PhD Position in Gravitational Wave Data Analysis and Phenomenology

Utrecht University Institute for Subatomic Physics


Two PhD Positions in Gravitational Wave Data Analysis and Phenomenology

Job description

The Institute for Subatomic Physics at Utrecht University invites applications for two PhD studentships in gravitational wave data analysis and phenomenology. As the successful candidate you will work in the gravitational waves group of Professor Chris Van Den Broeck and Dr. Sarah Caudill, on gravitational wave observations of coalescing binary neutron stars and black holes, with a view on probing the nature of compact objects and determining a neutron star’s interior structure. You will both be members of the Virgo Collaboration, which together with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration jointly analyses all data from the LIGO and Virgo interferometers. The group is also part of the LISA Consortium, and has been heavily involved in developing the science case for third-generation gravitational wave detectors such as Cosmic Explorer and Einstein Telescope.


We are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic and dedicated, and who:

  • hold a MSc degree (or equivalent) in physics or a related field by the starting date of employment;
  • have strong written and oral communication skills in English;
  • have a strong motivation for multidisciplinary research.


  • a full-time (1.0 FTE) position for 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,395 and increases to €3,061 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organization

The gravitational waves group at the Institute for Subatomic Physics currently consists of about 20 researchers (senior scientists, postdocs, and PhD students), and is expected to expand further in the near future. The group will soon be embedded in a new institute called GRASP (for Gravitational and Subatomic Physics), which will bring together gravitational wave and particle physicists in an effort to study the strong nuclear force using a variety of observational and experimental channels, including gravitational wave measurements with the Virgo and LIGO detectors, multi-messenger astronomy, and heavy ion collisions in the Large Hadron Collider. We also have strong ties with Utrecht University’s Institute for Theoretical Physics (e.g. through Dr. Tanja Hinderer, Dr. Elisa Chisari, and Dr. Umut Gursoy), as well as with Nikhef, the National Institute for Subatomic Physics in Amsterdam, and there is vibrant collaboration with researchers in the Netherlands and around the world.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international community and wonderfully diverse.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Professor Chris Van Den Broeck (

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button!

Please enclose:

  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • a personal statement in which your background, research experience, and interests are described;
  • the contact details of at least two referees, who will be contacted separately by us;
  • optional: transcripts of all university courses taken and grades obtained.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is

In your application, please refer to


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