Postdoctoral position on radio transients and gravitational-wave events
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy & Operations
  • Hours
  • Closing date

ASTRON has recently started ARGO, the Apertif Radio – Gravitational wave Observatory. In this program, we aim to discover and study both prompt radio emission and afterglows from radio transients. Some of these are Fast Radio Bursts, others are the radio counterparts of gravitational-wave events. Through precise radio localizations, essential for our multi-frequency follow-up, we aim to shed light on the astrophysics driving these exotic events. ARGO uses the novel, wide-field Apertif detectors we have recently commissioned, and existing facilities LOFAR and VLA. We carry out surveys for fast and slow transients, and respond to incoming gravitational-wave triggers.

We here invite applications for a:





Job description:

We are looking for a post-doc to join ARGO and take a leadership role in its scientific exploitation. This position has the potential to push forward the frontier of astrophysics. A background in radio astronomy is desirable, in time-domain and/or imaging. Experience with optical/multi-frequency follow-up of transients is a plus. Candidates with a track record of research on FRBs, pulsars, VLBI, imaging-domain transients or compact-object simulations and theory are especially encouraged to apply.

You will be a member of a team of about 12 staff, post-docs and students that design and run ARGO and other imaging and fast-transient surveys and projects. Our team, led by Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, has strong ties to the University of Amsterdam, where the ARGO PhD students are primarily located. Our general interests range from binary neutron-star evolution and gravitational-wave detection, to HI in galaxies, to instrumentation and pulsar/fast transient searches.

Job requirements:

  • A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related discipline
  • Experience with radio astronomy (imaging and/or time-domain) and/or relevant theory
  • Solid publication experience in refereed scientific journals
  • Good planning and organizational skills
  • Very good communications skills in English, and a team player.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutions.

We offer:

  • A position with leadership potential, in a cutting-edge astronomy survey.
  • Time and support for the pursuit of own, independent research.
  • A pleasant and stimulating work environment with access to the world’s best observational and computational systems, and ample travel support for conferences, or work visits.
  • Flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation.
  • A fulltime appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of 2 years, extended to 3 years in case of good performance.
  • For full time (38 h/w), a gross monthly salary between € 3.383 to € 4.452 depending on experience, and 42 vacation days per year.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary, plus a solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • Generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation.

The organization:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in 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 hosts a vibrant research environment with strong technical expertise and influence in the new generation of emerging radio facilities. ASTRON currently develops and operates LOFAR, a new generation low-frequency multi- field aperture array telescope. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) with Apertif (the APERture Tile in Focus), the phased array feed upgrade that significantly expands its field of view and enables ARGO. As the NL national radio astronomy institute, ASTRON also plays a leading role in several of the consortia contributing to the scientific and technical design of the SKA. ASTRON also currently hosts JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC.

ARGO is funded by a Vici grant from NWO, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, to ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam. Both are world-class institutes with many top-rated groups in related fields of astrophysics, such as radio and x-ray pulsar timing, gravitational-wave detection, and high-energy astrophysics.


For more information about ASTRON look on our website and More information about this vacancy, please contact Erika Timmerman, e-mail: For more information on the content of this vacancy, please contact Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, ARGO PI, e-mail:

You can apply for this job by sending a curriculum vitae and a description of research interests, to ASTRON via the ‘Apply now’ button below on or before January 7, 2021. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to: by the deadline. Remote interviews will take place mid January 2021. Offers will be made early February. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.


Word of a staff member
Bram Veenboer
PhD researcher

After studying computer science I wanted to continue in the direction of my master: High Performance Computing. Besided, I wanted to get my doctorate, so I ended up at ASTRON. At ASTRON there was a nice position available within the Dome project. At Dome I can apply the theory into practice and I can immerse […]

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