doe infn


DOE-INFN Summer Exchange Program for 2022

20th Edition


INFN - Cagliari

The Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) is the Italian agency devoted to fundamental research in nuclear and subnuclear physics, with cells ("sezioni") located all around Italy.
The INFN Sezione di Cagliari is in the main city of the beautiful island of Sardegna, one of the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea connected with the Italy mainland by ferry and plane (five ports all over the island - Cagliari, Porto Torres, Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Arbatax, and three main airports Cagliari, Alghero, Olbia). The INFN-CA is situated in the University Campus of Monserrato, just 10 minutes drive from Cagliari and easily reachable by car and public transport.
Research activities in Cagliari are pursued in the areas of Particle 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 an US University and 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 the INFN-CA for 2 months between June 1st and October 31st, 2022. For further details (from 2020) refer to the Summer Exchange Program homepage, for the application go to the INFN-Jobs openings website, searching for "DOE" in the Title. Opportunities include participation in physics analysis, activities of running experiments as well as involvement in detector developments.

The INFN CA site will be closed around August 5th-25th 2022.

The available positions in Cagliari this year are the following:


1 position: LHCb, in LHCb-Cagliari

Title: Studies of Heavy Nuclei collisions at LHCb
Tutor: Giulia Manca (
Description: LHCb is one of the four LHC experiments which started operations in 2010 and it has collected more than 10 fb-1 of pp collision data at several centre of mass energies. In addition to the pp run, LHCb has also operated during the LHC Heavy Ion run and has collected data both in pPb and PbPb collisions, the latter since 2015. It does as well run an innovative fixed target program recording collisions of proton and lead with noble gases like Argon, Neon, Helium. With its forward geometry optimised for the study of heavy-flavor production and decay, LHCb is an ideal position to complement the Quark Gluon Plasma studies performed in ALICE, ATLAS and CMS in this area. The candidate will be involved in the activities of the group with a truly international composition. She/he will prevalently study the production of quarkonia and open charm in the PbPb and pPb samples collected in 2015, 2016 and 2018, and could be involved in collectivity studies in these samples. The candidate will optimise the extraction of the signal yields and will correct it for the efficiencies she/he measured in the dedicated Monte Carlo samples. The ratio of different states could also be measured, which would gives crucial indications on the formation of Quark Gluon Plasma.
1) S.Belin et al. [LHCb collaboration], Study of J/psi photo-production in PbPb peripheral collisions at sqrt(s) = 5 TeV,LHCb-PAPER-2020-043, arXiv:2108.02681.
2) A.Bursche et al. [LHCb collaboration], Study of coherent J/psi production in PbPb collisions at sqrt(s) = 5 TeV,LHCb-PAPER-2021-013, arXiv:2107.03223.
3) S.Chen et al. [LHCb collaboration],Study of Upsilon production in pPb collisions at sqrt(s) = 8.16 TeV,LHCb-PAPER-2018-035.
4) Y.Zhang et al. [LHCb collaboration], Study of cold nuclear matter effects using prompt D0 meson production in pPb collisions at LHCb LHCb-CONF-2016-003.
5) J.Blouw et al., Proposal for LHCb Participation to the Heavy Ion Runs, LHCb-INT-2015-019 (only visible to LHCb collaborators).
Recommended period: June 1st - August 4th or September 5th - October 31st 2022.

Title: Simulation and data analysis in dark matter liquid argon detectors
Tutor: Michela Lai (
Description: Thanks to the last results from the experiments DarkSide-50, at LNGS, and DEAP-3600, at SNOLAB, liquid argon has showed to be an outstanding target for the dark matter search, specifically for masses below 10 GeV with DarkSide [1] and for heavier candidates with DEAP[2][3]. The student will have the opportunity to work on the dark matter search in DEAP-3600, together with the local researchers. Moreover, he/she will have the chance to see first hand the technology behind liquid argon, in the recently born lab of DarkSide local group.
[1] Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 081307, P. Agnes et al. (DarkSide Collaboration), “Low-Mass Dark Matter Search with the DarkSide-50 Experiment”
[2] Phys. Rev. D 100, 022004,R. Ajaj et al. (DEAP Collaboration), “Search for dark matter with a 231-day exposure of liquid argon using DEAP-3600 at SNOLAB”
[3] Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 011801, P. Adhikari et al. (DEAP Collaboration), “First Direct Detection Constraints on Planck-Scale Mass Dark Matter with Multiple-Scatter Signatures Using the DEAP-3600 Detector”
Recommended period: : September 1st-October 31st 2022.

2 positions: CMS, in CMS-Cagliari

Title: Higgs searches with the CMS experiment at CERN
Tutor: Pierluigi Bortignon (
Description: CMS is a multipurpose particle detector installed along the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratories in Geneva. Since 2016 it recorded data from proton proton collisions at center of mass energy of 13 TeV. Analysing this data will provide a better understanding of the Higgs boson, a particle discovered in 2012 [1]. Data observations deviating from theoretical predictions would lead to insights of new physics. An important part of the study of the Higgs boson is to determine whether it decays into quarks of the second generation, question still unanswered [2]. These decays are predicted to happen very rarely. The most promising channel to study them is the Higgs decay into charm quarks. CMS has already analysed and published the data collected during 2016 [3]. The candidate will analyse the large dataset of 137 fb-1 collected by CMS during Run2 (2016, 2017, and 2018). In this context they will collaborate with international experts from institutes of the CMS collaboration. The candidate will focus their research on the Higgs decay into charm quarks using VBF production mode. They will analyse CMS data learning how to use and optimise the most recent data analysis techniques and the latest machine learning and computing tools.
[1] CMS Collaboration. "Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC." PLB 716 (2012) 30. CDS record:
[2] CMS Collaboration. "Combined measurements of Higgs boson couplings in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 13 TeV. EPJC 79 (2019) 421. CDS record:
[3] CMS Collaboration. "A search for the standard model Higgs boson decaying to charm quarks". JHEP 03 (2020) 131 . CDS record:
Recommended period: : June 1st- July 27th or September 1st - October 31st 2022.


To apply go to the INFN-Jobs openings website and look for the DOE-INFN call (search "DOE" in the title). Some info (from 2020) is also on the Summer Exchange Program homepage.



Administration and Logistic:
Maria Grazia Dessi (Administration Office)
Maria Assunta Lecca (Personnel Office)
Phone +39-06-675 4985, 4986, 4819, 4820

Accomodation Possibilities:

Some accommodation shared with local students are usually available in the period considered, with an average cost of 250 euros for one room in Cagliari city center. In this case, please get in contact with the tutor as soon as you know you will join us, so that he/she can help with your accomodation.
Below you can find also a list of few structures close to the Physics Department.
a) Air B&B 1
b) Air B&B 2
c) Air B&B 3

author: gm