Postdoc position on future fast-timing detectors (ATLAS)

The organization

Nikhef is the national institute for subatomic physics in the Netherlands. At Nikhef, approximately 220 physicists and 80 technical staff work together in an open and international scientific environment.Together they perform theoretical and experimental research in the fields of particle and astroparticle physics. Nikhef is a partnership between six major Dutch universities and the NWO-I Foundation, the Institutes Organization of theDutch Research Council (NWO).
Nikhef participates in a wide range of research collaborations, including the ALICE, ATLAS and LHCb experiments at CERN, the KM3NeT neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean, the Virgo gravitational waves interferometer in Pisa, the Xenon-nT dark matter experiment in Gran Sasso, the Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory in Argentina, and the eEDM research programme in Groningen. Nikhef furthermore has scientific groups on theory, physics data processing and detector R&D, and has excellently equipped technical departments in mechanics, electronics, and computing. Nikhef hosts a LHC Tier-1 dataprocessing center and offers substantial additional computing resources for end-user data analysis and simulation.

The group

The position offered here is part of an NWO-funded research program: “FASTER – Fast sensors and Algorithms for Space-time Tracking and Event Reconstruction”, which will comprise 7 PhD positions and 3 postdoc positions in the period 2023-2028, all focused on research of fast-timing tracking systems for the ALICE, ATLAS and LHCb and future experiments. Fast-timing tracking detectors, consisting of billions of pixels will precisely measure the time at which particles pass our detectors. Use of this information will enable the experiments to cope with the fierce environment of the high luminosity LHC where they will see unprecedented hit rates and levels of radiation. The consortium members bring together expertise on sensor technologies, detector hardware and advanced pattern-recognition algorithms.

In the FASTER program, we will research and develop novel fast-timing sensors, develop methods and algorithms to calibrate the time measurement at picosecond level. We will also research pattern recognition algorithms that make use of the time measurements to execute more efficiently and on heterogeneous computing architectures such as GPUs.

The position

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join us on exploring data processing algorithms (e.g. time alignment, time offset calibration, clustering) on FPGAs for future fast timing detectors. The algorithms are expected to be developed firstly for the ATLAS High Granularity Timing Detector (HGTD), and further applied with hardware developed in the context of the FASTER proposal. Close collaboration with the other positions in the FASTER program is expected, with frequent travel to CERN, Amsterdam, and other consortium partners like Groningen and Maastricht. The successful candidate will become a member of the ATLAS collaboration and will be embedded in the HEP department and the ATLAS group at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for postdoctoral candidates with an (almost) completed Ph.D. in particle physics or a closely related field. The ideal candidate has experience in research and development of particle detector system.  Experience with FPGA programming is strongly preferred.


The candidate will be employed by the NWO-I foundation for a period of two years and will obtain the status of postdoctoral researcher. The working location will be Nijmegen. She/he will receive a competitive salary. The conditions of employment are excellent and include extra months’ salary payment in May and December. The conditions of employment of the NWO-I-foundation can be found at

Further information and application

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply by clicking the 'apply now' button below. Please be prepared to upload a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter, and have the email addresses of at least two referents ready, who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2024. The starting date will be set on mutual agreement. For further information, feel free to contact dr. Frank Filthaut ( and dr. Mengqing Wu ( for the position, or Hella Snoek ( for general information about the application procedure and the FASTER program.

 All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply