PhD position on theoretical cosmology and deep learning

PhD position on theoretical cosmology and deep learning

Published Deadline Location
26 Jan 29 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

We are looking for enthusiastic candidates for a PhD position at the intersection of theoretical astroparticle physics, cosmology and deep learning at the University of Amsterdam. You will be part of the research group of Dr Christoph Weniger, which is embedded in the GRAPPA Center of excellence in Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics, a multidisciplinary team of researchers active in a variety of research topics including dark matter, compact objects, high-energy astrophysics and physics beyond the standard model.

The position is funded by the NWO-ENW project “Exploring the non-Gaussian 21cm Universe with Artificial Intelligence”. This project is jointly lead by Dr Meerburg (PI, Groningen) and Dr Christoph Weniger (co-PI, Amsterdam). The project has funding for a postdoc and a PhD student. The PhD student will be stationed at the University of Amsterdam under the supervision of Christoph Weniger, with frequent in-person and virtual interactions with Groningen. Dr Weniger’s group currently consists of 4 PhD students and 3 postdocs.

What are you going to do?
You will work together with a strong, welcoming and collaborative team on both theoretical models for astrophysics and cosmology as well as the analysis of astronomical data. You will write scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, present results in leading international conferences, and help supervise Bachelor and Master students. You are expected to develop new AI-based techniques for the analysis of astrophysical or cosmological data, such as 21cm signals from the epoch of reionization.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Conducting independent research in physics, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals;
  • Development of open-source deep learning-based analysis software.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You are self-driven and motivated, have enthusiasm and talent for technical computational work, as well as for the analytical theoretical calculations.

Your experience and profile:
  • MSc in physics;
  • Fluent in spoken and written English;
  • Excel academically, as indicated by grade transcript and curriculum vitae.

Experience with deep learning is a plus, but not required.

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 2024. 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 € 2,770 to € 3,539 (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.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)


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 Institute of Physics (IoP) of the Faculty of Science combines the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI), the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITFA) and the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF) and is one of the large research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. This PhD position is available at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Amsterdam and de GRAPPA Center of excellence in Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics.

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


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2770 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12571


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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