PhD position “Gas and the life-cycle of radio galaxies”
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy group
  • Hours
  • Closing date
Job description:
The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute invites applications for a 4-year PhD position on “Gas and the life-cycle of radio galaxies” under the supervision of Prof. Raffaella Morganti. The position is shared with the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). The selected candidate will be based at the Kapteyn Institute in Groningen with regular visits to ASTRON.
The PhD candidate will be embedded in a team that aims at using data from LOFAR and from Apertif, the new phased-array receiver installed on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, to build a coherent picture of the time scales associated with nuclear activity of radio galaxies and the conditions which determine this duty-cycle, e.g. the availability of HI gas.
The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is part of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and is recognised world-wide for the quality of its research in multiple areas of astronomy. With 15 faculty and 65 PhD students, it is the second-largest astronomical institute in the Netherlands. ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in the province of Drenthe, about 50 km from Groningen. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research.
The candidate must hold a Masters degree or equivalent by the starting date of the position. Experience in the handling of data from radio interferometers is especially valued. Previous research experience, an excellent academic record, good command of English and strong communication/writing skills will be important criteria for the selection.
Conditions of employment:
  • The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,266 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,897 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a fulltime position (1.0 fte) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus.
  • The position offered is for four years, or five years with 0.8 working time.
  • Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.
  • A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty.

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:

Applicants should send a single pdf with a CV, transcripts of study records (with grades), a brief statement of past research and research interests and a preferred start date to They should also arrange for two reference letters to be sent to this address by the application deadline. More details about the project can be found here. Informal enquiries about the position are welcome and should be sent to
The deadline for applications is 21 December 2018. The review process will start immediately, but applications will be considered until the position is filled. The preferred starting date is before the 1st of May 2019.
Word of a staff member
Tammo Jan Dijkema
Scientific software engineer

The work at ASTRON fits perfectly with my studies Scientific Computing at the interface between physics, mathematics and computer science. I work, among other things, on the mathematics to perform faster calculations on physical and astronomical super computers. This allows the astronomers to perform their calculations more efficient. The location of the ASTRON headquarters amazing! […]

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