PhD student in experimental particle physics (Neutrino Physics)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 01 Oct 2020

The KM3NeT Collaboration at Nikhef, in which the University of Amsterdam participates, is constructing a neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea. Arrays of light-sensitive elements record the Cherenkov light produced by fast travelling charged particles in the sea water, these particles could originate from interactions of neutrinos. The energy and direction of the original neutrinos can be reconstructed from the amount of Cherenkov photons and their time-of-arrival in the detectors. The densely-instrumented KM3NeT/ORCA building block will focus on the measurement of neutrino oscillations, whereas the sparsely-instrumented KM3NeT/ARCA block will measure cosmic neutrinos and search for their sources. Both building blocks play complementary roles in the detection of a possible neutrino flux from dark matter annihilation.

The KM3NeT group at Nikhef has an opening for a PhD student. While the PhD position is formally affiliated at the Institute of Physics, University of Amsterdam, you will be fully embedded in the KM3NeT group at the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef). You will be working on the reconstruction of neutrino events in the detector, with focus on the optimization of the detection of neutrinos from dark matter annihilation. The results will be applied to the data of the first KM3NeT detection units. You will work with experimental and theoretical physicists in the context of the NWO programme 'The Hidden Universe of Weakly Interacting Particles'. You are also expected to help in the construction of further detector elements at Nikhef.

What are you going to do?

You are expected:

  • to be active in the fundamental research of the KM3NeT group, focusing on the optimization of the detection of neutrinos from dark matter annihilation, collaborating with other experimental and theoretical physicists, publishing in high level international journals, and presenting at leading conferences;
  • to contribute to the construction of further KM3NeT detector elements at Nikhef;
  • to take the role of Teaching assistant in a number of bachelor or master courses in physics and astronomy for a maximum of 10% of your time.

What do we require?
  • An MSc in Physics or an equivalent degree;
  • excellent English communication skills.

Strong software skills are desirable.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years) that should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students. 

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week.  These amounts are exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here .


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About the Faculty of Science

The UvA’s Faculty of Science  has a student body of around 6,500, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute of Physics (IoP)  is located in the center of the Amsterdam Science Park. The IoP – as part of the Faculty of Science –is housed in a modern building with excellent labs and technical facilities. Surrounded by several national research institutes and with our partners at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong physics center of international standing. One of the institutes that the IoP has very close ties to is Nikhef, the national institute for subatomic physics in The Netherlands. The present vacancy is fully embedded in the KM3NeT group of Nikhef.

About Nikhef

At Nikhef , approximately 175 physicists and 75 technical staff members work together in an open and international scientific environment. Together, they perform theoretical and experimental research in the fields of particle and astroparticle physics. The Nikhef institute is a collaboration between six major Dutch universities and the Dutch Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Nikhef participates in large research collaborations, including the ATLAS, LHCb and ALICE experiments at CERN, the KM3NeT neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean, the VIRGO interferometer in Pisa, the Xenon1T dark matter experiment in Gran Sasso, the Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory in Argentina and the eEDM research programme in Groningen. Nikhef also hosts a group in theoretical physics, and groups for Physics Data Processing and detector R&D, all with good connections to the experimental programs.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 1 October 2020. You can apply online by using the link below.

No agencies please

View or Apply

Similar Positions