Two PhD positions in cosmology and galaxy evolution (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Science
Department of Physics, Institute for Theoretical Physics
Application deadline: 

Job description

The Institute for Theoretical Physics  (ITP) at Utrecht University has two openings for PhD positions in the topics of cosmology and galaxy evolution in the group of Dr. Elisa Chisari. The topics of research in Dr. Chisari’s group encompass theoretical, simulated, and observational studies of how galaxy shapes can be used to constrain cosmology and galaxy evolution. The group is also actively involved in several large-scale structure surveys (e.g., the Kilo-Degree Survey, LSST, Euclid). The PhD candidates will have the opportunity to interact with other ITP members involved in theoretical cosmology, gravitational waves, and string theory, and with the wider theoretical and observational cosmology networks in The Netherlands.

As a PhD candidate you will be asked to spend 10% of your time as a Teaching Assistant. The expected start dates for these positions are around March and October 2022.


We are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated candidate, who:

  • holds a MSc degree (or equivalent) in physics, astrophysics or a related field by the starting date of the employment;
  • has strong written and oral communication skills in English.


  • a full-time position for 4 years as a university employee, leading to a dissertation (PhD thesis);
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,434 and increases to €3,111 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • the position comes with a separate budget for travel, hardware and other research expenses;
  • 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 laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organisation

Theoretical physics uses concepts and methods encoded in mathematical language to explain physical reality. At the Institute for Theoretical Physics, we study physical systems on every scale, ranging from very small - quantum correction to gravity - to the largest possible scale - the universe. In between these extremes lie quantum and soft-condensed matter, which study the emergent properties of many-body systems. In theoretical physics, we aim to find answers to some of the most fundamental questions about our world and our existence.

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.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

The city of Utrecht is centrally located within the Netherlands. The airport can be reached in half an hour by train, and other major European cities are only a few hours away. With its urban area population of half a million people, Utrecht offers a charming historic city center and a lively, internationally oriented cultural scene. Utrecht is surrounded by a number of nature preserves and national parks, that provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Physics Department is located at Utrecht Science Park, the main campus of our university. The campus is approximately fifteen minutes by bicycle from Utrecht’s beautiful historic city centre and is also easy to reach by public transport.

Additional information

Any questions regarding the position can be directed to:

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


Utrecht University is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button. Please enclose:

  • your curriculum vitae (max 2 pages);
  • a personal statement in which your background, research experience and interests are described (max 2 pages);
  • transcripts of all university courses taken and grades obtained are optional;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of two referees. They might be contacted throughout the selection procedure.

The official deadline for applications is 24 October 2021, but applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 24 October 2021.