PhD Position in Atomic Quantum Physics

University of Amsterdam Institute of Physics

PhD Position in Atomic Quantum Physics

Publication date 30 September 2021

Closing date 1 December 2021

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,434 to €3,111 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-780

Are you a highly-motivated student for performing state-of-the-art atomic physics experiments? Then we are looking for you.

The hybrid atom-ion quantum systems lab, headed by Dr. Rene Gerritsma, is part of the Quantum Gases and Quantum Information (QGQI) cluster at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The main focus of the group is to study the quantum dynamics in trapped ions and ultracold atoms while at the same time developing technology for emerging quantum applications, such as quantum computing and simulation.

More information on our research can be found on the webpage (

What are you going to do

You will:

  • work in a team that studies interactions between a trapped ion impurity and an ultracold gas of atoms. An impurity interacting with a quantum bath is a nontrivial many-body model system with broad relevance to condensed matter. These systems could shed light on the fuzzy boundary between classical and quantum physics and may prove to be of fundamental importance when considering the practical applicability of quantum technology such as quantum computers;
  • prepare a single trapped Yb++ ion as impurity, immersed in a bath of ultracold Li atoms and study the quantum dynamics of the ion in the bath, as well as the chemical reactions that can occur in it. The interactions and statistics of the bath can be controlled via external fields. You will search for so-called Feshbach resonances between the atoms and the ion that can be used to tune the ion-bath interactions and explore the use of the bath as a coolant for the trapped ions;
  • work in a team with two other PhD students, a post doc and several Master students. Theory support will be supplied by the group of Dr. Arghavan Safavi-Naini of the Quantum Software Research Center (QSRC). The work will involve setting up optics, lasers and electronics as well as, programming, scientific reporting and data measuring and analysis.

Relevant references:

  • T. Feldker et al., Nature Physics 16, 413–416 (2020).
  • H. Hirzler et al., Phys. Rev. A 102, 033109 (2020)
  • H. Hirzler et al., Phys. Rev. Research 2, 033232 (2020).

What do we require

  • A MSc. in (theoretical or experimental) physics or physical chemistry.

Other skills/experiences/documents that would benefit your application are:

  • previous laboratory experience in an atomic physics lab;
  • excellent communication skills (English);
  • scientific publications.

To foster diversity in our research group, we will especially appreciate applications from  female candidates.

Our offer

 A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four 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 four years). This 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 €2,434 to €3,111 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is 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:

  • Dr Rene Gerritsma

About us

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, 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) of the University of Amsterdam 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 (VU) Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong physics center of international standing.

The Van der Waals - Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics (IoP-WZI) is part of the IoP and home to three research clusters: Quantum Gases & Quantum Information (QG&QI), Quantum Materials (QMat), and Soft Matter (SM).

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize 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 December 2021. You can apply online by using the link below. 

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae including the contact information of two references;
  • a motivation letter that explains why you have chosen to apply for this specific position with a statement of your research experience and interests and how these relate to this project;
  • your transcript of grades;
  • title and summary of your Master thesis and a pdf copy or a link to it in case it is already completed.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.

Please note that we will change our recruitment software during the application period. This may cause a change in the recruitment user environment, but does not impact the recruitment process. All applications submitted during the application period will be considered.