PhD in Particle Physics

We are now accepting applications for 2017 PhD entry in Experimental Particle Physics. Please see information below, and instructions on how to apply. Please do contact us for more information.

We aim to hold the first round of interviews in February-March 2017, therefore we look forward to receive applications by mid-February at the latest. In case not all places are filled during the first round, a second round of interviews will take place later in Spring 2017.

Each year we have several research-council funded places, and a limited number of University Scholarships, for students from the UK or other EU countries. We also have EU-funded studentships. Students from elsewhere in the world should make contact to investigate alternative funding possibilities.

  Birmingham High Energy Group

You can submit an on-line application here

Experimental High Energy Physics in Birmingham

There could hardly be a better time than the present to begin a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham! We play central roles in cutting-edge experiments, past, present and future, addressing a broad range of issues in modern particle physics. Our largest current activities centre on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and Birmingham is the only UK group participating in three current LHC experiments.

We are heavily involved in data analysis at the ATLAS experiment, and members of the group have played major roles in the discovery of the new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. Besides, our ATLAS group works on heavy quarks physics (beauty and top). Our LHCb group studies rare decays of particles containing the beauty quark, and the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model. We also study CP violation and matter-antimatter asymmetry at LHCb. Our Birmingham nuclear physicist colleagues are the only UK group which is involved in the LHC programme of heavy ion collisions, studied with the ALICE experiment.

Beside LHC experiments, we are also searching for new physics in very rare strange particle decays and for processes that violate Lepton Flavour Universality through our work on the CERN fixed target NA62 experiment. Looking at a more distant future, we are heavily involved in LHC upgrades and looking at future possibilities for electron-proton collisions using the LHC proton beam (LHeC project), and we have recently joind the DUNE experiment that plans to study neutrino oscillations.

We accept excellent students to work for a PhD on the research projects shown to the right.

Doing a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics at Birmingham University

We have a large particle physics group, with around 30 academic and support staff members and around 15 PhD students at any given time and extensive local facilities.

The particle physics group is housed in recently renovated offices with excellent computing facilities, near to the centre of the University campus. Students work closely with their supervisors, but also with other academic and research staff, participating fully in the life of the group. In addition to the research work on their selected experiment, students spend part of their first year on a taught graduate course, including lectures on particle physics theory and experimentation. The course culminates in the Rutherford Laboratory Summer School on Particle Physics held at the end of the first year. As part of their training, students also usually attend a CERN or other major international Summer School relevant to their research at the end of their second year.

The remainder of the course is focussed full-time on research. This usually involves a mixture of detector preparation or operation and analysis of experimental data, the exact mix depending on the experiment and the student's interests. Students usually spend significant time on site at their experiment, for example at CERN (Geneva), working closely with our international colleagues. This may be in the form of a long-term attachment of perhaps a year, or else several short visits, depending on the project and the student. The extensive analytical, scientific, computing, presentational and team-working skills obtained by particle physics PhD students provides a solid foundation for post-doctoral employment, either in research, industry, or business.

More on PhD Research Opportunities
The ATLAS detector ATLAS
Searching for new physics in proton-proton collisions at the LHC
The LHCb Experiment LHCb
Searching for new physics in rare B decays
NA62 at CERN NA62
Searching for new physics in ultra-rare kaon decays
H1 event H1 / LHeC
Proton structure and QCD in deep inelastic electron proton scattering

Dr. Cristina Lazzeroni
or directly via this special email interface
Phone: 0121 414 4614
Fax: 0121 414 6709
Postal: School of Physics and Astronomy
The University of Birmingham

Further information