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Samir FERRAG Glasgow, 28 Nov 2008
(W) 0141 330 2232, (M) 077 6569 2512

Re: Lectureship in Particle Physics

Dear Madam, Sir

I am writing to apply for the position of the University Lecturer in Particle Physics as advertised
on the Glasgow University website. Having gained my PhD in May 2001, I have 10 years
experience in experimental High Energy Physics, including data analysis, software development
and distribution, physics studies and leadership. I am now looking to obtain a position with you,
which will allow me to combine my interests in research and teaching. I would like to be
considered for this position because I meet the criteria as stipulated in the corresponding person
specification (see page 3). My research interests and my proposal are focused on the analysis of
LHC data. It contains both sides where theoreticians and experimentalist can collaborate. More
details about my research and teaching programme are found in the attached proposal.

I have been a member of two major international collaborations: the BABAR experiment at the
SLAC-PEP II electron-positron collider and the ATLAS experiment at the CERN-LHC proton-
proton collider. As a PhD student on BABAR, I conceived and developed methods to accurately
measure the polarisation amplitudes in the decay channel BJ/ψ+K*. The results I obtained
were used in the measurement of the CP violation parameter, sin2β. They have also disproved,
for the first time, the phenomenological approach adopted in heavy flavour decay calculations.
My results were published in PRL and presented at 4 international conferences. For my first post-
doctoral position in ATLAS, I worked on the preparation of physics analyses. I identified and
quantified a key problem concerning the impact of Standard Model uncertainties on the discovery
potential of new physics processes, something which had previously been largely overlooked by
the community. I also identified an important problem in the methods used to extract PDFs and
their uncertainties. The results of my work on PDF uncertainties have become benchmark results.
They are published in a PLB and ATLAS notes, and were shown at many QCD workshops. In my
second post-doctoral position in ATLAS, I worked on the development of the physics analysis
tools. I built and distributed the ATLAS software outside CERN in a platform-independent way. I
have coordinated the ATLAS Exotic working group in the period Jan2004-Oct2006. I also
coordinated the Beyond Standard Model group at the “TeV Physics at Hadron Colliders
Workshop, Les Houches, 2005”. I have held my current position (SUPA Fellow) since Jan 2006.
Here, I developed ideas and lead the Glasgow team on a way to upgrade the ATLAS fast
simulation. The software has been developed and is now being validated and the corresponding
ATLAS note will be submitted. I also initiated the dilepton analysis in ATLAS, organised a
workshop to resemble the theory experts in this projects and coordinated this analysis within the
phenomenology group for the best predictions to be made on dileptons and within an ATLAS
group for the experimental issues of this project. In both sides scientific notes and publications
are written. I also work on Higgs physics through an investigation of statistic methods for
sensitivities and combination sensitivities of Higgs channels. An ATLAS note is written. In
addition, I have given many talks at international conferences and workshops. More details about
my research and academic activities are found in the attachment.

A possible collaboration between PPE and PPT groups motivates me strongly. I have organised a
1st meeting between the two communities in the last spring. As an output of this meeting, a

collaborative effort on a related b-physics topic, between the LHCb and the Lattice QCD groups,
has been triggered. Like in my past experience, I will work close to theorists in order maximise
the understanding of the Standard Model predictions, limits and uncertainties and or any BSM
physics is needed. My experience in data-analysis and interacting with experimentalists will
improve the measurement techniques. My work will be done in an environment where the
interaction with the experts in the theory and experimental sides of the analysis is crucial. I will
represent Glasgow outside by interacting and giving talks.

To realise my goals it is essential that manpower is available. For the recent project I triggered, I
collaborated with phenomenologist for the theory uncertainties and set up a group of
experimentalists within ATLAS to investigate the experimental issues. I intend continuing in this
way to realise my future work. Having already won a number of competitive fellowships, I
consider myself to have some necessary experience to begin bidding for external funding to
augment the group. I shall aim to bring in extra manpower via funding applications to various
bodies, such as STFC, the EU, and the Royal Society.

I hope you will consider me for this position and I am looking forward to hearing from you in the
near future.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Samir FERRAG

Attached in this application:

• Application form: 3 pages
• Application letter: 2+2 pages
• Compact CV: 2 pages
• Detailed CV: 17 pages
• Research interest: 2 pages
• Effective publication list: 3 pages
• Full BABAR publication list
• Equal opportunities: 1 page

In this section, I show where I meet the criteria as stipulated in the person
specification. The requirements are itemized with bullets and the answers are in
italic fonts. For more details, please refer to research activity report and CV.

• PhD or equivalent research profile in an area relevant to elementary

particle physics in the areas of phenomenology or lattice QCD (for a
theorist) or phenomenology and detector development (for an
-10 years experience in 2 major Particle Physics collaborations, BABAR and

• Extensive knowledge of current research within the particle physics

-I have worked and published in, B-Physics, CP violation, QCD, New Physics,
Higgs, Monte Carlo generator and many developments in BABAR and ATLAS
Software. See detailed report of research activities

• International reputation in this field of research.

-There are 2000 Physicists from 34 countries in ATLAS. I was 1 of 2
coordinators of 1 of 8 physics working groups in ATLAS (BSM physics working
-Coordinator of BSM Physics working group in international workshop “Physics
at TeV colliders”, les Houches 2005.
-Invited talks to international conferences and workshops, ICHEP, EPS,

• Strong track record of published research.

-See attached list of publication


• Excellent communication and presentation skills both oral and

~100 ATLAS collaborative talks, seminars, outreach lectures and talks in
international conferences and workshops. See also list f publications
Experience in lecturing, tutoring, lab demonstrating and supervision.

• Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to enthuse

-Resembling physicists and forming 2 groups to work on a project I initiated.
-Positive feedback from SUPA students about the lectures (feedback report on:
- Outreach lectures and activities.

• Time/project/budget management skills as appropriate:

-It is not usual for RA/RF gain funding or manage it directly. I have been
awarded various grants and managed budget:
* SUPA+GU funding for the workshop “Physics with early LHC data”,
Glasgow Nov-2007

* Various fellowships (see CV)
-Initiated the Dilepton project and lead a phenomenology and an experimental

• Ability to work independently (unsupervised) and as part of a team.

-Leadership role is a proof of the ability to work independently.
-Experimental particle physics is an area where the work in teams is crutial.
Many development works have been done being a part of a team: ATLAS fast
simulation, ATLAS data Challenge 2 with NorduGrid, many Physics analysis.
BABAR DIRC monitoring, organisation of ATLAS overview week and ATLAS Rome
workshop…all these team efforts gave results and various publications (see

• Research skills, including the capability to generate new ideas and

use them to initiate new projects and win grant funding.
- Generating Ideas and proposing new topics is a part of the ATLAS-BSM-group
coordinator tasks.
-Initiated the Dilepton analysis in ATLAS and at Les Houches workshop.
-It’s not usual to RA/RF to gain funding directly but I been awarded various
research Fellowship and grants some of them for projects I have initiated, like
the £6K gained from SUPA and GU to finance the “Physics with LHC data”

• Self-motivation.
My initiatives which are not in the profile of usual RA/RF proves my motivations:
initiating projects, gain of fellowship and grants, lecturing, leadership

• Ability to contribute effectively to the development of the field

through interaction with colleagues.
The publications performed with my colleagues (collaborators in my group) is a
proof of the effectiveness of my contribution with them. (Publications
1,5,10,11,17,18, 20, 21 and 22 in the publication list)

• At least seven years appropriate research experience since first
10 years of experience.

• Experience in teaching undergraduate students (desirable)

-It’s not usual to RA/RF to lecture. I have made two lectures for SUPA students:
“QCD at colliders” and “Introduction to collider physics” in 6+1 sessions
-Experience in tutoring and laboratory demonstrating (see attached CV)

• Experience of contributing to the supervision of research students

-Mentor of 1 PhD student in Glasgow PPE group
-Co-supervisor of 1 PhD student in LPNHE Paris 2002-2003
-Co-supervisor of 4 Master students in Oslo University 2003-2005
-Supervisor of Bachelor student in LPNHE Paris Jun-Jul 2003

• Experience of contributing to grant applications (desirable)… None