PhD Position in Topological Data Analysis in Theoretical Physics

University of Amsterdam Institute of Physics


PhD position Topological Data Analysis in Theoretical Physics

Publication date 28 January 2021

Closing date 15 March 2021

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,395 to €3,061 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-050

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate for one PhD position at the intersection of Theoretical physics and Topological Data Analysis in Cosmological and Condensed Matter physics, at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and part of the Zwaartekracht research consortium Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics.

You will be embedded in the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITFA), with close connections to the GRAPPA Center of excellence in Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics, as well as the theoretical physics institutes in Utrecht and Leiden that are part of the Delta ITP consortium. Researchers at ITFA/GRAPPA/Delta ITP cover a variety of research topics including Astroparticle physics, Cosmology, Theoretical particle and Condensed Matter physics.

The position will be part of the Institute of Physics PhD project 'Understanding and Applying Topological Data Analysis', under the supervision of Dr Jan Pieter van der Schaar.

Candidates interested in Theoretical physics, Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory and Topological Data Analysis are invited to apply.

The position is supposed to start by Fall 2021.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to work on different aspects of recent developments in Topological Data Analysis (TDA). This includes both a formal study of the relation between statistical topological observables and (interacting) quantum field theories, as well as the development of pipelines applying this new scheme to (simulated and real) data over a wide range of fields and data sets, from cosmology to condensed matter systems.

Furthermore, you are expected to develop expertise over a wide range of topics, from formal quantum field theory, statistics and aspects of machine learning, to applications of these techniques to understand primordial non-Gaussian structures in the Cosmic Microwave Background and cosmological Large Scale Structure datasets, as well as phase structures in condensed matter systems.

What do we require?

The successful candidate should:

  • have a master’s degree in Physics or equivalent (expected to be received until Fall 2021);
  • excel academically, as indicated by grade transcript and curriculum vitae;
  • wish to pursue an academic career;
  • be fluent in spoken and written English;
  • have the ability and interest to work in a collaborative team.

Our offer

We offer you a tenure track agreement for five years (which is part of a six-year temporary appointment). At the start, we will draw up an agreement with you, specifying the tenure track requirements for research, teaching and management tasks that need to be fulfilled in order to assess progress after three years and after five years. The requirements in this agreement are negotiable and depend on your experience and scientific profile. Following a positive assessment after five years the appointment will become permanent.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (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 Institute of Physics

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 Institute of Physics (IoP) of the Faculty of Science combines the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI), the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITFA) and the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF) and is one of the large research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. Together with the theoretical physics institutes in Utrecht and Leiden it is part of the Delta ITP research consortium. This four-year PhD position is available at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Amsterdam, funded in part by the Zwaartekracht Delta ITP research consortium.


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

  • Dr Jan Pieter van der Schaar

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 15 March 2021. You may apply online by using the link below. 

Application as a PDF document should include:

  • cover letter;
  • research statement (past research activities including master thesis, future interests);
  • curriculum vitae;
  • the name and email address of two referees, who will be asked to upload their recommendation letters directly.

No agencies please

In your application, please refer to


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