The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen invites applications for a PhD position in the group of Prof. dr. Léon Koopmans to work on the design and/or data modelling of space and lunar-based instruments used for observations of the redshifted 21-cm line of neutral hydrogen emitted during the first billion years of the Universe.
The position is part of the research program CoDEX, funded by an ERC-advanced grant. The program combines observational, instrumental, theoretical, and data-science facets of ground-based radio telescopes (such as LOFAR/AARTFAAC, NenuFAR) and space-based instruments (such as NCLE, currently in Lunar L2). The PhD project focuses on optimally designing and modelling space and/or lunar-based 21-cm instruments and their data, building on the experience and results from the Dutch-Chinese NCLE instrument and a recent ESA design study for an Astronomical Lunar Observatory, led by team members. The student will be part of a world-leading 21-cm cosmology team based at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute. The student will regularly visit the nearby radio-astronomy institute, ASTRON, and the University of Nijmegen. The team has access to data from all of the above instruments and dedicated petabyte data-storage and petaflop computing facilities owned by the group.
The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is part of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and is recognized worldwide for the quality of its research in multiple areas of astronomy. With 15 faculty and 50 PhD students, it is the second-largest astronomical institute in the Netherlands. Groningen, a historic town in the northern Netherlands, occupies a strategic place in Dutch astronomy, hosting the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and the low-energy astrophysics division of the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) and the NOVA sub-mm lab. In addition, the Kapteyn Institute has a strong connection with the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) in Dwingeloo, a European centre of radio astronomy research. Staff and PhD students at the Kapteyn Institute frequently collaborate with SRON and ASTRON scientists and engineers. There are also strong interdisciplinary connections with other institutes in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. English is the common language spoken at the institute.
We seek excellent students with a strong background in the physical sciences (e.g. physics, astronomy) or engineering (e.g. signal processing, receiver design) who desire to obtain a PhD degree from a world-class university (ranked 64 on the Shanghai list). A successful candidate must hold a Master degree or equivalent by the position's starting date. In addition, previous research experience and skills will be essential criteria for the selection.
The PhD student position is paid according to the CAO Dutch Universities, which means that they earn competitive salaries (the current annual gross salary, including allowances, increases from about €34,000 in year 1 to about €43,500 in year 4) and are eligible for both social security and retirement benefits. All PhD positions are funded for four years.
A complete application consists of a single PDF file with a motivation/cover letter (max. two pages), a CV, and a summary of research interests (max. two pages), grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma including an official description of the grading scale. Two letters of reference must be sent before the deadline as well. Informal inquiries are welcome and should be sent to [email protected]. All application material and reference letters must be sent to the same address before the deadline. Files names of the application and reference letters must start with the surname of the applicant.
The deadline is February 20, 2022, at midnight (CET), after which the selection of candidates will start, until the position is filled.