PhD student in Dark Matter Research

Research / Academic

The Dark Matter Group at Nikhef has an opening for a PhD position on the XENONnT and DARWIN direct Dark Matter detection experiments. These experiments use scintillation and ionization signals from a liquid xenon target to look for Dark Matter interactions and are expected to become two of the world’s most sensitive Dark Matter detectors. Construction of the XENONnT detector is nearing completion while the next-generation DARWIN detector is in the planning phase. The experiment is/will be located in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy and run by an international team of scientists. The Amsterdam group is closely involved in developing and building XENONnT and will take an important role in the upcoming data analysis and in the development of DARWIN.

What are you going to do?

The successful candidate will work on the following aspects:

  • XENONnT dark matter data analysis and/or DARWIN detector simulations with an emphasis on backgrounds;
  • construct, operate, and analyze data from a vacuum-UV fluorescence detector being built locally to study detector materials excited by liquid noble gas scintillation light.

While the candidate will be employed by the University of Amsterdam, the successful candidate will be fully embedded in the Dark Matter Group at Nikhef.


An MSc in Physics or an equivalent degree is required to be considered for this position. Strong software skills and/or experience with optical and vacuum equipment are desirable. The candidate needs to possess excellent English communication skills.

Salary Benefits:

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (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) and 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 salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Science Park 904