Doctoral student position in applied nuclear physics – Fission yield measurements with VERDI

Updated: 4 days ago
Deadline: 06 Apr 2020

Published: 2020-01-28

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Division of Applied Nuclear Physics conducts research in the areas of nuclear reactions (for applications like nuclear energy, cancer therapy or transmutation of nuclear waste), nuclear fuel diagnostics and safeguards, neutron diagnostics for fusion energy and interaction of high velocity ions in various materials. The nuclear reactions research group is devoted to measurements and evaluations of nuclear data for applications, for example nuclear energy, nuclear medicine and electronics. With our collaborators, primarily at laboratories in Belgium, Finland and France, we study nuclear reaction cross sections, fission yields and neutron multiplicities, light ion production, single event upsets, and so on. We are also involved in the development of the nuclear reaction code TALYS and the nuclear data library TENDL.

Description of the project: Nuclear fission is a fascinating topic in where the interplay between the fundamental forces of nature give rise to exciting quantum phenomena. A solid understanding of fission, the resulting fragment mass distributions, neutron evaporation, and γ-ray emission, helps us to understand a range of topics; how exotic nuclei are formed in the universe as well as improve the safety and efficiency of future nuclear power systems.

In collaboration with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in Belgium, we develop the state-of-the-art nuclear instrument (VERDI) which stands for “VElocity foR Direct particle Identification”. With VERDI we are able to measure the velocities and energies of both produced nuclei, which allows a mass determination. In order to obtain precise mass measurements, both fragment velocities must be determined with high precision. One main challenge is to deduce the correct time-of-flight from the Si detector signals.

The scientific aim of the project is to improve the VERDI setup and to perform high-precision experimental studies of neutron-induced fission, of relevance for future reactor systems. High-precision correlated data (fission yields, kinetic energies and neutron emission) improve fission modelling and the evaluation of nuclear data relevant for reactor operation. Experiments are planned first on Cf-252(sf) for calibration and later on thermal fission of U-235.

During the Ph.D., the student will gain profound knowledge in nuclear reactions and instrumentation used in nuclear physics research. The Ph.D. student will get specialized in the field of fission dynamics, ionizing radiation, radiation measurements with particular emphasis on fission fragments, neutron and gamma-ray detection.

As a doctoral student at our division, you will work in a multi-cultural environment and you will have an active role in the group activities such as seminars, workshops and courses. At the same time, you will be expected to work independently and to take personal responsibility for the progression of the project. Since most of our experimental work is located to different European facilities you will be spending extended periods of time abroad, especially at JRC in Belgium. Your main task will be to conduct fission yield experiments, to collect and analyse data and to compare the results to existing data-sets and model calculations. You will also perform computer simulations of the experimental set-up in order to improve the performance.

More information about our research:


  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in a field that is relevant for the research project, such as (but not limited to) Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Engineering Physics, Medical Physics or similar, is required.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.

Desirable qualifications and experience

  • This Ph.D. work is instrument-oriented and requires inclination for technical development and optimization. Documented experience working in a physics-based research environment and practical laboratory experience with nuclear and/or particle physics instrumentation and detectors, data acquisition systems and/or simulation environments. Please provide documentation of extent and type of experience.
  • The work involves rather complex data-analysis. Therefore, we desire proven programming skills. Please provide documentation of extent and type of experience.

The application should include the following documents

  • Your Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) (mandatory)
  • A copy of your degree diploma along with a transcript of your grades (mandatory).
  • A copy of your undergraduate thesis or a draft and a detailed time plan for the rest of the work if it is not yet completed (mandatory).
  • A motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing your reason for applying (mandatory).
  • Maximum three references and recommendation letters: at least one such letter must be written by your undergraduate thesis supervisor (mandatory); additional ones can be provided by co-supervisors and/or second-level cycle university teachers.
  • Personal circumstances that may be of positive relevance in merit evaluation should be mentioned in the CV.
  • List of publications (if any).
  • All other documents that you want us to consider.

Employment conditions: The Doctoral student position is a 4-year appointment, and the candidate will primarily devote the time to his/her own research studies. Extension, up to a maximum of five years, is possible by including department duties at a level of at most 20%, typically teaching. The position is fully financed and the salary is in accordance with local guidelines at Uppsala University.

The applicant must be eligible for Postgraduate studies at Uppsala University. Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 01-04-2020 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Ali Al-Adili, [email protected] phone +46 18 471 59 66.

Please submit your application by 6 April 2020, UFV-PA 2020/291.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at . You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at [email protected] .

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University´s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben [email protected]
ST/TCO [email protected]
Saco-rådet [email protected]

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/291

Last application date: 2020-04-06

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