University of Amsterdam, String Theory Group, Institute of Physics

2668 20040
Position ID:UvA-String Theory Group, Institute of Physics-HSPOSTDOC [#20040]
Position Title: Heising-Simons Postdoctoral Fellow
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Amsterdam, North Holland 1090 GL, Netherlands [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Physics / quantum gravity
Appl Deadline:2021/12/01 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/10/13, finished 2022/06/04, listed until 2022/03/07)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

The Heising-Simons Collaboration on "Observational Signatures of Quantum Gravity" invites postdoctoral applications for up to five Heising-Simons Fellows in Quantum Gravity, to begin around September 1, 2022.

The goal of this collaboration is to bring together theorists from diverse backgrounds to develop theoretically well-founded proposals of quantum gravity and explore their possible observational signatures. We believe that connecting formal advances in quantum gravity to the natural world we live in could result in a true breakthrough. We therefore seek a paradigm shift that brings theory and observation together, helping to close the chasm between quantum mechanics and gravity. We will tackle foundational issues, effective descriptions, and observational tests of those effective descriptions. We are committed to inclusive excellence and innovation and thus hope to develop a diverse and thriving collaborative community.

This Collaboration uniquely brings together diverse faculty at four Hub institutions:

Yanbei Chen (Caltech) Ben Freivogel (University of Amsterdam) Steve Giddings (University of California, Santa Barbara) Cynthia Keeler (Arizona State University) Maulik Parikh (Arizona State University) Erik Verlinde (University of Amsterdam) Kathryn Zurek (Caltech).

Our research interests span quantum gravity, particle theory, string theory, gravitational waves, and astrophysics. The collaboration will feature extended visits between the collaboration hubs, and yearly workshops of all collaboration members to discuss open research questions and progress. To learn more about the collaboration visit

The ideal candidate will have technical skills to work in gravity and will be interested in exploring new questions related to possible observability of quantum effects in gravity, manifested in laboratory experiments such as interferometers, cosmological observation, or observation of astrophysical objects such as black holes e.g. via gravitational waves. The appointment requires completion of a PhD and is expected to start as early as September 2022 with competitive compensation and significant research travel support. The initial appointment will be for two years with expected renewal for one additional year; in rare cases the appointment might be extended to a fourth year.

At the University of Amsterdam, fellows will benefit from interactions with the Amsterdam string theory group as well as the theoretical cosmology group  and GRAPPA within the Institute of Physics. The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,836 to €4,474 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Application Process

We invite interested researchers to submit separate applications via AJO to each individual Collaboration Hub institution (Amsterdam, Arizona State, Caltech, UC Santa Barbara) by December 1, 2021 for full consideration. Links to all advertisements at hub institutions can be found at A complete application includes a cover letter, CV, publication list, short statement of past and future research and three letters of reference. Ideally the cover letter (maximum one page) will address the candidate’s creative problem- solving ability, technical background, interest in exploring new directions, and collaborative skills. Hiring decisions will be coordinated by the Collaboration, though offers will be extended from individual institutions. Fellows may also specify their preferences of institutions in the cover letter, and some Fellows will have the opportunity to be jointly appointed at more than one institution over the period of the Fellowship.

Please address any science questions to Ben Freivogel (, or other collaboration members, and any administrative questions to Anne-Marieke Crommentuijn (

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Institute of Physics (IoP), FNWI
Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam