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Our PhD program offers research experience and training in the full range of research topics covered by the API, including :

- star and planet formation and evolution,
- exoplanet atmospheres,
- black holes, neutron stars,
- astrophysical explosions, 
- and other transients. 

More information about our general areas of research can be found here.

Salary and Benefits

Our PhD researchers are initially hired for 18 months. During this time, two assessments will take place with your doctoral supervisor. A positive evaluation will result in the appointment being extended for 2.5 years, totalling a 4-year time period.

Salaries range from €2,770 to €3,539 gross per month, based on year/experience, plus an additional 16.3% in vacation allowance.

Benefits include :
          -paid vacation,
          -sick leave,
          -disability insurance,
          -maternity and parental leave
          -pension contribution. 

PhD Research Work

PhD level research is carried out under the supervision of two staff members (one advisor, one co-advisor – possibly from another research institute). Our PhD researchers also contribute a small amount of teaching and participate in various outreach activities. 

At the end of the 4 years, the researchers must defend a written thesis (usually with science chapters corresponding to research papers they have written), to obtain the title of Doctor.

A welcoming environment

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, neurotype or disability status.

We greatly value the diversity of our institute :
          -more than 70% of our PhD researchers come from outside the Netherlands
          -nearly half of our current PhD researchers are female
          -more than ⅓ of our total staff are female. 

Internal representation
We also strive to improve working conditions for all our employees.  Our PhD/postdoc council listens to and represents the interests of all our non-tenured researchers. Representatives on the council participate in our monthly API staff meetings and meet regularly with the director.

Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) provides awareness, resources and advice on diversity-related topics. We also have a well defined system for creating awareness and prevention of undesirable behaviour, and various possible points of contact in case of possible issues. A downloadable pdf can be found at our Life at API page .

Leisure time
And on a lighter note, our social committee works hard to ensure that our institute manages to relax as well. Whether it’s Friday borrels, our yearly outing, a game or movie night, or seasonal parties, we make sure that everyone feels at home. You can get a feel for the life of our institute on our Instagram account.


PhD positions at the API (and in the Netherlands in general) are funded by research grants which are applied for and awarded to our staff.  You will be considered for specific PhD positions which are funded and offered by our research groups. It is not possible to join our PhD program and decide on a research topic later. 

Availability of PhD topics

For all these reasons, we are not always able to offer positions in all of our research areas.  However, we are very successful at obtaining funding, so topics in most research areas will be available in any given year. 

An up-to-date list can be found on the PhD Research topics page.