The AWAKE project is always looking for new collaborators to strengthen and complete the team.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the John Adams Institute: AWAKE project
Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH.

Grade 7: £32,817 - £40,322 per annum
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Particle Physics at the John Adams Institute: AWAKE project.

The post is available initially for a fixed-term duration of 24 months, with the possibility of extension for 12 months.

The John Adams Institute Oxford seeks an outstanding postdoctoral researcher to take a leading role in the design and optimisation of the electron and proton beamlines for Run 2 of the AWAKE project at CERN. AWAKE is a unique proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment which has recently demonstrated acceleration of electrons with an average gradient of 200MV/m. The goal of AWAKE Run 2 is to demonstrate the sustained acceleration of high-quality electron beams.

In Run 2 the electrons will be injected into the stable plasma wakefield after the saturation of the proton beam self-modulation (currently proposed by splitting the plasma cell into two). As a first step it is proposed to use the 20 MeV electron beam for injection studies into the 2nd plasma cell. Feasibility studies of such a new injection region in a modified area need to be done, including tracking studies with space charge effects and imperfections. The injection region needs to be designed, taking into consideration the installation of additional diagnostics, a complex plasma cell system, the experience gained during the Run 1 operation, and the limits of the current electron beam line. In addition, all the experimental requirements on the proton beam should be folded in to preserve the quality of the accelerated beam. Any new equipment needs to be specified, and the production, installation and commissioning of the modified beamline followed up. In a second step a high energy electron beam at the order of 100 MeV has to be studied, including matching the source and line parameters, taking account of focusing and steering at the plasma cell, diagnostics, stability, reproducibility, operability, and civil engineering constraints.

The JAI has recognised expertise in beam dynamics, instrumentation, and feedback and control of beams at advanced particle accelerators. We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join the team working on the AWAKE electron beamline. This person will ideally be based at CERN and become an associated member of the personnel within the SY-ABT Group.

The successful candidate will: perform electron-beam tracking studies with space charge effects and imperfections and feasibility studies, and design the new AWAKE electron injection region; specify any new equipment for the modified injection beamline; coordinate the production, installation and commissioning of the modified beamline; study a higher-energy injection beamline of the order of 100 MeV. In addition the successful candidate will be expected to take a lead role in the publication and presentation of results and to support the work of other team members.

Applicants should possess, or be very close to obtaining a doctorate in accelerator physics, particle physics or a related field and ideally a strong background in beam dynamics.

Previous experience in the field of electron beamlines will be an advantage.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, plan and independently execute research activities, and work in a team.

The post-holder will have the opportunity to teach.

Informal enquiries about this post may be made to Professor Philip Burrows (

Only applications received promptly by 12:00 noon UK time on 12 July 2021 can be considered. Please read the “Person Specification and Job Description” before preparing your application. You will be required to upload a Curriculum Vita, a description of research experience and interests and the names and addresses of three referees as part of your online application. In addition you should arrange for the three letters of reference to be sent to by the closing date. Applications are acknowledged but not reference letters.

Contact Person : Mrs Sue Geddes Vacancy ID : 151644
Contact Phone : 01865 273353 Closing Date & Time : 12-Jul-2021 12:00
Contact Email :


Ph.D. student, Master in physics or Engineering and expertise in experimental plasma physics

In 2018, the Advanced Wakefield Experiment (AWAKE) reached a milestone demonstrating that plasma wakefields generated by externally injected proton beams can efficiently accelerate charged particles over 10 m distance, thus fulfilling the objective of the AWAKE Run 1 phase. This first ever proof-of-concept boosted the next phase, AWAKE Run 2. The goal of Run 2 is to accelerate an electron bunch with a narrow relative energy spread and an emittance sufficiently low for applications. In parallel to AWAKE Run 2, high-density plasma, generated by a helicon source in a linear geometry, is under development at CERN in collaboration with the Swiss Plasma Center in Lausanne (Switzerland), the Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald (Germany), and the University of Madison in Wisconsin (USA). This development poses formidable challenges from the point of view of plasma physics, technology and diagnostics. We are looking for a Ph.D. student, ideally with a Master in physics or Engineering and expertise in experimental plasma physics, who will participate in this joint endeavor, working partly at the Swiss Plasma Center and partly at CERN on the helicon plasma cell and diagnostics development. Should you be interested or know someone who could be, please send an email to

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