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Postdoc position on theoretical cosmology and deep learning (1.0 FTE) (V24.0073)

Job description

We are looking for enthusiastic candidates for a postdoc position at the intersection of theoretical cosmology and deep learning. You will be part of the research group of Assistant Prof. Daan Meerburg, who is a member of the the van Swinderen Institute (VSI) for particle physics and gravity. Within the VSI, Dr. Meerburg is part of the Cosmic Frontier, and affiliates of this frontier work on topics ranging between theoretical aspects of gravity, cosmic inflation, the cosmic cosmic microwave background, 21cm and direct dark matter detection.

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 (up to 4 years) and a PhD student. The main focus of this position will be at the interplay between theoretical 21cm cosmology and machine learning. While the postdoc will be stationed at the RUG, it is expected that there will be frequent collaboration meetings between Amsterdam and Groningen, both online and on site. The PhD student will be stationed at the University of Amsterdam. It is expected that the postdoc will be involved in the supervision of this student. You can find further information here:

Meerburg’s group currently consists of 3 PhD students and several MSc students. It is likely the group will expand with one or two additional PhD students before September 1st. While this project focusses on theoretical 21cm cosmology and machine learning, Meerburg is closely involved in several experiments, both in 21cm (REACH) as well as the cosmic microwave background (Simons Observatory, CCAT-FYST). Depending on the postdocs interests, it is possible for the candidate to become involved in these experiments. Meerburg’s group also has collaborations with members of the nearby Kapteyn Institute and is involved in the Fundamentals of the Universe Program.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an excellent international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research institutions in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge, situated in the vibrant city of Groningen in the north of The Netherlands.


The successful candidate for this position will have the following qualifications/qualities:

  • a PhD degree in Astrophysics / Theoretical Physics / Mathematics / Computer Science; or related areas
  • advanced knowledge of theoretical cosmology, preferably 21cm and effective field theories
  • knowledge of machine learning, preferably simulation based inference
  • knowledge of at least one programming code (python preferred but not limited to)
  • excellent knowledge of written and spoken English; knowledge of Dutch an asset
  • very good communication skills, so as to function as an excellent team player in this collaborative effort
  • enthusiasm and initiative to perform creative research in an interdisciplinary setting.


Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 3,877 gross per month (scale 10, step 4) in the first year to a maximum of € 4,185 gross per month (scale 10, step 6) (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE) depending of relevant work experience after attaining PhD
  • a gross holiday allowance of 8%
  • a gross 8.3% year-end bonus
  • a position for a period of 4 years.

Preferred starting date: 1st of September or October.


You may apply for this position until February 29, 23:59h 2024 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). A link to apply for the PhD position can be found here:

Applications for the postdoc position should include:

  • curriculum vitae (name, address, degree(s) with transcript(s) of grades, research experience, educational and employment history, etc.)
  • list of publications
  • motivation letter
  • name and (email) address of three professional references
  • vacancy number of this position.

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. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

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:

  • Assistant Prof. Meerburg, p.d.meerburg

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