Research Associate on Plasma Wakefield Acceleration




U. Manchester (main)


Guoxing Xia

Closing Date:


Deadline: August 31st, 2021


Postdoctoral Research Associate Position on Plasma Wakefield Acceleration

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) working on advanced beam-plasma simulation and novel beam diagnostics for the AWAKE project at CERN.
Funded by the STFC and the Cockcroft Institute, the post holder will take a leading role in the development of advanced beam-plasma simulation and novel electron beam diagnostics for AWAKE experiment. AWAKE is the world first and only proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment at CERN. The experiment has achieved important milestones in Run 1 (2016-2019) and successfully demonstrated the seeded self-modulation (SSM) of a long proton bunch and electron acceleration up to 2 GeV in the proton-driven wakefields in a 10-metre-long plasma.
AWAKE Run 2 (2021-2025) will aim to achieve high quality electron beam acceleration. In doing so, two plasma cells with a short gap in between will be used to separate the proton bunch modulation and electron bunch acceleration stages. In this regard, the simulation studies of two-stage coupling, electrons trapping and acceleration in the plasma cell are critical. In addition, characterisation of the accelerated electron beam is a key task in experiment as it reflects the quality of the beam after acceleration. The betatron radiation-based spectroscopy has been proposed to implement in the electron beam line to measure the beam emittance. Our group in Manchester will be leading this diagnostic development. Meanwhile we will need to know exactly the electron bunch length before its’ injection into the second plasma acceleration stage. The coherent Cherenkov Diffraction Radiation (CChDR) is proposed to measure the electron bunch length and our group is giving key contribution to this diagnostic as well.
University of Manchester and the Cockcroft Institute are key partners for AWAKE Collaboration. We expect that the post holder will lead the advanced beam-plasma simulation and electron beam diagnostic activities for AWAKE Run 2 for Manchester group under the supervision of Dr Guoxing Xia, in close collaboration with CERN, other partner universities of Cockcroft Institute, the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) and other international partners.
Contract Duration:
An initial 2-year contract with a possibility to extend further.

Closing date:

Contact: Guoxing Xia

Letters of Reference should be sent to: guoxing.xia@manchester.ac.uk