12 PhD positions in Particle Physics and Computer Science – EU project SMARTHEP

Company Description

The EU-funded Horizon 2020 programme has two main strategic objectives: to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry and to encourage its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.

In this context, the growing amounts of research data require new computing solutions to manage increased data storage, utilisation, and analysis capabilities.

Synergies between Machine learning, Real-Time analysis and Hybrid architectures for efficient Event Processing and decision making (SMARTHEP) is a European Training Network (ETN). SMARTHEP will train 12 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) across 10 host institutions across Europe to use real-time decision-making effectively leading to data-collection and analysis becoming synonymous, aided by by machine learning and hybrid computing architectures.

As part of SMARTHEP, you will join a dynamic research team that values science, technology, creativity and quality. We encourage the exploration of new ideas and innovations. You will work with a supportive international consortium which includes other enthusiastic young scientists as well as some of the world’s leaders in the development of Real-Time Analysis (RTA) and and key specialists from computer science and industry.

By solving concrete problems as a community and using cutting-edge technologies, the SMARTHEP ESRs and their supervisors will bring forward a more widespread use of RTA techniques, enabling future HEP discoveries and generating large-scale impact to industry.

In addition the SMARTHEP ESRs will contribute to European growth exploiting their hands-on work to produce concrete commercial deliverables in fields that can most profit from RTA, such as transport, manufacturing, and finance, with the assistance of academic and industrial partners.

More information:

–        CORDIS: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/956086

–        SMARTHEP Website

The following ESR positions are available: Link to the positions

ESR1: Machine Learning and Real-Time Analysis for Higgs boson measurements and fleet safety; Host country: Finland; Host beneficiary: University of Helsinki; PhD-awarding institution: University of Helsinki; LHC experiment affiliation: CMS; Planned collaborations (secondments): VERIZON, CERN

ESR 2: Real-time rule induction in fraud detection and High Energy Physics; Host country: France; Host beneficiary: IBM France; PhD-awarding institution: Sorbonne; LHC experiment affiliation: ATLAS; Planned collaborations: CNRS

ESR3: Real time analysis strategies for reconstruction, exotic physics, and market analysis; Host country: Switzerland; Host beneficiary: University of Geneva; PhD-awarding institution: University of Geneva; LHC experiment affiliation: ATLAS; Planned collaborations: LIGHTBOX, University of Santiago

ESR4: Title: Efficient RTA in ATLAS and finance using multithreading; Host country: Switzerland; Host beneficiary: CERN; PhD-awarding institution: University of Geneva; LHC experiment affiliation: ATLAS; Planned collaborations: LIGHTBOX, CNRS/Sorbonne

ESR5: RTA on heterogeneous architectures for LHC and self-driving cars; Host country: France; Host beneficiary: Sorbonne; PhD-awarding institution: Sorbonne; LHC Experiment affiliation: LHCb; Planned collaborations: CERN, Ximantis

ESR6: Optimization of RTA resources for LHCb Lepton Flavour Violation search and manufacturing; Host country: Netherlands; Host beneficiary: Nikhef; PhD-awarding institution: VU Amsterdam; LHC affiliation: LHCb; Planned collaborations: Dortmund, Point 8, CERN

ESR7: Machine Learning for Real Time Analysis of Lepton Flavour Violation in neutral meson decays and traffic predictions; Host country: Germany; Host beneficiary: TU Dortmund; PhD-awarding institution: TU Dortmund; LHC Experiment affiliation: LHCb; Planned collaborations: Dortmund, Ximantis, CERN, University of Santiago de Compostela

ESR8: Real Time Analysis for global event triggering in LHCb and manufacturing; Host country: Germany; Host beneficiary: TU Dortmund; PhD-awarding institution: TU Dortmund; Experiment affiliation: LHCb; LHC planned collaborations: Dortmund, Point 8, Nikhef

ESR9: Real-time analysis for Dark Photons search in LHCb and smart vehicles; Host country: Germany; Host beneficiary: University of Heidelberg; PhD-awarding institution: University of Heidelberg; LHC experiment affiliation: LHCb; Planned collaborations: Dortmund, VERIZON, University of Santiago de Compostela

ESR10: Real-time calibration of ALICE Time Projection Chamber and ML traffic predictions; Host country: Sweden; Host beneficiary: Lund University; PhD-awarding institution:  Lund University; LHC experiment affiliation: ALICE; Planned collaborations: Ximantis, CERN

ESR11: Real-Time Analysis through computer vision on dashcams and triggers in High Energy Physics; Host beneficiary: Verizon; PhD-awarding institution:  University of Bologna; LHC experiment affiliation: Industry-based / inter-experiment; Planned collaborations: Sorbonne, University of Manchester

ESR12: Accelerated anomaly detection; Host country: United Kingdom; Host beneficiary: University of Manchester; PhD-awarding institution: University of Manchester; LHC experiment affiliation: ATLAS; Planned collaborations: CERN

Contact email for General application questions:  [email protected]

For questions and contact to the specific ESR project, emails of the supervisors are on the link to each of the positions.

Note that we do not welcome emails from (nor we will reply to) recruiting agencies or commercial entities wishing to advertise our vacancies further.

Diversity is an integral part of SMARTHEP, as well as CERN’s and the EU’s mission.

All members of SMARTHEP (including the supervisors making the selection) believe in fostering a research culture where everyone feels encouraged to collaborate, and hold this particularly important when training new scientists. SMARTHEP members have been encouraged to recognize their own biases [1] and follow their institution’s equality, diversity and inclusion training as well as unconscious bias training in a critical manner [2].

[1] https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ 

[2] https://hbr.org/2021/09/unconscious-bias-training-that-works 

Additional Note: The “gender” field gives the option of two entries (M and F) and currently does not technically allow for anther gender entry. In case you hold a third gender, please add this info to your CV, and we will disregard the answer given in the gender field.

Note that this information as well as the info on nationality is exclusively used to monitor whether we have a sufficient number of applicants and suitable candidates from underrepresented categories in this field.

Job Description

Welcome to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions

As a recent graduate from university or advanced technical institute, you’re no doubt looking for the chance to make your mark. Here it is: we seek lively and inquiring minds with a heightened sense of curiosity to take part in projects of advanced development work, in a broad range of applied sciences and engineering fields.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions train young researchers, building the careers of tomorrow’s leaders in research and industry.

What could be a better boost for your career than becoming an Early Career Stage Researcher in an Innovative Training Networks project within the framework of the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie programmes?


In order to qualify for a place on the project you will need to meet the following requirements:

At the time of recruitment:

  • be in possession of a university degree (MSc) allowing you to embark on a doctorate (candidates who are currently studying for their MSc may apply if they will finish before September 2022, however, the SMARTHEP contract cannot begin until the MSc is completed)
  • be in your first 4 years of your full-time research career (after obtaining your degree (MSc))
  • must NOT hold a PhD yet
  • must apply for a position in a European Country where you did not live or work for more than 12 months in the last three years (counted from the hypothetical day of recruitment of October 1st 2022).
  • In the application you may select up to 3 positions of interest.  Please make sure that you satisfy the mobility requirements for each of your selected ESR positions. Details of all 15 PhD positions are here: [link to come on January 25th]
  • Candidates of any nationality can apply to all academic positions. For industrial positions, check the individual position descriptions.
  • Proficiency in English is required and a certificate of proficiency is required for certain positions.

Additional Information

All ESR positions offer:

  • An employment contract for 36 months according to MSCA conditions, and a new contract for possible extensions to complete a PhD according to the individual country hosting the position beyond the duration of the project.
  • The stipend granted by the EU is EUR 3270 brut + EUR 600 mobility + country coefficient factor if applicable. The allowance which may be increased depending on the hosting organization.
  • In accordance with the European Commission’s allowances for ITNs, a training allowance covers training activities, conference attendance, etc.

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A CV
  • A copy of the last (highest) qualification
  • One letter of recommendation to give as broad as possible overview of your academic and/or professional achievements
  • In addition, contact details of 2 academic or professional references (name, position, e-mail, telephone and indicating the relationship with the applicant)
  •  Interviews will be held as soon as possible after the closing date and will include a video interview
  • Employment contracts are expected start as of 01/10/2022 at the latest

Note that your application will be viewed by all the members of the network who are offering the ESR positions.

Closing date: 28/02/2022

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