PhD candidate Neutrino Physics with the KM3NeT/ORCA deep-sea neutrino telescope

The Institute for High-Energy Physics of the University of Amsterdam (IHEF, a division of the Institute of Physics) is seeking exceptional candidates for appointment to a PhD position in Astroparticle Physics within the KM3NeT group ...

ongeveer een maand geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The Institute for High-Energy Physics of the University of Amsterdam (IHEF, a division of the Institute of Physics) is seeking exceptional candidates for appointment to a PhD position in Astroparticle Physics within the KM3NeT group at Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics.

Atmospheric neutrinos in the energy range of ~1 to 10 GeV, to which the ORCA detector is sensitive, provide access to a wealth of unknown physics. Most prominently is the unknown ordering of neutrino masses, which can be determined by studying the effect of matter on the neutrino oscillation probabilities. Determination of the mass ordering can help in understanding the origin of neutrino masses. Also other neutrino oscillation parameters can be constrained, among which the oscillation angle Θ23 , the mass squared difference and at the lower end of the energy range a possible CP violating phase, which describes asymmetries between matter and anti-matter, may show effects. In this energy range, the physics of neutrino-nucleus interactions is not well understood. At the lower end of the energy range, (quasi-)elastic interactions with the whole nucleus dominate, while at the higher end individual quarks in the nucleons are resolved in deep-inelastic scattering, with resonant interactions in between. Understanding these interactions has not only merit by itself, but it will also contribute to a better interpretation of the data of the ORCA detector and current and future accelerator and non-accelerator based neutrino experiments.

The aim of this project is to enhance 1) the sensitivity of the ORCA detector to the neutrino mass hierarchy and other oscillation parameters and 2) the understanding of neutrino interactions in the 1-10 GeV energy region. This is done by implementing high-performance computing technologies in the online data-filter, by improving the simulation and understanding of low-energy neutrino interactions and by developing dedicated reconstruction and analysis algorithms. The developed techniques will be used to extract the physics results from data of the ORCA detector which is currently under construction.


The candidate should have obtained or be about to obtain a Master’s degree in Physics. A background in particle or astroparticle physics is preferred. Extensive use will be made of the programming language C++. Excellent command of written and spoken English are essential.


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 in the first year to €2,840 in the last year. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

Additional information

For further information, please contact:

Please apply using this link.

All applications should include a curriculum vitae, a single page maximum statement of motivation and research interests and a list of university courses taken with grades. You will also need to provide contact details for 2 referees. They will be contacted directly.


With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics (IoP) has three divisions: the Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA), the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF), and the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute for experimental physics (WZI).

This PhD position is associated to the KM3NeT/ORCA (Oscillations Research with Cosmics in the Abyss) neutrino telescope which is under construction at a depth of 2.5 kilometer in the Mediterranean Sea. The main aim of this detector is to determine the still unknown hierarchy of neutrino masses and to study neutrino properties including oscillation parameters by measuring the neutrino flux resulting from cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere and the effect of matter on the oscillations as neutrinos traverse the Earth.

The KM3NeT group at Nikhef has a leading role in the design and construction of the KM3NeT detectors, as well as in the data-acquisition system and software framework, development of reconstruction and high-level analysis algorithms, studies into the sensitivity of the ORCA detector and data-driven characterisation of the detector.

The successful candidate will be employed by the UvA, and will be embedded in the KM3NeT group at Nikhef.


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