PhD Position in Experimental Nuclear Physics

Uppsala University


PhD Student in Experimental Nuclear Physics

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 research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities. Find out more at 

The Division of Applied Nuclear Physics is looking for a doctoral student in experimental nuclear physics with focus on studies of the fission process.

The division conducts research in the areas of nuclear reaction studies, nuclear fuel diagnostics and safeguards, neutron diagnostics for fusion energy, and interaction of high velocity ions in various materials. The division offers training and expertise in instrumentation, numerical modelling and computer simulation of nuclear reactions and interactions as well as nuclear measurement techniques.

The nuclear reactions research group focuses on studies of the fission process and light-ion production. The driving force is to be able to deliver high-quality nuclear data for applications. We therefore also work with evaluation methodology and uncertainty quantification methods. Most of the experimental research is carried out together with our collaborators at world-leading European laboratories.

Description of the project: Nuclear fission is a fascinating topic 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.

The main idea behind the present project is to use recent advances in nuclear mass measurement techniques to study isomeric yield ratios (IYR) of the exotic neutron-rich fission products. Using theoretical nuclear model codes, these IYR can be connected to spin distributions of the fission fragments right after the nucleus has split (scission). We perform systematic measurements of several IYR and study their dependence on the fissioning system and the initial excitation and rotation energy. The goal is to understand the generation of angular momentum in fission and thus to reach a deeper understanding of the nuclear dynamics driving the fission process.

The research is initially carried out together with our partners at the University of Jyväskylä. We use the double Penning trap JYFLTRAP at IGISOL and its high mass-resolving power to study nuclei in the 132Sn region, where several suitable isomers exist. As first part of the research project you will study IYR resulting from alpha-induced fission of 232Th. This is an extension of earlier work in the group on proton-induced fission of 238U in the same area of the nuclear chart.

As a second step, the intention is to perform measurement campaigns at TRIGA-TRAP in Mainz and/or the FRS Ion Catcher at GSI, Darmstadt, to collect comparable IYR data resulting from the same (or a similar) fissioning nucleus but with different initial state.

During this research project, the PhD student will gain profound knowledge in nuclear reactions and instrumentation used in nuclear physics research. The student will get specialized in the field of fission dynamics, ionizing radiation, nuclear mass measurements techniques, and radiation measurements.

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 periods of time abroad, especially in Jyväskylä, Finland, and Mainz/Darmstadt in Germany. Your main task will be to conduct isomeric yield measurements of fission products from different reactions, to collect and analyse data, and to compare the results to existing data-sets and fission model calculations.

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, Engineering Physics, or similar, is required. However, you can apply already before you obtain the degree.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.

Additional qualifications:

  • 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.
  • While the project is mainly experimental, experience and interest in theoretical nuclear physics would be an advantage.

The application must include the following documents

  • Your Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages). 
  • A motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing your reason for applying. 
  • 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. 
  • A copy of your degree diploma along with a transcript of your grades (if applicable).
  • Maximum three references and recommendation letters: at least one such letter must be written by your undergraduate thesis supervisor; 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.

Information on post-graduate education, rules governing the enrolment as a doctoral student in The Higher Education Act and Higher Education Ordinance as well as the rules and regulations for doctoral students at Uppsala University can be found here:

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 01-02-2021 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: Professor Stephan Pomp, phone +46 18 471 68 50.

Please submit your application by 14 December 2020, UFV-PA 2020/4119.

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

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: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/4119

Last application date: 2020-12-14

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