Assistant Professorship: From stellar environments to conditions on exoplanets

Job Summary

Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty Positions
Radboud Universiteit
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)


Job Description

The candidate is expected to play a leading role to strengthen our activities to understand the origin of life. The conditions under which life can emerge on (rocky) exoplanets is one of the key questions in astrophysics and astrobiology, with strong interdisciplinary links to physics, chemistry, earth science, and biology. The properties of the parent star, of the planet, and of the planetary system need to be considered in order to understand the potential for life as we know it to emerge.

Key in this position is the relationship between rocky exoplanets and their parent stars. The chemical composition of the parent star is imprinted on that of rocky planets, which in turn is key input to understand the planets’ interior structure and evolution. Stellar activity impacts the stability and composition of planetary atmospheres.

Planetary exploration missions and powerful telescopes such as ALMA and JWST provide increasingly more quantitative information about the physical and chemical properties of planet forming disks, of (rocky) exoplanets and their atmospheres, and of the chances that life elsewhere in the solar system could have emerged. Laboratory experiments give an important experimental context where conditions in exoplanetary atmospheres can be simulated. The ideal candidate can exploit this treasure trove of data in terms of the interplay between exoplanet evolution and their parent stars, in close collaboration with the experts on stellar structure and evolution in the department.

We are looking for an internationally recognized scientist with a long-term vision to build up and lead a research group.

The ideal candidate:
• has a PhD in Astrophysics or a related subject and is an independent researcher in the area mentioned above;
• has the drive and capacity to set up, supervise and support a thriving, funded research group;
• has international visibility through a track record of publications in relevant journals, invitations to conferences, and other scientific distinctions;
• has demonstrable passion for teaching and excellent teaching skills, commensurate with the career stage;
• communicates well with colleagues at all levels and likes working in a team;
• is demonstrably interested in bringing their science to broader society, e.g. in the form of science communication, science valorisation, or science policy.
There is a strong preference for women and candidates from other underrepresented groups in the physical sciences. The candidate should be able to teach a broad range of courses in astronomy and physics. The candidate is expected to teach in Dutch (Dutch language level B2) - during a transition period, teaching in English is possible. The candidate will contribute to management tasks within the department and should have the ambition to create societal impact.

The Department of Astrophysics at Radboud University is part of the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP). The department is building up an interdisciplinary link with the Institute for Molecules and Materials and FELIX Laboratory to understand the chemistry of planet formation and exoplanets and their atmospheres. The new position will strengthen this link, by focusing on the host star - planet relationship.

The vibrant and international department consists of 15 faculty, ∼15 postdocs and engineers, ∼30 PhD students, and ∼10 MSc students. Worldclass research focuses on high-energy astro(particle)physics, cosmic rays, black holes, gravitational waves, stellar and binary evolution, star and planet formation, exoplanets, star clusters and the Milky Way. The department highly values team science, a safe working environment, and broad connections with society.

Your application documents should include a cover letter, research statement, teaching statement, a CV, and a list of publications. In addition, please list at least two names and email addresses of colleagues who are willing to write letters of reference, if asked by the search committee.


Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

This position is part of the collective labor agreement (CAO) of the Dutch universities and research institutes. Standard salary scales apply according to experience. The Faculty of Science at Radboud University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such strongly encourages applications from women and minorities. Both the Faculty and University offer programs to increase diversity and inclusion, such as awareness training sessions or support programs like mentoring, coaching or career training. Priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented groups in case of equal qualifications. University positions in the Netherlands include good medical and social benefits (including maternity and parental leave and child care) plus holiday and end-of-year bonuses.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Mar 02
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 13


Marijke Haverkorn