PhD Position in Experimental Particle Physics

University of Amsterdam Institute of Physics

PhD student in experimental particle physics (Neutrino Physics with DUNE)

Publication date 9 March 2021

Closing date 15 April 2021

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,395 to €3,061 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-157

The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is under construction in the United States. A powerful neutrino beam will be generated at Fermilab (Chicago), and sampled in a near detector at Fermilab, and in a far detector 1,300 km away in the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. DUNE will measure neutrino oscillation parameters to unprecedented precision, and aims to make a first detection of CP violation in the neutrino sector. The far detector of DUNE will consist of a number of modules, each being a large liquid-argon time projection chamber giving detailed information on each neutrino event. 

The DUNE group in Amsterdam has an opening for a PhD student. While the PhD position is at the Institute of Physics (IoP) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), you will be fully embedded in the neutrino group at the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef). You will be working both on the reconstruction and identification of neutrino events in the detector, and on R&D for the detection of scintillation light in liquid argon. Designs to improve the light yield are interesting in order to extend the physics reach of DUNE towards lower energies. A second prototype TPC, ProtoDUNE II, is expected to be operational at CERN soon, and you are expected to contribute to its operation and data analysis.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to:

  • be active in the fundamental research of the Nikhef neutrino group, focusing on software for neutrino reconstruction and identification in DUNE, data analysis of ProtoDUNE, and on R&D for scintillation light detection in liquid argon;
  • collaborate with other experimental and theoretical physicists, to publish in high level international journals, and to present at leading conferences;
  • 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?

  • A MSc in Physics or an equivalent degree;
  • excellent English communication skills.

Strong software skills are desirable.

Our offer

You will be appointed at the Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam, one of the partner universities of Nikhef. We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (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) and 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 fulltime contract (38 hours a week), 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:

  • Prof. Paul de Jong

About the faculty

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 neutrino group of Nikhef.

About Nikhef

The neutrino group is embedded at Nikhef, the national institute for Subatomic physics in the Netherlands. 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 DUNE experiment, 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 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 15 April 2021. You may apply online by using the link below.

Apply now

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