ASSISTANT PROFESSORS in Experimental Physics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam (Gemeenten), Noord-Holland (NL)
On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,637 (scale 11).
May 03 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS in Experimental Physics

Are you a talented junior, experimental physicist looking for a faculty position? Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get in contact with you! Up to 8 tenure-track faculty positions in experimental physics are open in this call.

FTE: 0.8 – 1

Job description
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU; invites applications from researchers in experimental physics for a tenure-track faculty position at the level of assistant professor. Up to 8 successful candidates will join the Department and will be embedded in research units comprising several principal investigators working within a common research theme. The candidates are expected to develop an independent and externally-funded research program and to foster collaborations nationally and internationally. Responsibilities also include teaching in the B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs. Women and others from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

We aim to hire new tenure track candidates within four fields of research. Profiles of potential candidates given below are indications:

A. Particle & Gravitational Physics.
VU physics is, as part of the national Nikhef collaboration involved in the interferometric detection of gravitational waves in the VIRGO/LIGO collaboration. Our focus is on instrumentation and data analysis for tests of general relativity and new ways to study black holes to learn about particle physics and cosmology. Within this field of research, we are looking for candidates with a focus on the analysis of data gathered by Advanced VIRGO, and simulations for next-generation experiments. An important topic will be the characterization of the noise properties of interferometric detectors.

B. Quantum Metrology and Laser Applications.
Another focus of VU physics is ultraprecise laser measurements of narrow quantum-mechanical resonances in atoms and molecules. This is typically performed at low energies (using e.g. advanced lasercooling and trapping methods) in order to search for small deviations from the Standard Model (e.g. deviations from predictions of QED theory), which would be hints of new physics. Within this focus, we are looking for candidates to develop a research line on ultra-precise frequency measurements in atomic/molecular systems and / or on novel matter-control methods (e.g. laser cooling of molecules, optical lattices, or ion traps) in order to measure phenomena connected to fundamental physics at the atomic scale.

C. Photonics for Life and Health
Given the ageing population, there is an increasing need for more, better, more cost-effective and personalized medical care. Photonics is a key technology that is currently already frequently used in diagnosis and therapy but has an even larger potential because of its relatively low cost, potential for high resolution, throughput, speed and minimal invasiveness. VU physics has a thriving research focus in this area, with strong connections to the Vrije Universiteit medical center (VUmc) on the same campus. Within this field of research, we are looking for candidates to set up a research line in the development of optical techniques for biomedical applications and/or life science research. The focus of a new hire might be in the area of wave-front shaping, miniature endoscopy, exploration of imaging through multimode fibers, to image deeper and with more contrast in tissue or in the body and/or computational imaging, including the use of artificial intelligence in image interpretation, to better integrate the imaging process with diagnosis.

D. Photosynthesis and Energy.
VU physics department has a strong focus on research in the fields of photosynthesis and energy. This focus is rooted in a strong tradition in research of the fundamental principles of photosynthesis using optical spectroscopy. More recently, this focus has been expanded, including energy research in a broader sense, from research to enhance biological photosynthesis to hybrid and organic photovoltaics. Within this research area, we are looking for candidates focusing on spectroscopy of energy materials and devices, such as nanostructures, 2D materials, organic and/or hybrid semiconductors, thin-film semiconductors. In addition, we are looking for candidates to continue the strong tradition in photosynthesis establishing a research line in the development and application of instrumentation for in vivo spectroscopy.

Your duties

  • develop an independent research program
  • teach in Bachelor and Master programs
  • supervise MSc and PhD students
  • contribute to and write research grant proposals
  • contribute to management tasks in the department


  • applicants must have a PhD in physics or a closely related field
  • postdoctoral experience with an outstanding record of published research
  • commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching
  • must have excellent communication skills and be fluent in English

What are we offering?
A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,637 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,656 (scale 12), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 5 years, after which the position will become permanent upon successful evaluation. Alterations to this schedule due to family leave may be arranged. Criteria for tenure evaluation include success in research, funding and education and these details are mutually agreed before the appointment.

The appointment is expected to begin by September, 2019. The Collective Labor Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities is applicable. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

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,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • contribution to commuting allowance based on public transport,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 23,000 students. We employ more than 4,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the Department
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (a) highenergy and gravitational physics, (b) quantum metrology and laser applications, (c) physics of life and health, and (d) physics of photosynthesis and energy. The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (from 2019/20, together with University of Twente). Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with VUmc hospital on the same campus), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), a thriving startup scene.

Are you interested in one of these positions? To apply please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae including a list of publications, research and teaching statements. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be either added to your application package or to be sent to with "Last Name and Vacany Assistant professor in Experimental Physics" in the subject line. Since we expect a large number of job applications you will be asked to indicate on which of the four research topics you apply as part of the digital application process. Applications via email will not be processed.

The application deadline is June 1st 15th, 2019.

Interviews with exceptional candidates may be scheduled before the deadline and we therefore encourage you to apply early.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Petra Erne
Position: Department Manager
Telephone: +31 20 59 82263

Relocation support
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Wytske Siegersma
Position: Relocation Advisor
Telephone: +31 20 59 85037

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