FNWI --- IMAPP Department of Astrophysics
Radboud University > Faculty of Science > Department of Astrophysics

Available PhD positions

Please find below short descriptions of the PhD positions available in this Call for PhD applications 2018.

Magnetic fields in the Milky Way, through optical polarimetry of stars

Despite the important role that magnetic fields play in the interstellar medium of the Milky Way, their strength, structure and influence is not well understood. One of the reasons for this is that observing these Galactic magnetic fields is necessarily indirect, and everything but straightforward. Traditionally, radio polarimetry (synchrotron emission and Faraday rotation) is used to investigate magnetic fields on galactic scales. In this project, funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant to Marijke Haverkorn, we will include partial linear polarization of starlight as a tracer of Galactic magnetic fields, and include these in novel modeling efforts through the IMAGINE consortium.

In this call, two PhD positions are available within this project. The first project comprises of processing and analysis of data from the two optical polarimetric surveys, in collaboration with a second PhD student who just started at the Radboud University, and with Prof. Antonio Mario Magalhães (IAG) and Dr. Claudia Vilega Rodrigues (INPE) in São Paulo. The second position aims to include these polarimetric data and suitable dust distributions into the IMAGINE magnetic field modeling.

For more information regarding the project, please contact Dr. Marijke Haverkorn (

A large-scale radio detector for the Pierre Auger cosmic-ray Observatory – precision measurements of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

Two PhD positions are available within the project “A large-scale radio detector for the Pierre Auger cosmic-ray Observatory – precision measurements of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays”, funded by an ERC Advanced Grant to prof. Jörg Hörandel (

Fast X-ray transients

In preparation for the Athena X-ray satellite, we plan to investigate the properties of fast, extra-galactic X-ray transients. The PhD student will work on the Chandra, XMM-Newton and eROSITA serendipitously discovered transients (e.g. see Jonker et al. 2013, Glennie et al. 2015, Bauer et al. 2017). Through this work (s)he will determine the Athena event rate (extrapolating Chandra, XMM-Newton and publically announced eROSITA detection rates) of such events. This observationally based PhD student will also be involved in the multi-wavelength and multi-messenger follow-up of events.

For more details contact prof. dr. Peter Jonker ( and/or prof. dr. Paul Groot (

Compact accreting objects

A PhD position is available on compact accreting objects, under supervision of dr. Elmar Körding ( The aim of the position is to perform a combined optical-radio study of accretion compact binaries using the MeerKAT - MeerLICHT combination. The scientific question addressed is the universality of accretion physics and whether observed phenomena in X-ray binaries such as radio jet launching during disk instabilities also occur in white dwarf dominated systems. The newly commissioned and now operation MeerKAT (radio) and MeerLICHT (optical) telescopes in South Africa offer an unprecedented opportunity for both targeted studies (as in the pre-cursor work of Deanne Coppejans) as well as in blind studies. The project will be led by Dr. Elmar Körding (Radboud) and Prof.dr. Paul Groot (Radboud and University of Cape Town).

Radboud Radio Lab

Two positions are available in the Radboud Radio Lab in collaboration with Technical University Eindhoven, focusing on development of astronomical instrumentation for space-based radio astronomy. Please contact dr. Marc Klein-Wolt ( for more information.