Requirements and procedure


For the Casimir PhD position competition there are the following requirements:

  • The candidate should have completed the Casimir Pre-PhD track and the results of her/his studies should be among the top-10% of physics master students in Leiden/Delft.
  • The candidate should qualify without any doubt for any regular PhD position in his/her field of specialization.
  • The proposal should have a good balance between being feasible and ambitious.
  • The proposed supervisor is part of the nanoscientific group at the Leiden Institute of Physics, or of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in Delft (her or his name should be on the list that can be downloaded at the bottom of this page).
  • The proposed research should relate to the NanoFront framework (to receive a copy of the NanoFront research proposal, send your request to Nadine Kuijvenhoven).
  • The proposal should be without any obvious deficiencies.
  • The candidate should be able to refute the committee's criticism.

Procedure 2020

If you want to join the competition for the Casimir PhD positions, please inform coordinator Luca Giomi before 1 May 2020. For the 2020 round, the students are asked to submit their proposals before 15 June 2020. Eligible proposals will be forwarded to the committee. Interviews with the candidates will be scheduled in the first week of July 2020. The committee's ranking of the proposals will be propounded to the Casimir Director and the Casimir Board, who will make the final decision. The Casimir Director will inform the applicants about the outcome within a week after the interview.

Previous and current Casimir PhD Projects

In the list below you will find the names of the PhD students that obtained a Casimir PhD position, the title of their project or thesis, and their current job and employer. If you wish to receive a copy of their project proposals, please send an e-mail to    

  • Tim Baart, 'CCD operation and long-range coupling of spins in quantum dot arrays', Researcher Gas Conversion at Shell
  • Julia Cramer, 'Quantum error correction with spins in diamond', Postdoc Science and Communication at Leiden University
  • Chris Smiet, 'Knots in plasma', Postdoc at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Jelmer Wagenaar, 'Magnetic resonance force microscopy for condensed matter', Lecturer Physics at Stedelijk Gymnasium and Leiden University
  • Misha Klein, 'Physical modeling of the CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system', PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Tom van der Reep, 'Smoothly breaking unitarity - Studying spontaneous collapse using two entangled, tuneable, coherent amplifiers', PhD student at Leiden University
  • Henk Snijders, 'Quantum dot microcavity control of photon statistics', Postdoc at Leiden University
  • Evert Merkx, ‘Development and understanding of Tm2+-based luminescent solar concentrators’, PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Joeri de Bruijckere, 'Superconducting transport through individual molecule', PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Guoji Zheng, 'A spin qubit network coupled via a microwave resonator', PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Marios Kounalakis, 'Quantum Simulation of Gauge Theories in Circuit QED', PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Tobias de Jong, 'Manipulating Charge Density Waves', PhD student at Leiden University
  • Remko Fermin, 'Mesoscopic superconductors with broken symmetries', PhD student at Leiden University
  • Jingkun Guo, 'A hybrid optomechanics - superconducting qubit system', PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Tjerk Benschop, "Visualizing Strongly Correlated Electronic States in Bilayer Graphene with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope", PhD student at Leiden University
  • Joris Carmiggelt, "Exploring magnetic valleytronics and Berry curvature-enhanced nonlinear response by locally probing TMD monolayers using NV center magnetometry", PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Hans Bartling, "Quantum error detection in a multi-node quantum network", PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Damian Bouwmeester, “Spiral spin chains in atomically precise graphene nanoribbons. A path towards topological superconductivity”, PhD student at Delft University of Technology
  • Stefano Polla, “Non unitary algorithms for near-term devices”, PhD student at Leiden University


29 March 2011 - 1 January 2021

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