PhD Position in Physics

Radboud University

Employment0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary€ 2,770 - € 3,539
Required backgroundResearch University Degree
Organizational unitFaculty of Science
Application deadline14 April 2024

Looking for new challenges in theoretical and computational physics that are closely connected with the latest experimental developments? Interested in applying neuromorphic computing to tackle so far unsolvable problems in physics? We offer a PhD position focused on theory and simulations of the ultrafast dynamics of magnetism far out of equilibrium.

Looking for new challenges in theoretical and computational physics that are closely connected with the latest experimental developments? Interested in applying neuromorphic computing to tackle problems in physics that have proved unsolvable so far? We offer a PhD position focused on theory and simulations of the ultrafast dynamics of magnetism far out of equilibrium. Our main research interest is to understand the dynamics of magnetism at the shortest length and time scales, for which existing methods fail to give an adequate description. We develop and exploit  phenomenological theory as well as atomistic and quantum simulations using machine learning. We apply these methods to access otherwise inaccessible regimes of magnetism and provide explanations and predictions for state-of-the-art time-resolved optical and X-ray experiments. Ultimately, our research aims to disclose new scenarios for ultrafast, ultrasmall and minimally dissipative writing of nanoscale magnetic bits. Although fundamental in nature, our research may, in the long term, enable applications in data storage and processing that are much more energy-efficient than possible today. You will obtain training and perform research in the above-mentioned areas, work in an international group consisting of theorists and experimentalists, publish results in leading journals, and have the chance to participate in national and international schools and conferences.

Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.


  • You are an excellent and highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in Physics or equivalent qualification.
  • Exceptional candidates with a strong background in theoretical and computational condensed matter physics are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • You must have good communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English.

We are

The group Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials (USCM) at the Faculty of Science conducts both experimental and theoretical research aimed at understanding ultrafast processes in correlated materials. To this end, we employ several novel experimental and theoretical approaches allowing time-resolved measurements and simulations with sub-picosecond resolution. The USCM department benefits from the High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML) and the Free-Electron Lasers for Infrared eXperiments (FELIX). Your research will be embedded in ongoing research lines at the interface between theory and experiment, with a particular emphasis on the link with new experiments employing sub-picosecond X-ray free-electron lasers. In addition, the research benefits from existing international collaborations (EU-NIMFEIA project on magnonic reservoir computing; EU-COMRAD project on ultrafast spintronics; EU-3DMAGiC project on nanoscale topological spin textures), as well as interdisciplinary research on energy-efficient computing funded by the Dutch government through KIC and NWA programmes (NL-ECO). The main supervisors for this PhD position will be Dr Johan Mentink and Prof. A.V. Kimel. Additional support will be provided by Dr Dima Afanasiev and Prof. Theo Rasing.

Our research is embedded in the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), which strives to fundamentally understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials. We offer a first-class and international research environment with various theoretical and computational research topics and projects targeted to support and stimulate experiments.

Radboud University

At Radboud University, we aim to make an impact through our work. We achieve this by conducting groundbreaking research, providing high-quality education, offering excellent support, and fostering collaborations within and outside the university. In doing so, we contribute indispensably to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. To accomplish this, we need even more colleagues who, based on their expertise, are willing to search for answers. We advocate for an inclusive community and welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Will you also contribute to making the world a little better? You have a part to play.
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We offer

  • Employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

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Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Johan Mentink, Assistant Professor at +31 24 365 30 90 or j.mentink [at] (j[dot]mentink[at]science[dot]ru[dot]nl).

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 14 April 2024, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Johan Mentink. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • Your MSc degree.
There will be interim selection procedures so it is possible that you will be assessed and invited to an interview or rejected before the closing date.

You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates. If you wish to apply for a non-scientific position with a non-EU nationality, please take notice of the following information.
Application deadline 14 April 2024

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Would you like more information?

Dr J.H. Mentink (Johan)

Assistant Professor
j.mentink [at] +31 24 365 30 90