Postdoctoral Research Assistant in High Energy Density Physics

Atomic and Laser Physics, University of Oxford

Oxford, South East England, United Kingdom

Salary: Grade 7: £32,236 - £39,609 p.a.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant position in High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) in the Atomic and Laser Physics Department, University of Oxford. Candidates with experimental, theoretical and/or computational backgrounds and interests are invited to apply. The post is available for a fixed-term duration of 2 years.

The title of the project is “Investigating electron dynamics and radiation transport in solid-density plasmas using X-ray free-electron lasers”, and combines theoretical and experimental investigations of solid-density plasmas created by the latest generation X-ray light sources such as the Linac Coherent Light Source facility at SLAC, California, and the newly operational European XFEL in Hamburg, Germany.

The postholder will have the opportunity to design and lead cutting edge experiments at flagship FEL facilities, to develop experimental data acquisition and analysis systems, to model hot-dense plasma dynamics on ultra-short timescales, and work on developing new computational capabilities in high-energy density physics more broadly. The project will involve work on radiation transport, X-ray spectroscopy and electronic structure investigations, with ample use of machine learning techniques applied to data modeling and experimental design and data analysis. The postholder will work closely with both experimentalists and computational physicists the Oxford group and within a larger international collaboration.

Applicants should hold or be close to completion of a doctorate in physics, engineering, computer science or a related field. Applicants will need to demonstrate experience in at least one of the following: computational physics and/or high performance computing; and building machine learning models (e.g., deep learning, optimisation, Bayesian ML, etc.); computational or theoretical dense plasma modelling (e.g. in atomic kinetics, hydrodynamics, molecular dynamics, density functional theory etc.); designing and fielding high energy density physics experiments.

A demonstrated expertise in at least one programming language will be advantageous (such as C/C++/Cuda, Fortran, Python, Matlab, etc.), as will previous experience in atomic kinetics simulations, parallel supercomputing, and/or the application of machine learning techniques to data processing. Candidates are expected to be willing and able to travel internationally in Europe and the USA, and to work in close collaboration with national and international research teams. The postholder will have the opportunity to teach.

Please direct informal enquiries about the role to Dr Sam Vinko (

You will be required to upload a 1 page cover letter, a CV including full list of publications (only published papers), a research statement (2 pages A4 max) and details of two referees as part of your online application.

Only applications received before 12.00 noon on 4 March 2019 can be considered.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: University of Oxford-itox_ac-139018