Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network: OMA

Work on your PhD on a European programme on accelerator medical applications.
Join the OMA project!
The challenge
CERN is recruiting one Early Stage Researcher (ESR) to work on the topic of improvements on FLUKA for medical applications. 
How can you take part?
If you are an enthusiastic and talented student or young professional thinking of doing a doctorate - or even having started a doctorate in an area related to the topics in OMA - you could be a good candidate. You will be offered a CERN employment contract for up to 3 years whilst working towards your PhD in the Engineering Department at CERN.
The EU-funded Horizon 2020 programme has two main strategic objectives: to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry and to encourage its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.
OMA, Optimization of Medical Accelerators, is an Innovative Training Network in the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.
The project brings together universities, research centres and ion beam treatment facilities with industrial partners to address the challenges in treatment facility design and optimization, numerical simulations for the development of advanced treatment schemes, and in beam imaging and treatment monitoring.
OMA is being led by the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. For its research posts, 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be recruited for employment by the network partners in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In all, the Network presently consists of an international consortium of more than 30 partner organisations including universities, research centres and private companies working in this field, providing a wide-ranging training programme comprising schools, workshops and an international conference.
The Network's main scientific and technological objectives are split into three closely interlinked work packages:

Development of novel beam imaging and diagnostics systems
Studies into treatment optimization including innovative schemes for beam delivery and enhanced biological and physical models in Monte Carlo codes
R&D into facility design and optimization to ensure optimum patient treatment along with maximum efficiency


Job Reference: FELL-ITN-OMA-2016-1
Publication date:
Closing date:
Role Description

OMA has set up a rich training programme that includes participation in several international doctoral schools, workshops, and conferences.


For efficient treatment planning and decision for optimum dose delivery schemes, Monte Carlo simulations are a key tool.

FLUKA is a Monte Carlo code developed at CERN and INFN able to simulate particle-matter interactions for a wide variety of energy and beams. It is the workhorse at CERN for all beam-machine interaction studies and for radioprotection. The models embedded in the code for atomic and nuclear interactions have already demonstrated their accuracy for clinical applications. Indeed the FLUKA code is extensively used for hadron therapy and medical applications. The models embedded in the code for atomic and nuclear interactions have already demonstrated their accuracy for clinical applications. This project at CERN targets further improvements in the modelling of the emission of secondary radiation for therapy monitoring, including prompt gammas, positrons and other charged particles, thereby providing the required simulation framework for studies across the different work packages in OMA.


You will develop and benchmark models in the FLUKA code for nuclear interactions of helium and lithium beams against experimental data and improve them in collaboration with other project partners. You will then develop a framework for the combined computation and visualization of (biological) dose and secondary radiation emission. This shall then be applied for the verification of dose distributions and associated imaging.


Finally, the ability of using different radiobiological models for different regions of interest, e.g. healthy tissue vs tumour tissue in the voxel description of the patient will be implemented. Opportunities for secondments to OMA partners, including STFC (United Kingdom), PSI (Switzerland), LMU (Germany) and INFN (Italy) will be given and complement to broad training the network will provide.


The successful candidate will join the FDA section in the STI group of the CERN Engineering Department. This section is active in several fields related to the development of existing and future CERN accelerators, nuclear reaction modeling, and accelerator medical applications. He/she will join a young, stimulating environment made up by 5 staff members, several Phd's and a dozen of post-docs.


Eligibility conditions

ESRs must, at the time of recruitment

  • (i) be in possession of a university degree, and (ii) have a maximum of four years of full-time research experience, including any period of research training, after obtaining the degree which formally allowed them to embark on a doctorate in the country in which the degree/diploma was obtained or in the host country (irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged).
  • Applicants may be on a PhD programme but cannot be PhD holders at the start of their employment contract.
  • The position is open to applicants of all nationalities provided that the European Commission's Mobility Rule is satisfied: "At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account." In the case of CERN positions, applicants cannot have been at CERN for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.
  • Proficiency in English is required; training in other languages can be provided through the ITN's training budget.
Documents required

Applications should include:

  • a completed electronic application form;
  • a Curriculum Vitae;
  • a copy of your last (highest) qualification;
  • a short letter of motivation;
  • at least two letters of recommendation to give as broad as possible overview of your academic and/or professional achievements.


The application and ALL supporting documents should be submitted using the e-recruitment system by the application deadline.


For further information, please contact Alfredo Ferrari at CERN.

What We Offer
  • Attractive remuneration under employment contract for 24 months with possibility of extension up to 36 months.
  • In accordance with the European Commission's allowances for ITNs, there is an additional training allowance to cover training activities, conference attendance, etc.
  • Employment contracts will start in the second half of 2016.
Selection Procedure
  • Interviews will be held as soon as possible after the closing date and will include at least a video interview. In the event of an interview at CERN, OMA will cover travel costs.

Professional Category:
None (non staff programmes)
Career Level