PhD Studentship on ATLAS BSM Searches in Multileptonic Final States (2021)

A fully funded Phd studentship in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sussex

What you get

  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year
  • A research training support grant for three and a half years of £1,250 per year.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

Funded and self-funded PhD projects are available to work on the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) under the supervision of Professor Antonella De Santo.

Available projects are well synchronised with the start of the LHC Run-3, which will lead to the collection of unprecedented amounts of proton-proton collisions at the highest energies ever reached at a collider. Successful applicants will join Sussex’s leading programme of data-intensive searches for new physics phenomena Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) in multileptonic final states at ATLAS, using Run-2 and Run-3 data samples collected by the experiment. Multileptonic “signatures” are characteristic of a wide range of exciting BSM scenarios, which aim to shed light on some of the most pressing questions in fundamental physics – such as the origin of dark matter in our universe, or the fundamental nature of neutrino masses. Models to be explored include the production of weakly interacting supersymmetric particles known as charginos and neutralinos, or the production of exotic heavy neutral leptons as encountered in seesaw models of neutrino masses.

Sussex’s principal technical involvement in ATLAS is through the experiment’s trigger system, including focus on future upgrades of the ATLAS detector. Commensurately with their role, and in synergy with their other research and training activities, successful applicants will be expected to contribute to Sussex’s technical commitments to the ATLAS experiment. Example of trigger-related activities that Sussex students have significantly contributed to in recent years include software developments for the ATLAS Inner Detector system, or the characterisation of key properties of electron-based triggers.

Professor De Santo is the ATLAS team leader at Sussex. She is a leading researcher in BSM signal searches, with an established track-record as a successful supervisor and mentor of early-career researchers. The Sussex ATLAS team, which counts approximately twenty members, offers a dynamic and supportive environment, where each team member is enabled to thrive.


  • Open to students from the UK, EU and Overseas.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with settled/pre-settled status in the UK, you may need to apply for a student study visa before admission.     
  • hold or expect to hold a UK upper second-class degree (or non-UK equivalent) in Physics or a closely-related area, or else a lower second-class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree

We also welcome applications from independently-funded students interested in our experimental programme.


30 March 2021 11:00

How to apply

Apply online at

Select the PhD in Physics with a September 2021 start date.

State in the Finance & Funding section that you are applying for the STFC EPP studentship no. STFC/EPP/2020/01, “ATLAS BSM searches”

To be considered for more than one of our STFC EPP positions, include the studentship number(s) from our other advertisements in the Finance & Funding section.

Be sure to supply all of the required documents, particularly your transcripts and the details of two referees.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.


Contact us:

If you have practical questions about the progress of your applications or your eligibility, contact Emma Ransley at




Contact us

For academic questions contact the coordinator of STFC EPP PhD admissions, Dr. W. Clark Griffith: or the supervisor of this project, Prof Antonella De Santo,



The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found so early application is advised. 

Interviews of shortlisted candidates will be held in February and March initially and will continue until the position is filled.


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
30 March 2021 11:00 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: