PhD position in exoplanet and brown dwarf magnetism
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy & Operations
  • Hours
  • Closing date

The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) invites applicants for a


PhD position in exoplanet and brown dwarf magnetism


Applications are solicited for a PhD position to study magnetism in exoplanets and brown dwarfs. The project involves searching for radio emission from exoplanets and brown dwarfs in the LOFAR Two Metre Sky Survey (LoTSS) data and conducting follow-up observations in the radio and infrared bands. The main aims of the PhD project are to achieve the first detection of a magnetic field on an exoplanet, and to characterize the detected brown dwarf population properties (mass, temperature, spectral type etc.).

The position is funded by Dr. Vedantham’s  VIDI grant. The student will join Dr. Vedantham’s young and growing research group which is pioneering the use of novel low-frequency radio telescopes such as LOFAR for stellar, brown dwarf and exoplanet research. The student will be based at, and graduate from, the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen. The student will also make regular visits to ASTRON, the Dutch radio astronomy institute. ASTRON led the design and construction of the LOFAR telescope and is playing a leading role in the Square Kilometre Array project.

Job requirements:

  • a Master’s degree in Physics, Astronomy or a related field (exceptionally qualified Bachelor’s and honours students will also be considered)
  • excellent communication skills in English (written and verbal);
  • evidence of research interest;
  • computer programming experience;
  • prior experience with radio astronomy techniques is an advantage, but not strictly necessary.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Netherlands Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutes.

We offer:

  • A full time appointment (38 hours), in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I), for the duration of 1 year with an extension for another 3 years depending on good performance and a positive evaluation of your eligibility to obtain a PhD at the Kapteyn Institute, University of Groningen, in accordance with the rules of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen.
  • A starting gross monthly salary of € 2,441 on a full-time basis.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary.
  • A solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • 42 vacation days per year on a full-time basis.

The Organisation:

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Its main mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of new and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. Engineers and astronomers at ASTRON have an outstanding international reputation for novel technology development, and fundamental research in galactic and extra-galactic astronomy. ASTRON is part of the institute organization of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).


More information about ASTRON can be found on our websites and

For questions and further information on the content of this vacancy, prospective candidates may contact dr. Harish Vedantham, Staff Astronomer, e-mail: or Erika Timmerman, HR Officer, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail:

More information about the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen can be found on

Information about the Kapteyn Institute can be found at


You can apply for this position via the ‘Apply now’ button below. Applications must include a single PDF file containing (i) a one-page cover letter including a description of why the candidate wishes to pursue a PhD, (ii) a one-page essay on the applicant’s research background and (iii) a recent CV. Additionally, applicants must arrange for at least two letters of reference from researchers to be emailed to All applications received before the deadline of December 6 2021, will be considered in full by the selection panel. Interviews, remote and/or in person, will be scheduled for January 2022 and we expect to make an offer soon after.

Word of a staff member
Gemma Janssen

From an early age I knew I wanted to become an astronomer, and I chose to study astronomy after high school. During my PhD research, that focussed on the precise measurement of radio pulsars, I gained a lot of experience in observing with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. The wide range of project that I […]

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RT @ICDrachten Interesting stories from interesting people who work abroad in the Netherlands. Do not miss it, check out our socials next Friday with David Prinsloo working at Astron,…. --------- Interessante verh... #internationals #hightech #jobs #vacancies @ASTRON_NL…

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