DOE/INFN Summer Exchange Program for 2022

The US Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics – Italy (INFN) announce the 2022 edition of the Summer Exchange Program, dedicated to the exchange of US and Italian students in science and engineering.

Students are offered the possibility to work on projects which will further their experience in the areas of science and technology that are relevant for their academic training.

Research activities in Genoa are pursued in all major INFN areas of interest: Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics and Detector Physics.
Several groups are participating in experimental programs in collaboration with US institutions.

Candidates must be enrolled as students at a US university and they must have begun, at the time of application, at least the third year of a US University curriculum in physics, engineering or computing science.

They can join a team at Genoa for approximately 8 weeks between June 1st and November 31th, 2022.

Opportunities include partecipation in physics analysis activities of running exsperiments as well as involvement in detector developments.

Link to apply. Expiry date: 30/03/2022

The avaible positions in Genoa are the following:

  • ATLAS experiment

Title: Pixel Detector for the ATLAS Upgrade at HL-LHC


The program for LHC foresees an upgrade of the accelerator complex in the long shutdown of 2025-27 that will allow to increase the integrated luminosity by a factor of 10 (High Luminosity LHC – HL-LHC). The present detectors of ATLAS have been designed according to the rates and radiation dose expected at the nominal LHC luminosity and the Inner Tracker system will be completely replaced for the HL-LHC by a fully Silicon tracker, with a Pixel semiconductor detector in the innermost part and Strip detector in the outermost part. After several years of R&D’s to develop a detector able to fit the even more demanding conditions than the actual ones, the Pixel detector collaboration is now stepping into the preproduction: the first parts produced need to be validated with several tests, to be sure that everything is ready before launching the massive production of the 13 mq large detector.

The Genova group has been involved since 20 years in the ATLAS pixel detector, and is now playing a key role in the construction of the new on for the high luminosity program. In particular, we are responsible for the 3D sensors, the  technology chosen for the innermost layer thanks to their intrinsic radiation tolerance, and the production of the forward support structures and their electrical services.

The student will have a chance to partecipate to the tests of 3D modules, the development of the system test for the electrical qualification of several modules on a support structure; the optimization of the mechanical and thermal qualification of the supporting structures.

Recommend period: June – July or September – October

Tutor: Claudia Gemme (, Paolo.Morettini (


  • Phenomenology and ATLAS

Title: Jet physics at the LHC


Because of its unprecedentedly high colliding energy, the LHC has reached energy scales far above the elecroweak scale. Therefore, analyses and searching strategies developed for earlier colliders, in which electroweak-scale particles were produced with small velocity, had to be fundamentally reconsidered. In particular, in the context of jet-related studies, the large boost of these objects (W/Z bosons, the Higgs bosons, top quarks or any new particle with a mass of the order of the electroweak scale) causes their hadronic decays to become collimated inside a single jet. This is particularly important in the context of Higgs physics, because its dominant decay channel is into jets, which suffers from a huge QCD background. Therefore, careful analyses of the internal structure of jets can allow us to distinguish signal jets from the background one. Consequently, jet substructure studies have emerged as an important tool for searches at the LHC. In this research project the student will perform phenomenological studies of jet substructure observables exploiting Monte Carlo simulations and analytic calculations.

Reccomend period: September 7th – November 7th

Tutor: Simone Marzani (, Federico Sforza (


  • DUNE experiment

Title: Tests of detector prototype for imaging of particle tracks in liquid Argon


A small prototype for imaging of particle tracks in liquid Argon by means of the scintillating light is currently under design. The first prototype will be tested in a simple set up already under construction in our laboratory. The apparatus is made by a light source with different wavelengths, a lens optical system and a light sensitive detector. Firstly some tests of the prototype will be performed in water, by using a Charge Couple Device (CCD) and visible light source and then in liquid Argon inside a cryostat, by using a vacuum ultraviolet light source and a small matrix of Silicon Photomultipliers.
The student will perform tests for evaluating the performances of the optical system for light of different wavelengths and in different liquids and for comparing the results with the simulations.

Reccomend period: June 1st – July 30th

Tutor: Lea Di Noto (


  • JLAB experiment (2 positions)

Title: Light Dark Matter search at Jefferson Lab

Title: AI-supported analysis of CLAS and CLAS12 data


The JLAB12 experiment includes all INFN-Italy activity at Jefferson Lab (USA). The Genova Group is deeply involved in the hadron spectroscopy program of the CLAS and CLAS12 experiments, aiming at studying multipion production, and in novel searches for light dark matter produced in accelerator-based experiments.

• Precision data collected with the CLAS and CLAS12 detectors are providing new insight in hadron structure and spectrum. To exploit the large statistics of the CLAS/CLAS12 data and extract the information preserving correlations between variables of measured particles, new methodologies are under study. In particular, the use of AI/ML already demonstrated to be a powerful tool to learn about subtle features of the data, providing a completely new way to extract the physics information. In collaboration with the JLab Theory Group and ODU Data Science Dept. we developed a new method based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to reproduce and interpret CLAS and CLAS12 spectroscopy (2pi photoproduction) and SIDIS (single pion semi-inclusive DIS) data. The student will learn the methodology and join the ongoing effort to extend the method to other reaction channels.

• Search for physics beyond the Standard Model can be carried out with high precision experiments in the GeV energy range. Failure in direct observation of Dark Matter in the 10 GeV – 10 TeV mass range suggests extending the hunting territory at lower masses (1 MeV – 1 GeV), opening up new opportunities for accelerator-based experiments. Light dark matter fermions and bosons, carriers of a new interaction, are actively searched for in several experiments running at Jefferson Lab (APEX, HPS, BDX, Dark Light …). The Genova Group is leading the R&D program for the new Beam Dump eXperiment (BDX) which is being proposed at Jefferson Lab as new facility for light dark matter search. We are currently optimizing the design of the experimental setup to prepare the experiment. The student will work on simulations and detector tests in the Genova Lab.

Within these frameworks we can provide two summer-student activities, one related to the Meson- Ex experiment and the other on Light Dark matter search.

Reccomend period: June – July or September – October 2022

Tutor: Marco Battaglieri (, Raffaella De Vita (