1 Marie Curie PhD position in physics/electronics engineering - EU project RADSAGA (RADiation and reliability challenges for electronics used in Space, Avionics, on the Ground and at Accelerators)
European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
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Job Description

Company Description

The EU-funded Horizon 2020 programme has two main strategic objectives: to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry and to encourage its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions ITN: RADSAGA

The RADSAGA training network is a collaboration of leading laboratories, companies
and universities working in the field of electronics exposed to radiation. Within the
network, young scientists are trained in a variety of aspects related to interactions of particles with electronic components.

Contact email:
Ruben.Garcia.Alia@cern.ch, Sonia.Allegretti@cern.ch
RADSAGA Website: https://radsaga.web.cern.ch/

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's and the EU's mission.

Job Description

Welcome to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions

As a recent graduate from university or advanced technical institute, you’re no doubt looking for the chance to make your mark. Here it is: we seek lively and inquiring minds with a heightened sense of curiosity to take part in projects of advanced development work, in a broad range of applied sciences and engineering fields.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions train young researchers, building the careers of tomorrow’s leaders in research and industry.

What could be a better boost for your career than becoming an Early Career Stage Researcher in an Innovative Training Networks project within the framework of the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie programmes?

The objective of the PhD will be to advance related to the knowledge of radiation qualification of state-of-the-art commercial electronic components and modules. Emerging radiation hardness assurance needs for space, ground level and accelerator applications demand performing radiation qualification following approaches that are not directly covered by the existing radiation test standards. Therefore, the role of the PhD student will be to support the RADSAGA Work Packages 3 and 4 related to the development, validation and documentation of alternative test methodologies.

More specifically, the position will focus on the development of digital electronic systems (based on e.g. FPGAs, microprocessors…) both as test beds for other components and systems, as well as related to actual radiation tolerant systems to be evaluated under accelerated irradiation conditions. The experimental work will focus on available irradiation facilities allowing for testing of large equipment, such as CHARM at CERN, or ChipIr at ISIS-STFC. The investigation of possible additional facilities for board/system level testing will also be part of the PhD research goals.

During the thesis, the student will make use of the RADSAGA system level guidelines in order to qualify ongoing radiation tolerant developments in the scope of the various RADSAGA partners. The results produced will help consolidating and where applicable updating/completing the guidelines, with the purpose of further standardizing the approach for the more global radiation effects community.

In addition to the digital electronics design aspects, progress related to the implications of radiation-matter interaction for system level testing will be part of the PhD topic, both experimentally and potentially via Monte Carlo simulations.

The successful applicant will in first instance be employed at CERN as an Early Stage Researcher in the framework of the Innovative Training Network RADSAGA (https://radsaga.web.cern.ch/) until 30 September 2021. Thereafter the applicant will continue with another two years contract paid by CERN.


In order to qualify for a place in the project you will need to meet the following requirements:

At the time of recruitment:

  • be in possession of a university degree (MSc) allowing you to embark on a doctorate (candidates who are currently studying for their MSc may apply if they will finish before October 2020, however, the RADSAGA contract cannot begin until the MSc is completed)
  • be in your first 4 years of your full-time research career (after obtaining your degree (MSc))
  • must NOT hold a PhD yet
  • must apply for a position in a European Country where you did not live or work for more than 12 months in the last three years (counted from the hypothetical day of recruitment).
  • Please make sure that you satisfy the mobility requirements for the position.
  • Candidates of any nationality can apply.
  • Proficiency in English is required.
  • Technical qualifications:

    · Master degree in electronics engineering, physics, engineering physics or nuclear engineering

    · Experience in digital system electronics design, including VHDL or Verilog knowledge

    · Basic knowledge of radiation effects in electronics

    · Experience with programming, preferably in C++ and Python, and the use of data analysis codes such as MatLab is an important asset.

Additional Information

All ESR positions offer:

  • An employment contract for durations from 6 to max. 36 months.
  • The stipend granted by the EU is EUR 3270 brut + EUR 600 mobility + country coefficient factor if applicable. The allowance which may be increased depending on the hosting organization.
  • In accordance with the European Commission’s allowances for ITNs, a training allowance covers training activities, conference attendance, etc.

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A CV
  • A copy of the last (highest) qualification
  • One letter of recommendation to give as broad as possible overview of your academic and/or professional achievements
  • In addition, contact details of 2 academic or professional references (name, position, e-mail, telephone and indicating the relationship with the applicant)
  • Interviews will be held as soon as possible after the closing date and will include a video interview
  • Employment contracts will start as of September 2020

Please make sure you have all the documents requested to hand as you start your application. Once submitted you will not be able to upload any documents or edit your application

Closing date: 25 July 2020

About CERN

At an intergovernmental meeting of UNESCO in Paris in December 1951, the first resolution concerning the establishment of a European Council for Nuclear Research (in French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) was adopted.Two months later, an agreement was signed establishing the provisional Council – the acronym CERN was born.Today, our understanding of matter goes much deeper than the nucleus, and CERN's main area of research is particle physics. Because of this, the laboratory operated by CERN is often referred to as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

Physicists and engineers at CERN use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – fundamental particles. Subatomic particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives us clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. We want to advance the boundaries of human knowledge by delving into the smallest building blocks of our universe.

The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.Founded in 1954, the CERN laboratory sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 23 member states.