We are looking for an excellent postdoctoral researcher interested in X-ray imaging spectroscopy with potentially also optical spectroscopy experience/interest. The aim of the project is to investigate the properties of the highest shock velocities in our Milky Way, namely supernova remnant shocks. These shocks are responsible for heating the gas to more than 10^7 Kelvin as well as for accelerating cosmic rays to energies in excess of 10^13 eV.

This research is part of an EU Horizon 2020 funded project to understand collisionless shocks. The postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for supernova remnant shocks, but also engage with the collaborators working on interplanetary shocks. This requires also taking an active interest in the theory of collisionless shock physics and cosmic-ray acceleration. For the project existing data (XMM-Newton, Chandra, NuStar and ESO data) but potentially also new data (including potentially XRISM, IXPE) will be used to investigate shock heating and acceleration.

What are you going to do?

You are expected:

  • to analyze X-ray and optical data of young supernova remnants and publishing the results in high level international journals, and presenting at leading conferences;
  • write observing proposals;
  • participate in coding models for X-ray emission, which should be made public;
  • actively participate in the activities of the collaboration concerning collisionless shocks in general.

What do we require?

You have:

  • a PhD in Astrophysics or related field;
  • a strong scientific expertise in (imaging) X-ray spectroscopy (additional optical expertise is helpful);
  • affinity with theory/interpretation;
  • the ability to make simple computer codes (python, C++, or Fortran);
  • the ability to lead (sub)projects and take responsibility;
  • good oral and writing communication skills in English.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38  hours per week, preferably starting on 1 May 2021 for the duration of 12 months, with a possible extension of 2 more years upon satisfactory performance. The starting date can be negotiated depending on the situation, but before October 2021 would be preferred.       

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,709 to €4,402 (scale 10) 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? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

About the Faculty of Science and the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

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 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) furthers research, teaching and public understanding of astronomy. It conducts astronomical research and trains astronomers from bachelor to postdoctoral level, aiming at world-leading levels and activities.


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

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 28 February 2021. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications, statement of past research and interests (2 to 3 pages); Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience;
  • Three letters of references to be sent independently via email to Jacco Vink, please put in email subject the following: SHARP Postdoc Position.

All documents should be uploaded and sent as one single pdf document in the ‘CV section’.    

We will invite potential candidates for online interviews in the first two weeks of March.

No agencies please

Apply now

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