NExT Responsive Research Fellow

Southampton, United Kingdom
£30,942 to £33,797 per annum
16 Apr 2021
End of advertisement period
25 Apr 2021
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Theory Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £33,797 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 12 months
Closing Date:  Sunday 25 April 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1361921WF

You will be working in responsive mode to specific requirements emerging from the NExT Institute research programme, to enable the prompt theoretical interpretation of specific experimental data or the rapid experimental validation of new theoretical ideas. This so-called NExT Responsive Research Fellow will be employed within the Southampton High Energy Physics (SHEP) group, in the School of Physics & Astronomy (P&A), with simultaneous affiliation to the Particle Physics Department (PPD) of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) Oxford. Travel funds for networking between the two institutions and for visits to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will be made available. 

NExT was funded in 2006 by Southampton and RAL. It is built upon a simple concept, that theory and experiment should go together in particle physics. The traditional interactions between experimentalists and theorists had revolved for decades around theorists picking up information from data based on experimental presentations in public meetings and published papers. This is both slow and inefficient, indeed, in the worst cases, it has led to misinterpretations of data. Physics understanding is thus hindered or delayed by such a process. The direction taken with the creation of NExT was novel and different from anything that had been done before.  It focused on developing one-on-one interactions between experimentalists and theorists, by connecting the latter to the analyses carried out by the former. This has been successfully implemented through the creation cross-institutional positions at PhD, PDRA and Staff level, joint between theory and experiment as well as between nodes of the Institute.

To be successful you must hold a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in High Energy Particle Physics (HEPP); have an established record of internationally recognised research; relevant publications in renowned scientific journals and be a theorist with a proven record in phenomenological research of direct relevance to experiment or experimentalists along with experience of theoretical interpretation of data, both with expertise in Monte Carlo and/or real data analysis. Ideally, you will demonstrate expertise in the theory area and have an association with the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN for which this inter-disciplinary effort is now required.

In return you will have the opportunity to interact with the largest national scientific research laboratories in the UK operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Research Council (STFC). Finally, join the NExT Institute, a novel partnership also involving the University of Sussex, Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and King's College London (KCL), with a mission to further the goals of HEPP through the fostering and promotion of interactions between theory and experiment in an inter-disciplinary and multi-sited environment. 

A background in Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) approaches to HEPP is desirable and will enable the candidate to also work within the Vision, Learning and Control (VLC) grouppart of the School of Electronic and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) is central to the ethos in Physics and Astronomy. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position.  We are strongly committed to diversity in both the academic and student population, and in recognition we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2018 and the Institute of Physics Project Juno Champion status in 2019. Physics and Astronomy gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly, including part-time, and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy**, and onsite childcare facilities. For further information please visit

 The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

**subject to qualifying criteria

* QS World University Rankings 2020-21.

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote reference 1361921WF on all correspondence.

Please include a covering letter and full CV in your application. Applications should make clear the areas of research in which the candidate is active or interested in becoming active, explain why the applicant is suitable for the role described and how he/she envisages driving this new initiative forward in practical terms.

The closing date for this position is 25 April 2021. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.

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