PhD researcher
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy group
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Applications are invited for a PhD position in astrophysics which is a shared position between ASTRON and Radboud University in The Netherlands.

Testing gravity by timing pulsars with the SKA and its pathfinders

The PhD student will be based at Radboud University Nijmegen, with regular visits to ASTRON in Dwingeloo. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of dr. Gemma Janssen (ASTRON/Radboud) and dr. Cees Bassa (ASTRON) on testing gravity using high precision timing. Specific topics can cover: detecting gravitational waves with a PTA, testing GR and other tests of gravity using binary pulsars, or searching for pulsars. The candidate will use data from several existing telescopes like LOFAR and WSRT in The Netherlands, and will become part of the European Pulsar Timing Array collaboration. A close collaboration with MeerKAT through the MeerTIME project is expected. The results of this project will contribute to the development of SKA pulsar science and instrumentation, and as such will improve detection prospects of gravitational waves in the nanohertz regime.

The Department of Astrophysics at Radboud University is part of the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics. The vibrant department consists of 13 faculty, ~15 postdocs, ~25 PhD students. Research activities focus on high energy astrophysics, black holes, cosmic rays, gravitational waves, stellar and binary evolution, star clusters and the Milky Way.

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside the town of Dwingeloo in the province of Drenthe. 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. ASTRON’s Astronomy Group offers a scientifically rich environment with strong ties to technical development in the domain of radio astronomy both within the institute and internationally. ASTRON astronomers are active in many frontline research areas. They are also heavily involved in the operation and use of LOFAR and involved in preparing for the wide field astronomy that will be made possible with instruments like APERTIF, which is currently being commissioned on the WSRT. ASTRON astronomers are also involved in preparations for the SKA and participate in SKA precursor projects. Other front line research facilities available to astronomers resident in the Netherlands include ESO, ALMA, and the ING telescopes.

More information about Radboud University and the Department of Astrophysics can be found at,, For more information about ASTRON look on our websites and For more information about this vacancy please contact Dr. Gemma Janssen, e-mail:

The position is part of the collective labour agreement (CAO) of the research institutes. Previous experience with radio astronomy, pulsars, or gravitational waves is preferred. The applicant should have a MSc in astronomy or physics.

You can apply directly for this job ( 2017-09-052) via the ‘Apply now’ button below Applications should include a cover letter, CV, list of university courses taken with a transcript of grades, and a brief research statement (PDF). Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to: Complete applications received by December 20, 2017 will receive full consideration.


Word of a staff member
Emanuela Orrù
Support scientist

During my studies, I realized that I wanted to work in radio astronomy. In my second year, I decided to focus on radio astronomy. My professor pointed out to me that ASTRON build a new radio telescope in the middle of Europe. Because of this ASTRON caught my eye. After my studies and several years […]

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