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PhD student in experimental Particle Physics: Searching for Dark Matter in proton-proton collisions

100%, Geneva, temporary

The High Energy Physics group at ETH Zurich invites applications for the following opening in the group of Prof. Annapaola de Cosa. 

Project background

The research group of Prof. de Cosa is engaged in the search for new physics phenomena in proton-proton collision data collected by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN. In particular, the group is looking for signs of Dark Matter production manifesting through unconventional signatures hidden in a sea of background. The group is also actively involved in the monitoring and operations of the CMS Pixel detector, and in the study of the detector radiation damage evolution. 

Job description

The objective of this PhD thesis project is to search for non-WIMP Dark Matter candidates in LHC collisions by looking for partially invisible jets of particles produced in the showering of dark quarks, and hiding in the overwhelming background of Standard Model multi-jet data. The development of new tools making use of modern machine learning techniques for reconstruction and identification of such challenging signature will be pivotal for isolating DM-like candidates in the LHC Run-2 plus Run-3 data.

You are expected to play a leading role in the analysis of the LHC data for the search of DM candidates. On the detector side contribution is expected to the monitoring and operations of the CMS Pixel detector during the upcoming data-taking period. You will also participate in teaching activities at ETH Zurich. The position is based at CERN (Geneva) with frequent travels to Zurich.

Your profile

You have a Master degree in Physics and big enthusiasm in joining the group and participate in this challenging hunt to New Physics. We encourage female to apply.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application including:

  • a motivation letter
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a statement of research interests
  • at least two letters of reference to be sent to

The review of incoming applications will start immediately and will continue until a suitable person is identified. We suggest to apply by mid May to ensure full consideration. 

Further information on the Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, IPA, and on the CMS project can be found at and Inquires regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Annapaola de Cosa at

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