Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. The ALICE experiment ( is the dedicated heavy-ion detector at the LHC, built to explore the unique physics potential of nucleus-nucleus interactions at high energies. Our aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities, where the formation of a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), is expected. The existence of such a phase and its properties are key issues in QCD. For this purpose, we are carrying out a comprehensive study of particles (mainly hadrons) produced in the collision of heavy nuclei. ALICE is also studying proton-proton (pp) collisions both as a comparison with lead-lead (Pb-Pb) collisions and in physics areas where ALICE is competitive with other LHC experiments.

We are currently looking for one PhD student to join us in this research, as part of the MSCA European Training Network SMARTHEP ( This PhD student will study and commission the upgraded ALICE Time Projection Chamber (TPC) detector, learn about machine learning through secondments at CERN (to work on TPC performance optimization) and at XIMANTIS (to work on hybrid networks), and perform a physics analysis of data from the ALICE detector at CERN.

Synergies between Machine learning, Real-Time analysis and Hybrid architectures for efficient Event Processing and decision making (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 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 key specialists from computer science and industry.
For a more detailed description of this project (ESR10), as well as other SMARTHEP positions, please see

Job assignment

The doctoral student will participate in research education which includes performing research but also advanced course work. The successful candidate would have the possibility to help with supervising Master students.

The activities are located at the Department of Physics at Lund University, with secondments at CERN (near Geneva, Switzerland) and at XIMANTIS (Lund). The six-month secondment at CERN will require temporary relocation to Switzerland. Other short visits at CERN and travel to international conferences are anticipated.
Employment contracts are expected to start as of October 1, 2022, at the latest.

Entry requirements

A formal requirement for doctoral studies in physics at Lund University is:

  • a university degree at an advanced level within a related field, such as a Master's degree in physics or equivalent, or
  • substantial advanced course work at the Master level, or comparable, including an independent research project.

Furthermore, the acceptance is based on the estimated ability to accomplish postgraduate studies.

Other requirements

As the funding for this position comes from the MSCA ETN SMARTHEP, the following additional requirements also apply:

At the time of recruitment, the candidate must

  • 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 NOT have lived or worked in Sweden for more than 12 months in the last three years (counted from the hypothetical day of recruitment of October 1st 2022). Candidates of all nationalities are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Good knowledge of spoken and written English is a requirement.

Basis of Assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the candidate’s expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to postgraduate studies within the research area, such as a broad and thorough preparation in physics. This must be documented by appended documents (e.g., diploma and transcripts).
  • Ability to work independently and to formulate and solve scientific questions. This ability can be established, for example, based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview, but also letters of recommendation can illustrate this.
  • Skills in written and oral communication.
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
  • The applicant should have experience in programming (C++).
  • The applicant should be interested in working in an international environment since a lot of the activities will be at CERN and possibly also at other international laboratories.

Other assessment criteria:

  • We consider good cooperation ability, drive and independent work ability as positive personal attributes.

The selection of the successful candidate will be based on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, the evaluation criteria indicated above, and the ability to cope with the challenges in the anticipated assignments. Special attention will be given to the master’s project.

Terms of employment

A PhD position is an employment with the main duty to be engaged in PhD studies according to the study plan. The duration of PhD studies is 4 years full time, with a status as MSCA ESR covering the first three years which includes a competitive salary, family and mobility and travel/training allowance. In addition, those appointed to doctoral student positions may be required to work with educational tasks, research and technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment. PhD positions are subject to special regulations. These can be found in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100, chapter 5, with updates). Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to a PhD position.

Application procedure

Applicants should apply online via Lund University’s recruitment system Varbi (see link below).

Applicants are additionally requested, if possible, to upload their application to the SMARTHEP system (, where they can express a preference for up to three ESR projects, and specify that they are interested in “ESR10”. In accordance with Swedish law, the hiring decision for ESR10 will be based on the application materials submitted through Varbi.

All documents are to be uploaded in the recruitment system as pdf, Word or similar files.

Applications must include the following and can be considered incomplete and not possible to evaluate otherwise:

  1. A cover letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests.
  2. A CV.
  3. A copy of the last (highest) qualification, copies of grade certificates, and a link (preferred) or a copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis.
  4. One letter of recommendation to give as broad as possible overview of your academic and/or professional achievements.
  5. In addition, contact details of 2 academic or professional references (name, position, e-mail, telephone and indicating the relationship with the applicant).

Type of employment Temporary position
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/374
Published 17.Feb.2022
Last application date 17.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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