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Joint PhD position KU Leuven-Peking University on neutron-rich isopes at N=50 (ref. BAP-2024-117)

This position will be embedded within the Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, under the supervision of Prof Thomas Elias Cocolios and Prof Gerda Neyens. Their teams currently count 3 post-docs, 11 PhD students, and 6 Master students performing research on and with radioactive ion beams. Their research has two major pillars: the study of ground-state properties of radioisotopes for nuclear structure investigations, and the production and purification of radioisotopes for fundamental research and medical applications. This position will be directly linked with the fundamental aspects of their research. The position has a joint appointment with the research group of Prof Xiaofei Yang at Peking University. Her group currently has 2 senior researchers, 1 engineer, 1 postdoc, 7 PhD students, and 4 undergraduate students. The group is now working on the development of laser spectroscopy techniques and performing research on the nuclear properties and exotic structure of radioactive isotopes at radioactive ion beam facilities in China and in CERN. All three supervisors are core researchers of the CRIS collaboration at the ISOLDE facility at CERN, for Collinear Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy. This international collaboration uses state-of-the-art techniques to explore the ground-state and decay properties of exotic radionuclides using laser and decay spectroscopy techniques.



As a PhD candidate on this research project, you will investigate the properties of neutron-rich isotopes of copper, zinc, and gallium around the N=50 shell closure, where exciting nuclear structure effects may be observed, but also in the vicinity of the r-process path of nucleosynthesis. You will join the CRIS collaboration and participate in the global activities at the ISOLDE facility at CERN, learn the intricacies of tunable laser systems, radioactive ion beam manipulations, and decay spectroscopy. Your investigation will combine atomic and nuclear physics, and lead to a greater understanding of the structure of the nucleus in this region.


We are looking for a self-motivated candidate with a Master degree in laser, atomic, nuclear, particle physics or equivalent. The position involves extended travel to CERN (Switzerland) and Peking University (China).


We offer a fully-funded, 4-year joint PhD scholarship between KU Leuven and Peking University. The candidate will start their degree at KU Leuven and perform research at CERN until the end of 2025, then transfer to Peking University for 12 months, and finally the complete the remaining time at KU Leuven.
The candidate will join the Arenberg Doctoral School, which offers a wide array of training opportunities for professional growth.
We promote young researchers by giving them opportunities to report on their findings regularly in internal meetings and international events (workshops, conferences), and support them thoroughly in their scientific development.

Team Prof Thomas Cocolios: https://fys.kuleuven.be/iks/in...
Team Gerda Neyens: https://fys.kuleuven.be/iks/nm...
Team Xiaofei Yang: https://faculty.pku.edu.cn/yan...

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Thomas Elias Cocolios, thomas.cocolios@kuleuven.be, Prof. dr. Gerda Neyens, gerda.neyens@kuleuven.be, and Prof. dr. Xiaofei Yang, xiaofei.yang@pku.edu.cn.

Apply before: 01/06/2024

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