Postdoctoral researcher in neutron star astrophysics

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Archive Date: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
University of Amsterdam
Department Name: 
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy
Job Announcement Text: 

Are you interested in understanding the nature of the densest nuclear matter in the Universe? Or in using relativity to map the surfaces of neutron stars? We welcome applications for a 3-year postdoctoral position to work on neutron star astrophysics with Prof. Anna Watts and her group at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API, at the University of Amsterdam ( The successful applicant will join the ERC Consolidator Grant funded project AEONS (Advancing the Equation of state Of Neutron Stars).

NASA’s NICER X-ray telescope has recently delivered its first measurements of neutron star mass and radius – key probes of the dense matter Equation of State (EOS) – using the new technique of Pulse Profile Modeling (PPM). PPM combines astrophysical modeling, relativistic ray-tracing, and Bayesian inference using high performance computers to deliver not only mass and radius but also a map of the hot emitting regions on the stellar surface. Our group played a major role in this effort, and the AEONS team will continue this work, analyzing new NICER data and carrying out simulations to address the complexities that we have encountered. AEONS also looks ahead to the next generation of large-area X-ray timing telescopes. Missions such as eXTP and STROBE-X are targeting accreting neutron stars for PPM – but these pose challenges such as variability, surface pattern uncertainty, and the need to consider X-ray polarimetry data. AEONS will tackle these issues, and study how to embed PPM in a multi-messenger EOS inference framework with radio and gravitational wave constraints. If you have a background in electromagnetic/gravitational wave neutron star astrophysics, dense matter physics, astrostatistics or computational astrophysics we encourage you to apply.

You will join the vibrant high energy astrophysics group at API, and can expect to collaborate with our colleagues in the Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics (GRAPPA) Institute. Two postdoctoral researchers will eventually be hired within the AEONS team, with broad goals of quantifying the robustness of PPM and embedding PPM in the wider multi-messenger and nuclear physics context. There is flexibility in how this works in practice, and applicants with interests in either or both areas are welcome. You will work closely with the PhD students on the team, and will have the opportunity to supervise Bachelor and Masters student research projects. You will also be encouraged to pursue your own research lines (please highlight any synergies of existing projects with AEONS in your application).

Applicants should have a PhD related to astrophysics and a track record that is relevant to the goals of the AEONS project. The appointment is for 3 years, to start in Fall 2020 (negotiable). Applications should be submitted electronically via this webpage ( To apply, please submit a single PDF containing a cover letter, CV, publication list and a brief statement of your research experience, skills and goals. Please highlight anything that is particularly relevant to the AEONS project area. You should also provide names and email addresses for 3 people who can be contacted to provide a letter of reference in the event that your application is shortlisted.

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.

Included Benefits: 

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be 2.709 to 4.274 EUR (scale 10) gross per month, based on fulltime (38 hours a week), exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the “30% ruling”, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 28, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Prof. Anna Watts
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Prof. Anna Watts
AEONS Postdoc