One of the long-standing questions in astrophysical research is what exactly triggers the onset of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs). The aim of this project is (1) to study the nuclear star formation history in a well selected sample of nearby AGNs with exquisite data (VLT/X-SHOOTER spectra; these data are already available) and (2) to participate or lead pioneering efforts to study gas, dust and star formation in the parsec-scale environment of nearby actively accreting super-massive black holes using the upcoming infrared interferometer MATISSE on the VLTI in Chile.
The prospective student will work with Dr. Leonard Burtscher, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Brandl and Prof. Dr. Walter Jaffe.
Leiden Observatory, founded in 1633, is the oldest university astronomy department in the world. With about 25 faculty, over 40 postdoctoral associates and about 75 PhD students it is the largest astronomy department in the Netherlands. Leiden is a charming university town with an international flair. Most Leiden researchers have an international background. English is the common language.
During their thesis, Leiden PhD students are paid as civil servants, which means that they earn competitive salaries (the current annual gross salary, including allowances, increases from about EUR 28,000 in year 1 to about EUR 36,000 in year 4) and are eligible for both social security and retirement benefits. PhD positions are funded for four years.
The application form and instructions are available at http://jobs.strw.leidenuniv.nl/2017/burtscherphd/
Applicants are requested to upload a curriculum vitae, a list of all university courses taken and transcripts of grades obtained, brief statements of research interests and experience, and the contact information for at least two referees.
The successful candidates must have a MSc degree (or equivalent) by the starting date. The starting dates are negotiable.
Complete applications received by November 1, 2017 will receive full consideration.
The positions are open to candidates from all countries. The research will be carried out in the framework of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). More information about the PhD program at Leiden Observatory can be found at http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/phd/