Particle Physics is running a summer internship programme for undergraduate physics students that will take about 6 students. Priority will be given to students in their second year and above. Students will work with a supervisor in the department, usually a postdoctoral researcher or lecturer, on a self-contained project. Students are encouraged to take part in department life, joining researchers for coffee, discussions and seminars.

The projects run for typically 8 weeks, nominally 3 July through to the end of August.  Students will be paid as employees of the University, receiving a payment of £11.56 per hour (subject to tax and National Insurance deductions). The project is normally full-time, but hours can be discussed with individual supervisors.


Unfortunately, due to UK visa regulations, we are only able to accept applications from candidates who do not require a visa to work in the UK. EU students currently in the UK who have been granted Pre-Settled Status are also welcome to apply along with current students in the UK on a Tier 4 visa that allows vacation employment. If you have queries about your personal circumstances, please get in touch with

How to apply

You should email a one-page-only application, in pdf format, to Sue Geddes ( by Monday 3 April 2023. Students should ask for a short academic reference letter to be emailed by the same date. Offers will be made as soon as possible after this date.

On your 1-page application you should tell us why you are interested in the programme and which project(s) most interest you. Also include your contact details, your year and course, and contact details (including email) of your academic referee. Please also mention any computer programming experience and any previous research experience that you have had. You are welcome to informally contact the supervisor(s) to find out more details about the projects that interest you. For any administrative issues, contact Sue Geddes (


The CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for R&D

Supervisor:  Professor Philip Burrows (
Duration:  8 weeks
The CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for R&D – has been commissioned and experiments are taking place on the beamline. The intern will have the opportunity to work on simulation studies for operating and upgrading the 220 MeV electron beamline. There are also opportunities for working on simulations of novel beam position monitors and high-gradient radio-frequency accelerating cavities.

Summer internships at Oxford Physics Microstructure Detector (OPMD)

Supervisors: Dr Daniel Hynds (
                     Dr Richard Plackett (
                     Dr Daniel Weatherill (
Duration: 8 weeks
The OPMD group develops new silicon detectors for particle physics and astrophysics experiments. We operate a state of the art 160m2 cleanroom facility in support of this activity. These cutting-edge sensors operate at the core of modern particle physics detectors, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, as well as instrumenting telescopes, atom interferometers and other highly demanding projects. As such they are a critical aspect in a large number of the most active fields of research today.

We are offering summer internships working on the characterisation of new detectors technologies and materials, development of new characterisation tools and techniques, and the development of detector production systems. The projects available at OPMD relate to: generic future detector development, the ATLAS experiment at CERN, the Mu3e experiment at PSI, the LSST/Ruben telescope camera, the MAGIS/AION atom interferometer readout, and Oxford-based applications for the Timepix4 detector. These will be both hands on laboratory work with electronics and require a familiarity with coding.


Supervisors: Professor Steven Biller (
                     Professor Jeff Tseng (
                     Professor Armin Reichold (
Duration: 8 weeks
SNO+ is a large-scale liquid scintillation detector current operating in Sudbury, Canada. It has a diverse programme of physics, including measuring oscillations of reactor ant-neutrinos, studying geo-antineutrinos, solar neutrinos and supernova neutrinos. With the addition of Tellurium to the detector in 2025, it will also perform a sensitive search for neutrinoless double beta decay. The summer project student will help study event reconstruction and the identification of backgrounds to varisou physics analyses. Some knowledge of programming in C++ and python would be beneficial.

PaMIr+: 2023 Summer placements in interferometry on fast targets

Supervisor: Professor Armin Reichold (
Duration: 8 weeks
The PaMIr team is very happy to offer a range summer project topics at most one of which projects can be funded through the departments summer placement funds.PaMIr is short for Phase Modulation Interferometry. The PaMIr group is developing a novel method to interferometrically measure rapid displacements with high accuracy and time resolution as well as low latency on a large number of interferometers simultaneously.  This summer we expect to deliver our first commercial prototype to our industrial partners. PaMIr+ summer placements will help to extend the PaMIr scope in the following ways:

  • To explore the performance of our technique by setting up experiments to compare PaMIr with other precision measurements on our brand new 10m, high speed test stand.
  • To develop novel, high performance data analysis techniques that explore novel offline analysis algorithm which may be performed on GPUs  .
  • To compare the performance of the real time algorithm with its offline counterparts.
  • To explore the combination of PaMIr with our own method for absolute distance measurements based on frequency scanning interferometry (FSI).

PaMIr is designed to become a plug-compatible extension to our FSI technology which is now used in its commercial form (Absolute Multiline™) in many scientific projects in accelerator science, particle physics, astrophysics and many industrial settings. Our technology already has applications in many large-scale science experiments. Among them are the alignment of the crab cavities in the upgrade HL-LHC, control of undulators at LCLS-II (Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC), relative positioning of the primary and secondary mirrors of several next generation telescopes (GMT, EELT, KECK), as well as future measurements of deployable space antennae on satellites.The high speed, continuous differential measurements from PaMIr can be used in dynamic control loops to measure rapidly time variable positions continuously over long periods. These are needed in many of the above science problems and in the control of robots and CNC production machines in industry which play a huge role in our societies. The PaMIr collaborates with two industrial partners, VadaTech Plc and Etalon. We have enjoyed input from five summer students and two MPhys student to date who have been great contributors to our research.  The Oxford team involves 9 people, all on a par- time basis.

We can offer a wide range of possible engagements with the PaMIr project as listed below.

  1. Developing and performing experiments with our new fast motion stage system in which we compare PaMIr measurements to other reference instruments.
  2. Analysing PaMIr and reference instrument data with multiple Matlab or C++ based algorithms and comparing the performance of algorithms and interferometer hardware.
  3. Determining the performance of PaMIr while varying parameters such as:
  •  laser power
  • the types of stabilised lasers used
  • parameters in the FPGA based real-time version of the algorithm
  • the range of distances, in particular looking at so called “critical distances”

Work in the PaMIr group requires some understanding of second year wave optics, in particular lasers and interferometry. General computer skills are also required for all of the above projects.
Skills useful for all of the above projects are a genuine interest and ideally some experience with programming in Matlab and/or C/C++ as well Git. For the lab work, skills in setting up optics and opto-mechanics will be beneficial. Interested applicants can discuss project options with Prof Armin Reichold (

Development and application of fast grid techniques for QCD calculations

Supervisors:  Professor Claire Gwenlan (Claire
Duration:  8 weeks
Theoretical QCD calculations are fundamental to the understanding and interpretation of measured processes at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Current state-of-the-art is at next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO) in QCD for many processes of interest. However, such calculations are CPU intensive and, since many applications require repeated calculations with slightly different parameters, this can be prohibitively slow. To circumvent this issue, "interpolation grid techniques" have been developed. Here, the calculation is run once in its entirety, and part of that calculation is stored on a "grid" (lookup table), that can later be combined with the remaining elements to rapidly reproduce the full calculation. One specific use-case is in QCD fits to extract proton parton distribution functions (PDFs), where the PDFs are varied in each iteration of the fit.

The intern will have the opportunity to assist in the implementation and production of interpolation grids for new calculations at NNLO QCD, and to use them for various applications, such as PDF, $\alpha_s$ or top quark studies. The candidate should have an interest in in coding, with strong skills in C++ and/or Python.

Measurements of the W boson mass

Supervisor: Professor Chris Hays (
Duration: 8 weeks
Last year a high-precision measurement of the W boson mass by the CDF collaboration differed from the Standard Model prediction by seven standard deviations, which would conventionally be viewed as a discovery of a new physical effect. However, this measurement differs by those at the LHC by nearly four standard deviations, and this difference needs to be understood before interpretations of new physics can be made. This project will investigate differences in the LHC and CDF procedures, with the aim of making both measurements more robust and of potentially identifying a source of bias that can explain the difference.

Prospects for probing matter-antimatter asymmetry in Higgs boson interactions with bottom quarks

Supervisor: Professor Chris Hays (
Duration: 8 weeks
The preponderance of matter in the universe cannot be explained by the interactions of the Standard Model, and is therefore an indication of a fundamentally new physical effect. An intriguing scenario explains the matter prevalence using the complex phases of the Higgs boson's interactions with Standard Model particles. Tests are being performed at the LHC of the Higgs boson's interactions with tau leptons and with the gauge bosons. This project will probe the potential for extending the tests to the Higgs boson's interactions with bottom quarks.

SNO+ supernova trigger and background studies

Supervisor: Professor Jeff Tseng (
Duration: 8 weeks
A galactic core-collapse supernova is expected to emit an intense burst of neutrinos which can be detected by SNO+, and the experiment has online systems which are intended to detect such bursts in near real time, conduct some basic data analysis, and notify the larger multi-messenger astrophysics community via the SNEWS (Supernova Early Warning System) network. The student will refine the criteria by which such bursts are analyzed, and examine non-supernova bursts already recorded to see how to reject them without jeopardizing a genuine supernova signal. The student may also work on the pre-supernova neutrino monitor, and SNEWS real-time analyses, if time permits. The project will be mostly involve computing, simulation, and data analysis, and is expected to take 8 weeks.

The radiation environment around the collision point of the electron-ion collider at BNL

Supervisor: Professor Todd Huffman (
                  Dr Sam Henry (
Duration: 8 weeks
Oxford Particle Physics is embarking on a new experiment at the Brookhaven National Lab’s Electron-Ion Collider (EIC). This proposed experiment will sit around the collision point of electrons and either protons or heavy ions at Centre-of-mass energies from 40 GeV to 140 GeV. The intern would help to develop a simulation of the radiation environment that will be useful in determining the levels of radiation testing needed for the detector systems currently being designed. Depending on progress, there might be scope to participate in other aspects of event simulation with a goal to optimize tracking performance of proposed detector layouts.