PhD in Precision Trapped-Ion Quantum Metrology

PhD in Precision Trapped-Ion Quantum Metrology

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 31 Jul Amsterdam
Are you eager to test fundamental laws of physics with precision measurements in quantum systems? Do you enjoy challenging experimental work and would you like to learn about state-of-the-art quantum technology? Continue reading and apply at Vrije Univ...

Job description

The Standard Model of physics is still far from complete: there is an unexplained asymmetry between matter and antimatter, gravity is not included and dark matter and dark energy are not understood. In this project you will develop a trapped-ion quantum sensor based on Ba+ to investigate these intriguing problems. You will build-up a vacuum apparatus and various laser systems to trap, manipulate and detect single ions. You will implement advanced experimental methods to cool ions to near the motional ground state in the trap and reach long interrogation times. You will explore techniques developed in the field of quantum information science to further improve the measurement sensitivity of the sensor. You will apply the developed techniques to determine isotopic shifts of narrow transitions in Ba+ to search for yet undiscovered interactions between electrons and neutrons mediated by a hypothetical new boson.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • degree in MSc or engineering degree in physics (or something comparable)
  • an affinity for experimental physics, with preferably knowledge on atomic physics and quantum optics
  • a strong motivation and a good team spirit!

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile 'Promovendus' is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.

About the QMLA section
You will be embedded in the "Quantum Metrology and Laser Applications" section of the department of physics and astronomy at the VU, which is an international group that consists of around 20 junior and senior scientists. The group has a strong background in precision spectroscopy in atomic and molecular systems for tests of fundamental physics. The different experimental teams work closely together on subjects such as ion trapping, state-of-the-art laser technology and novel quantum technology.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 31/07/2023. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so early application is advisable.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: dr. Laura Dreissen
Position: Assistant Professor

No agencies


  • PhD
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 15197


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Jul 2023 23:58 (Europe/Amsterdam).