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PhD Positions

Do you want to join the Forming Worlds Lab? Great! When specific positions are available, you will find them advertised on this website, and typically on the AAS jobs register. Generally, PhD positions are open irregularly, depending on the current funding situation. If you are interested in whether an opening will become available in the upcoming months, we encourage you to get in touch. On the following website, you will find some information on the group, the Kapteyn Institute, the abilities we look for typically, and options for finding funding for PhD positions outside of advertised positions.

Funding Opportunities for PhD positions

In some cases, international institutions or grant agencies, the University of Groningen, or ministries of education and research of specific countries support PhD projects. For example, the following websites can help in finding scholarship opportunities that may apply to you:​


If you found a potential opportunity for funding, and are interested in applying to such an opening for a PhD in our group, please get in touch.


What abilities do we look for in PhD candidates?

PhD projects in the Forming Worlds Lab operate within the highly cross-disciplinary spectrum of planetary and exoplanetary sciences. We seek motivated and ambitious students with a strong background in the physical sciences or geosciences, including, but not limited to, physics, astronomy, geophysics, geochemistry, atmospheric science, or computational science. Further interdisciplinary training throughout the PhD program will familiarise you with the areas you have not been specialising in during your undergraduate studies.


Successful candidates must hold a MSc degree or equivalent by the starting date of the position. Previous research experience and skills are important criteria for selection. In special cases, candidates with only a BSc degree and extensive research experience (typically >9 months total of undergraduate research) can be considered. Familiarity with Linux/UNIX computer environments, version control software (such as git), high-performance computing, and one or more computer languages (Python/Julia/C/Fortran) is desirable.


Dutch language skills are welcome but not essential. English is the common language spoken at the Kapteyn Institute, in undergraduate courses, and in research.


Diversity and Inclusion are a part of the mission of the Forming Worlds research group and the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, as outlined in our group-internal Code of Conduct and the Diversity and Inclusion Policy of the University of Groningen. We embrace diversity and seek candidates who will create a climate that attracts curious students and researchers of all races, nationalities, and genders. We therefore invite people from underrepresented groups in particular to get in touch.


Employment Conditions

PhD positions are usually paid according to the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities. PhD students of institute-funded positions earn competitive salaries, and receive internationally outstanding benefits, being eligible for both social security and retirement benefits. All PhD positions that are advertised officially by the Kapteyn Institute are funded for four years.


The PhD programme of the Kapteyn Institute is organised as part of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. Employment conditions at the University of Groningen, including benefits and holiday allowances, are outlined at:

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