The Dark Matter Group at Nikhef has an opening for a PhD position on the XENONnT and DARWIN direct Dark Matter detection experiments. These experiments use scintillation and ionization signals from a liquid xenon target to look for Dark Matter interactions and are expected to become two of the world’s most sensitive Dark Matter detectors. Construction of the XENONnT detector is nearing completion while the next-generation DARWIN detector is in the planning phase. The experiment is/will be located in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy and run by an international team of scientists. The Amsterdam group is closely involved in developing and building XENONnT and will take an important role in the upcoming data analysis and in the development of DARWIN.

What are you going to do?

The successful candidate will work on the following aspects:

  • XENONnT dark matter data analysis and/or DARWIN detector simulations with an emphasis on backgrounds;
  • construct, operate, and analyze data from a vacuum-UV fluorescence detector being built locally to study detector materials excited by liquid noble gas scintillation light.

While the candidate will be employed by the University of Amsterdam, the successful candidate will be fully embedded in the Dark Matter Group at Nikhef.

What do we require?

An MSc in Physics or an equivalent degree is required to be considered for this position. Strong software skills and/or experience with optical and vacuum equipment are desirable. The candidate needs to possess excellent English communication skills.

Our 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 full-time contract of 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.


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About the Faculty of Science, the Institute of Physics and Nikhef

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) 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.

Nikhef is the national institute for subatomic physics in The Netherlands. The University of Amsterdam is one of the six major Dutch universities that constitute the institute together with the Dutch Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO).
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.

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.

Interested candidates can send in their applications by clicking the button below. Please be prepared to upload a cover letter, publication list, and curriculum vitae including a brief description of your research interest. Also, please separately arrange for at least two references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The deadline for full consideration is 1 December 2020, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

No agencies please

Apply now

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