PhD position in theoretical probability/statistical mechanics (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Science
Department of Mathematics
Application deadline: 

Job description

Lattice models from statistical mechanics have been successfully used in various areas to describe macroscopic properties of interacting systems by specifying their microscopic interaction. Key objects are Gibbs measures, which describe macroscopic equilibrium states of large systems of many interacting objects. In case that the interaction is of finite range, the geometry of the set of Gibbs measures and most of its properties are well understood. Many interesting physical systems have interactions which decay polynomially or are of Coulomb or van der Waals-type. In this context, many natural questions are still open.

In this PhD project you will investigate the geometry of the simplex of Gibbs measures with nonlocal interactions, in particular effective interface models and their scaling limits. The research work lies in the intersection of the area of theoretical probability, analysis and mathematical physics.

As a PhD student your task is to:  

  • study relevant literature and learn the necessary mathematical techniques in order to tackle the problems mentioned above;
  • present results on scientific conferences;
  • attend research seminars, local at Utrecht University and the national Mark Kac seminar;
  • publish articles in renowned scientific journals;
  • participate in the activities of the project team involving PhD students and PostDocs;
  • do modest teaching duties at UU.

For more information about the research interests of the supervisors please visit


We are looking for a candidate that brings the following:

  • a Master’s degree in mathematics or theoretical physics with sufficient mathematics content;
  • excellent English language and communication skills;
  • some knowledge in physics or affinity to physics is desirable.


  • A position for 4 years;
  • A full-time gross salary ranging from €2,541 to €3,247 in scale P;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us at Working at the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Wioletta Ruszel (Associate Professor) via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to

Please note that international candidates that need a visa/work permit for the Netherlands require at least four months processing time after selection and acceptance. Our International Service Desk (ISD) can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff. Finding appropriate housing in or near Utrecht is your own responsibility, but the ISD may be able to advise you therewith. In case of general questions about working and living in The Netherlands, please consult the Dutch Mobility Portal.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the "Apply" button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • a list of courses taken and grades obtained;
  • a copy or link to your Master's thesis;
  • contact details of 2-3 references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 29 April 2023.