announcement

10 choices: Which PhD position is right for you?

The be.h-eos programme includes 10 PhD positions at various different universities. In the advertisement these are only listed shortly. This post is intended to provide more background on each of the positions, including a typical profile/skill set necessary. All projects aim to answer questions that together fit into a greater picture, and have some connection to the great questions that are now relevant in particle physics.

This list is intended for further information for applicants, if you are interested in one of the positions, detailed information on the research topic of a given opening can be obtained by directly contacting the corresponding advisors via e-mail. For general questions you can contact the EOS Hiring and Equal opportunity officers: Barbara Clerbaux and Nick Van Remortel. In general, if you have done an (astro) particle physics research project for your degree,  so have some analysis experience, affinity with programming, a strong background from your university courses with good grades and interest to learn more, we would love to read your application!

  1. Theory vs. experiment on the Higgs boson potential: Phenomenology is the theory subfield of particle physics that develops predictive theory while keeping in mind experimental constraints. In this case that will involve calculations of Beyond-the-Standard model physics in the context of Higgs-boson couplings – and to connect these to experimental results (HH production is one of the most important results that will come from the LHC in the coming years). The supervisors are world experts on the simulation and calculations necessary for this work.
    The successful applicant aims to use calculations and simulations in quantum field theory to make predictions of what can eventually be measured in particle physics experiment.  A strong theory background in theoretical particle physics is recommended, and some affinity with programming/computing is a plus. (Supervisors: Fabio Maltoni (UCL) and Alberto Mariotti (VUB))
  2. Study of the HVV off-shell processes : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to measure interactions between the Higgs boson and gauge (Z, W) bosons. It is also at the moment the most sensitive method to determine the decay width of the Higgs boson. It will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN. Belgium has been extremely visible during the Higgs boson discovery and of course the prediction of spontaneous symmetry breaking (and the Nobel prize that was awarded for it) also involved Belgians, Francois Englert and Robert Brout published their paper predicting this phenomenon independently and before Higgs.  These measurements will provide stringent tests of SM predictions and will be able to constrain physics beyond the Standard Model through interpretation in the context of Standard Model Effective Field Theory (SMEFT). The person working on this project will be able to discover (or set stringent limits) in a model-independent manner whether there is physics beyond the Standard Model in the Higgs sector. A background in theoretical or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors: Pascal Vanlaer (ULB) and Nick Van Remortel (UA))
  3. Higgs boson production in the VBF mechanism : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to measure the Higgs boson in an extremely important production mode: vector-boson fusion. After that, the new observation will be used to understand Higgs boson production even more detail. It will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN. Belgium has been extremely visible during the Higgs boson discovery and of course the prediction of spontaneous symmetry breaking (and the Nobel prize that was awarded for it) also involved Belgians, Francois Englert and Robert Brout published their paper predicting this phenomenon independently and before Higgs. A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors:Pierre Van Mechelen (UA) and Laurent Favart (ULB))
  4. The top-Higgs connection in the SMEFT : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to measure interactions between the Higgs boson and top quarks. It will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN. Belgium has for years had a leading role in the top quark physics, so this will involve working with some of the world leaders in this field. These measurements will provide stringent tests of SM predictions and will be able to constrain physics beyond the Standard Model through interpretation in the context of Standard Model Effective Field Theory (SMEFT). The person working on this project will be able to discover (or set stringent limits) in a model-independent manner whether there is physics beyond the Standard Model in the Higgs sector. A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors: Andrea Giammanco (UCL)  and Jorgen d’Hondt (VUB) )
  5. Electroweak couplings of the top quark in ttV : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to measure interactions between the top quarks and W/Z bosons. These collisions have only recently been observed at the LHC and it is now time to study if they are indeed consistent with the Standard Model or in fact hiding some new physics! The project will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN. Belgium has for years had a leading role in the top quark physics, and the first observation of ttZ/ttW production also was led by a Belgian team, so you will work with the world leaders in the field. These measurements will provide stringent tests of SM predictions and will be able to constrain physics beyond the Standard Model through interpretation in the context of Standard Model Effective Field Theory (SMEFT).  A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors: Didar Dobur (UG) and Andrea Giammanco (UCL) )
  6. Search for a heavy resonance decaying into Z+A/H : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to Search for new Higgs bosons decaying to a Z boson and a Higgs boson (either Standard Model or BSM). Once you see one Higgs boson, there are many theoretical motivations to look for extra scalar bosons. And as the Higgs boson couples to mass, the decays to final states including extra Higgs bosons is one of the important places to look! By the way this is a search that would also be sensitive to Supersymmetry, axions, extra dimensions and Dark Matter! The project will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN, and will involve working on important and highly visible CMS analyses where Belgians are leading the effort in the experiment and world-wide.  A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisor: Christophe Delaere (UCL))
  7. Search for dark Z bosons with lepton pairs : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to Search for new ‘dark’ Z bosons that decay to lepton (ee, mumu) pairs. These new particles are a tell-tale sign of Dark Matter and would create very striking signatures involving extra resonances in ee and mumu production. The two supervisors are leaders in their field in the context of Dark Matter and dilepton resonances, and will involve developing new reconstruction techniques to see these resonant decays, that can also be long-lived. The project will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN, and will involve working on important and highly visible CMS analyses where Belgians are leading the effort in the experiment and world-wide.  A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors: Steven Lowette (VUB) and Barbara Clerbaux (ULB))
  8. Displaced heavy flavour identification :This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to develop new tools that can identify displaced particles that decay to bottom quarks. These particles are a tell-tale sign of new physics, beyond the standard model, which should create very striking signatures within CMS. This is currently a very hot topic at the LHC. At the moment there are no existing algorithms that purposefully identify such displaced particles efficiently. The challenge of this project is to use your knowledge of physics and the detector, combined with novel tools like machine learning, to create algorithms sensitive to these particles and then to use them in a CMS analysis. This project would involve working together with some of the other PhD students hired, as jobs #7,8,9,10 are inter-connected on an experimental level. In addition, being a part of the CMS collaboration would include regular travel to CERN and working in important and highly visible CMS groups (such as the CMS B tag group where Belgians are leading the effort in the experiment). A background in experimental particle physics is recommended, but a suitable background with machine learning will be considered. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing is recommended. (supervisor: Freya Blekman (VUB) )
  9. Search for sterile neutrinos at CMS: This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to Search for sterile neutrinos in the multilepton final state . The mass hierarchy of neutrinos and the possibility of another generation of sterile neutrinos is one of the open questions of particle physics. The two supervisors are leaders in their field in the context of multilepton searches and dilepton resonances, and will involve developing new reconstruction techniques to see these resonant decays, that can also be long-lived. The project will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN, and will involve working on important and highly visible CMS analyses where Belgians are leading the effort in the experiment and world-wide.  A background in theoretical particle physics or experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as well. (supervisors: Barbara Clerbaux (ULB) and Didar Dobur (UG))
  10. Displaced tau and hadronic signatures in CMS : This is an experimental project that will use data from the CMS detector at the LHC to Develop new tools that can identify displaced leptons (including taus).  These new particles are a tell-tale sign of new physics and would create very striking signatures of displaced new particles, which is one of the hot topics at the LHC in Run 2 and Run 3. This project would involve working together with some of the other PhD students hired, as jobs #7,8,9,10 are inter-connected on an experimental level. The challenge of this project is to use the knowledge of the physics and the detector and combine to improve the sensitivity to these particles and then use these in a CMS analysis. The project will involve working in the CMS collaboration at CERN, including regular travel to CERN, and will involve working on important and highly visible CMS groups such where Belgians have been leading the effort in the experiment, including the CMS tracking group.  A background in experimental particle physics is recommended. Experience with data analysis is important, affinity with programming/computing as recommended. (supervisor: Giacomo Bruno (UCL))

 

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