PhD scholarship (4 years) on muon tomography
Université catholique de Louvain

PhD scholarship (4 years) on muon tomography

Belgium 05 Aug 2021


The Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is internationally recognized for research and teaching quality in many different fields of expertise.
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05 Aug 2021
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The center for Cosmology, Particle Physics and Phenomenology (CP3) of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) invites applications for one position aimed to obtain a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics, funded for four years.

The research project, under the primary supervision of Andrea Giammanco, will be in the area of "muon tomography", or "muography", i.e. an imaging method that exploits the large natural flux of muons from cosmic-ray interactions in the atmosphere. For general information on this relatively young research area, see a recent review here; for specific information on the CP3-muography team, please have a look here. This project will also overlap with the research goals of the MODE consortium (see webpage and this brief article), i.e. automatic optimization of the design of experiments.
The selected candidate will receive full funding through the H2020-RIA project "SilentBorder" funded by the European Commission. The aim of "SilentBorder" is to design new scanners and/or propose new methods, based on the principles of muography, for the detection of illicit materials in specific case studies where traditional scanning methods are inadequate or insufficient. The main research task of the selected candidate will be to develop a fast, general and flexible simulation framework for muon tomography (applicable also outside of the SilentBorder research goals) in synergy with the rest of the CP3-muography team and other teams belonging to SilentBorder and with support from MODE experts in differentiable programming; and to apply such framework for the optimization of the design of muon tomography scanners.
This work is expected to lead to academic publications and presentations at international conferences, with the selected candidate as leading author or coauthor depending on the contribution. The skills and competences acquired during this work are expected to enhance the career prospects both in academia and the private sector.
There are no teaching duties in this position.

The net salary is slightly more than 2060 EUR/month, with social security covering health insurance, sickness, invalidity and, if applicable, family allowances. You will be entitled to a public transport pass paid by the university.
By applying to this position, you pledge to comply to academic best practices and to strive for contributing to a healthy and collaborative work environment.
The position is open to candidates of any nationality. This position will remain open until suitable candidates are found, but the first screening of applicants will start on 1st of June 2021, therefore we advice to complete your application by then. Although the current funding only allows us to cover a single PhD scholarship, short-listed candidates may be considered for other positions in case other budgets become available in the near future.
The earliest date of start of the contract is 1st of September 2021. Later starting dates are possible, preferentially before the end of 2021. By the regulations of our university, the contract cannot start before the candidate holds a MSc diploma.

Applications should be submitted online through this web page: Please do NOT send your application material by e-mail. Applicants need to provide:

Evaluation criteria include:

Although not mandatory, the following aspects, if present, will be considered an asset:

(*) In case the candidate doesn't hold a MSc diploma yet, but is expected to receive it soon, please enclose a letter signed by an academic authority (e.g.: academic supervisor, head of department or school, or school secretariat) stating the expected date for obtaining it.
(**) Ideally, we would like to contact someone who can describe your research skills. If you are in doubt between asking a well known professor who has only a superficial knowledge of your research skills and a young researcher who tutored you very closely, please prioritize the second.
(***) Knowledge of French is not needed, in spite of being the official language of our university, because CP3 is a very international and diverse environment, with 23 nationalities represented.

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Giammanco (
Please do NOT use this email address to send CV and application material; use the webpage instead.

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