Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH,

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.

Description of the workplace

Atomic Physics is one of seven research divisions at the Department of Physics. It has about fifty employees, including about twenty PhD students. The research at the Division of Atomic Physics is centred on different applications of optics and lasers, including high-intensity laser-plasma physics and laser acceleration, atomic and molecular physics with ultrashort light pulses, quantum information, biophotonics, and ultrafast x-ray science. The Division operates the Lund High-Power Laser Facility, including several advanced femtosecond laser systems. It is a central part of a major interdisciplinary research environment within Lund University, the Lund Laser Centre, LLC. The division is also heavily involved in undergraduate education, especially within the "Photonics programme". Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The EuPRAXIA Doctoral Network (EuPRAXIA-DN) is a new Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network (MSCA-DN), offering 12 high-level fellowships between universities, research centers and industry that will carry out an interdisciplinary and cross-sector plasma accelerator research and training program for the new EuPRAXIA research infrastructure. EuPRAXIA is a European research initiative focused on developing compact and cost-effective research infrastructure technology based on novel plasma acceleration concepts, for high-energy physics experiments and various applications. It was accepted onto the ESFRI roadmap for strategically important research infrastructures in June 2021 as a European priority.

Each PhD student in the programme will benefit from a wide-ranging training between universities, research centers and industry that will take advantage of both local and network-wide activities. The network’s training program is designed to address a wide range of employment skills with the aim to provide all Fellows with the competences required for their future researcher careers in both, academia, and industry.

Work duties

The doctoral project is focused on experimental research on laser-driven (laser-wakefield) acceleration of electrons to high energies, utilization of strong field gradients in laser-produced plasmas, and generation of intense X-rays utilizing these electron pulses.

You will benefit from access to a new and unique multi-terawatt laser system that at the High Power Laser Facility. It is based on optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA), and promises access to sub-10 fs laser pulses at up to 100 Hz repetition rate.The aim is to develop concepts that can unlock new means for laser wakefield acceleration through laser pulse shaping.

In a laser-wakefield electron accelerator, the maximum electron energy obtained in a single stage is limited since the accelerated electrons move faster than the laser pulse in the plasma. This mismatch usually leads to a slippage of the electrons in the plasma wave, and eventually the electrons outrun the driving laser pulse. A specific goal for this project is to overcome this ”dephasing” effect and to increase the maximum energy that can be obtained in a single stage by locking the accelerating phase through laser pulse shaping.

You will have access to the wide-ranging EuPRAXIA-DN training program which will include several international schools and workshops on plasma accelerator science and technology, as well as complementary skills. The fellowship includes a temporary placement (so-called secondment) at IST in Portugal which will provide critical insight into high performance computing challenges. The purpose of the secondment is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge exchange, and networking, enhancing the fellow's research experience and broadening their expertise in different environments and research contexts.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Physics if the applicant has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Special admission requirement for the Marie-Curie Doctoral (MCSA-DN) program:

  • At the time of recruitment, a person cannot have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.

2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.

3. Written and oral communication skills.

4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g., professional experience.

Other assessment criteria

  • Experience and knowledge within at least one or more of the following subject areas: optics, laser physics, plasma physics, accelerator physics.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

We offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get benefits, generous annual leave, and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

How to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Welcome to apply!

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 1st of October 2023 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/2545
  • Olle Lundh, +46462229568
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 25.Jul.2023
Last application date 25.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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