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PhD position on precision measurements to probe fundamental physics (V23.0639)

Job description

Fundamental symmetries in physics can be tested experimentally with high sensitivity by a number of different approaches. We use cold molecules as a probe to fundamental symmetries - specifically the electron’s electric dipole moment (eEDM). We are looking for motivated PhD students to join the team of this ongoing experimental project. A strong interest in the relevant fields of physics is highly appreciated. The NL-eEDM experiment is located at the Van Swinderen Institute (VSI) at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The NL-eEDM program is a collaboration of the University of Groningen, Vrije University Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. The scientific staff involved in this project is Rick Bethlem, Anastasia Borschevsky, Steven Jones, Steven Hoekstra, Rob Timmermans, Wim Ubachs, Jordy de Vries and Lorenz Willmann. Information on this research program can be found on The NL-eEDM program is part of the research mission of the Dutch national institute for subatomic physics Nikhef. This main supervisor for this PhD project will be Lorenz Willmann. A brief description of the available project is given below.

PhD project: Exploiting Spin precession measurements to set an eEDM limit.
The thesis work will exploit the current setup employing BaF molecules and the newly implemented experimental method. The all-optical state preparation, spin precession and the readout of the BaF molecules probes the eEDM and possible biases from systematic uncertainties at the same time. In particular, dependencies on the experimental parameters, such as laser intensities, detuning and polarisation, have to be quantitatively characterised. Challenges are the analysis of such data and the separation of the small CP-violating eEDM contribution from the spin-precession signal. The goal is to identify required developments to increase the sensitivity of the experiment further in collaboration with the team of PhD students.

Groningen ( is a historic university town in the northern Netherlands with a population of approximately 230,000 people, of which almost 25% are students. This makes Groningen the city in The Netherlands with the highest student population density, the youngest city in the country, and one of the youngest in Europe. Groningen offers very high quality of life, surrounded by beautiful nature, and is a lively city with a remarkably diverse cultural scene. You can find more information on


We seek excellent students with a strong background in the physical sciences who desire to obtain a PhD degree from a top European university. A successful candidate must hold a Masters degree in Physics or a related field, or equivalent by the starting date of the position. Previous research experience and skills will be important criteria for the selection.


Conditions of employment

The University offers you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year for a full-time working week
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement, and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.


A complete (concatenated in a single PDF file) application includes the following:

1. a cover-letter motivating your application and detailing the motivation to apply for this PhD project (1 page max).
2. your CV/resume
3. a certified list of grades from your undergraduate degree(s) up to the moment of application (in case your degree has not yet been awarded).
4. the names and e-mail addresses of 3 academic referees who can provide recommendation letters for you.

Please upload the single PDF file under the option 'Fill form manually' as your letter of motivation and leave all others empty.

You may apply for this position until 30 November 11:59pm / before 1 December 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Only submissions via these application forms will be considered. The selection of candidates will continue until the position is filled. We are looking to fill the position soon, but there is some flexibility in the start date. For more information, please contact the program leader, Steven Hoekstra (s.hoekstra

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Steven Hoekstra, s.hoekstra

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.