PhD position on the study of double-weak decays

PhD position on the study of double-weak decays

Published Deadline Location
1 Feb 1 May Amsterdam

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 1 May 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

The XENONnT experiment at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory has the primary goal to detect interactions between xenon nuclei and Dark Matter (DM) particles. However, its exquisite sensitivity also makes it sensitive to rare Standard Model, and potentially beyond-the-Standard Model, processes. XENONnT is routinely measuring double-beta decay of 136Xe and in addition a first observation of double-beta capture on 124Xe has been made. The latter process established the longest ever observed lifetime of 10^22 years, indicating the rarity of these processes. Better understanding of these processes, will be crucial to a discovery of the even more rare double-weak processes without the neutrinos.

The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEF) at the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) is opening a PhD position to study these elusive double-weak processes. The work will lead to a deeper understanding of the two observed double-weak processes in xenon and the interpretation of neutrinoless processes.

What are you going to do?

You will play an active role in the study of neutrinofull decay processes in xenon both from a theoretical and experimental perspective:
  • Measuring in detail the double-beta spectra of 136Xe with the XENONnT experiment;
  • Measuring well known decays in a controlled micro-XENON detector at our local R&D facility;
  • Develop a theoretical framework for doubleweak (neutrinoless and neutrinofull) processes based on effective field theory methods.
  • Interpretation of the data from a theoretical perspective, focusing on the understanding the complex nature of the decays.
We would like to stress that depending on your personal interest we foresee a more theoretical- or experimental focus on the work.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • conducting independent research in particle and nuclear physics, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
  • actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
  • supervising Bachelor and Master theses and tutoring students;


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Your experience and profile :
  • MSc degree in experimental or theoretical particle physics (knowledge of quantum field theory is desirable);
  • Strong software skills are desirable;
  • Professional command of English and the willingness to learn Dutch

Conditions of employment

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the '30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you're moving from abroad.
Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


Faculty of Science

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The University of Amsterdam Institute of High Energy Physics(IHEF) group is embedded in Nikhef, the national institute for subatomic physics in the Netherlands. Approximately 175 physicists and 75 technical staff members work together in an open and international scientific environment at Nikhef. Jointly, they perform excellent theoretical and experimental research in the fields of particle- and astroparticle physics. Among the research collaborations Nikhef participates in are the ATLAS, LHCb and ALICE experiments at CERN, the KM3NeT neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean, the Virgo interferometer in Pisa, the XENON dark matter detector in Gran Sasso, Italy and the Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory in Argentina. Nikhef is a collaboration between six major Dutch universities and the Nikhef research institute. The group is also part of GRAPPA, a collaboration between UvA's IoP and API institutes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working atthe University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2541 per month
  • University graduate
  • 11164


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer


Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you