FNWI --- IMAPP Department of Astrophysics
Radboud University > Faculty of Science > Department of Astrophysics > News > Vacancies


PhD or post doctoral position in Astroparticle Physics

One PhD or postdoctoral position, working on the origin of cosmic rays at the transition from the Galactic to an extragalactic component. The successful candidate will measure the mass composition of cosmic rays, using the Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) and the LOFAR radio telescope, building on our recent breakthrough detection of cosmic rays in the radio frequencies. In order to clarify the origin of cosmic rays, the successful candidate will combine these observations with astrophysical models describing the propagation of cosmic rays, taking into account newest data and models of the structure of the magnetic fields in our Galaxy.

The candidate should have a background in experimental astroparticle physics, ideally in the field of cosmic rays. Depending on the experience of the candidate(s), this position will be filled with a PhD student or post doctoral scientist.

Supervisors: J. Hörandel and M. Haverkorn (RU Nijmegen). Contact: and

PhD position in Astrophysics

Applications are invited for a PhD positions at the Department of Astrophysics of the Radboud University Nijmegen, funded through the NOVA research school for astronomy.

The position that is available is in the area of

Fundamental interactions and physics of energetic cosmic rays in the Galaxy (Supervisor: Bram Achterberg)

The most energetic cosmic rays probably come from outside our Galaxy. However, before they reach detectors on Earth they traverse part of the Galaxy, and can be deflected by the Galactic magnetic field, or interact with interstellar gas and radiation. This PhD project looks at these interactions from a theoretical point of view, and aims to model them using both analytic theory and simulations. The aim is to make firm predictions about the influence of propagation in the Galaxy on the observed signal in large-scale cosmic ray detectors like AUGER. Nijmegen is a member of the AUGER collaboration. We will focus on the influence of the particle energy, charge and mass as the present data still do not allow us to firmly determine the precise chemical composition of these energetic cosmic rays.

Applications, consisting of a letter of scientific interest and an extended CV should be submitted by e-mail (, including the details of two possible references. Candidates with a preference for one or more of the positions above are advised to indicate this in their letter.

Candidate selection will commence on September 15, with interviews scheduled at the end of 2014.

The successful candidate will be integrated into the Department of Astrophysics, which is part of the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics. The vibrant department consists of 13 faculty, ~10 postdocs, ~30 PhD students. Current research activities are concentrated in the fields of supermassive and stellar mass black holes, jets, compact binaries, optical and radio transients, gravitational-wave and radio astronomy, stellar and binary evolution, stellar clusters, Galactic structure and magnetic fields, cosmic-rays and astroparticle physics, and asteroseismology. The department is part of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), and has access to major (inter)national research facilities (ESO, ESA, LOFAR/WSRT, ING telescopes, etc.) as well as to major compute facilities, either via a local cluster or national supercomputing facilities. It is located in the student town of Nijmegen, an old (Roman) city, well connected by road and rail to the rest of the Netherlands.

Included Benefits:

PhD positions in the Netherlands are for four years and include good medical and social benefits (including maternity and paternity leave and child care) plus holiday and end-of-year allowances. Salaries start at 2062 Euro gross/per month, excluding secondary benefits.

Submission Address for Resumes/CVs:, to the attention of Prof.dr. P.J. Groot, Head of Department.