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Search for extended Higgs sector with Machine Learning

   School of Physics

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  Prof Henning Flaecher  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project:

The LHC is about to start Run 3 and the CMS experiment will be collecting its largest ever dataset. The student project will cover both novel searches for physics beyond the standard model (BSM) and the development of complex algorithms to be deployed in FPGAs in the hardware trigger for the HL-LHC upgrade. Many BSM models, such as the NMSSM, have extended Higgs sectors including Higgs bosons lighter than the Higgs boson discovered at the LHC in 2012. The final states that will be exploited will include light higgs bosons, which will be reconstructed using techniques that make extensive use of neural nets such as Graph NNs. Exploiting our long-standing collaboration with theorists within the NExT Institute, we will develop new BSM scenarios to explore using these techniques. The development of trigger algorithms for the HL-LHC level-1 hardware trigger will exploit our work on track reconstruction in FPGAs to develop novel algorithms that exploit these tracks. HLS will be used to deploy the algorithms in the trigger FPGAs.

This is a joint studentship between the Particle Physics Department (PPD) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the University of Bristol. The PPD group of around 20 staff and students is active across analysis and operations, and the HL-LHC upgrade for CMS. The Bristol CMS group consists of approximately 20 physicists, students and support staff, including five academic staff. It is active across the experiment, including physics data analysis and work on the trigger, tracker and data acquisition systems of CMS and its future upgrades.

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at Please select Physics (PhD) on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. Please make sure you include the title of studentship and the contact supervisor in your Personal Statement.

Candidate requirements: 

Candidates should have completed an undergraduate degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) in Physics.

Funding Notes

This studentship is fully funded by STFC. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK student level and an annual stipend for up to three and half years at the standard UKRI stipend rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22).
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