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PhD studentship on the NOvA neutrino experiment and detector R&D

   School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

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  Prof J Hartnell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited from talented, creative, and motivated students for a PhD place in Experimental Particle Physics to join the Sussex group working on the NOvA neutrino experiment and doing detector R&D under the supervision of Prof Jeff Hartnell.

On NOvA you will have the opportunity to work towards answering the question of the neutrino mass hierarchy and to develop the search for leptonic CP violation. The group plays leading roles in both the 3-flavour neutrino oscillation analysis and the joint analysis with T2K. Across NOvA, reconstruction, machine learning and calibration are areas of expertise. The Sussex group has a long history of neutrino research and a number of senior leadership roles internationally, including overall physics analysis coordination for NOvA.

For the detector R&D part you will have the opportunity to work on the exciting new idea of using opaque scintillators. Instead of relying on light travelling to the outside of a transparent scintillator, a lattice of fibre optic cables is embedded in an opaque scintillator that allows light to be collected near its point of origin. This concept is expected to have many applications since it combines high resolution and fast imaging of particle interactions with what is expected to be relatively straightforward, lower-cost manufacture.

This project also includes the opportunity to spend an extended period of time at Fermilab in the USA or at a lab in Europe.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

Funding Notes

• Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
• A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year
• A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
• If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission


Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2022.
In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no. EPP/STFC/02/2021
We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.
Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.
Contact us
For more details about the project, please contact Prof Jeff Hartnell
For practical questions about applications and/or eligibility for funding, please contact
For academic questions please contact the coordinator of EPP PhD admissions, Dr W. Clark Griffith
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