London, UK
£39508.00 - £47355 per annum
Closing date
12 Apr 2023

Job Details


About us

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.

About the role

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. This position is funded for 2 years in the first instance.

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.

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.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Amalia Bountoureli, , (+44 (0)20 7679 3233)

Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Prof Chamkaur Ghag, (Tel: +44 (0)207679 3463).

About you

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 including the use of novel levitated quantum sensors for dark sector and BSM searches, advanced radiopurity techniques, and designs for the future global xenon-based rare event search observatory being developed by the new XLZD consortium.

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 with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

What we offer

At UCL, we offer a competitive benefits package including 27 days annual leave plus six days (bank holidays are in addition), hybrid and flexible working, final salary pension scheme, season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme, enhanced maternity/ paternity/ adoption pay, workplace nursery, employee assistance programme and much more! For more information on our benefits, please visit our staff benefits webpage.

We will consider applications to work on a part-time, flexible and job share basis wherever possible.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

At London's Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world's talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong.

We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL's workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ people; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women.

You can read more about our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion here:

We particularly welcome female applicants and those from an ethnic minority, as they are under-represented within UCL at this level.

Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.


Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries.

Find Us
20 Gordon Street
United Kingdom