Job offer

Post-doc in gravitational-wave astronomy

Job offer from November 20, 2018

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) is the largest research institute in the world specializing in general relativity and beyond. Around 200 international scientists work at the research labs and offices located in Potsdam-Golm and Hannover, Germany.

The Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover is offering a position for a post-doctoral researcher in the Independent Research group led by Dr. Frank Ohme. The research focus is on the interpretation of gravitational-wave observations made by the Advanced LIGO+Virgo network with the help of Bayesian parameter estimation techniques, and the numerical and analytical modelling of colliding binaries. The start date is negotiable, but should preferentially lie between spring and autumn of 2019.

Our research

We are part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the consortium of ~1000 scientists across the world who carry out the world’s biggest experiment to detect and interpret spacetime distortions known as gravitational waves. After breakthrough discoveries of gravitational waves emitted by black hole and neutron star binaries, we are now preparing for LIGO’s third observing run which will puts us firmly into the exiting new era of gravitational-wave astronomy.

The Independent Research Group led by Dr. Frank Ohme currently uses large scale numerical simulations of colliding black hole and neutron star binaries to interpret experimental data from gravitational-wave detectors and extract the source properties of binary observations. Research pursued at the Albert Einstein Institute includes analysis algorithms for a variety of gravitational-wave sources, analytical and numerical signal modelling, tests of General Relativity, as well as gravitational-wave detector improvements.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral scientist to work in our Independent Research Group. You should have a PhD in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science or related fields, with experience in one or more of the following research areas:

  1. Gravitational-wave data analysis.
  2. Gravitational-wave theory.
  3. Numerical simulations of black hole or neutron star binaries.
  4. Bayesian parameter estimation methods.
  5. Astrophysics of binary formation and merger.
  6. Signal processing and signal reduction.
  7. Approximation theory.

The ability to speak English fluently, presenting and discussing research results in a team are essential.

Knowledge of German is not required, although we encourage and support learning German.

Experience in at least one of the programming languages C/C++, python or Mathematica is highly desired.

We offer

  • Work in an international research environment with the advantages of regular interactions in a small research team, as well as the opportunity to benefit from the wide range of expertise at the Albert Einstein Institute.
  • Full time position with competitive salary according to the pay scale of public services in Germany (TVöD E13, exact salary depends on personal circumstances and will be specified as part of an offer), fully integrated in comprehensive German social security scheme (health insurance, unemployment insurance etc.).
  • Initial appointment will be for 2 years, with potential for extension up to the end of funding period of the Independent Research Group.
  • Sufficient group budget to attend international conferences, visit or invite collaborators.
  • Access to world-class computing facilities in house. Opportunity to be involved in cluster management, if desired.
  • Flexible working hours and active support of healthy work/life balance.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Your application

If you are interested in joining our research team, please submit the following documents to by December 15, 2018; use the subject line “post doc MPRG Hannover”:

  • Cover letter stating your research interests and future aspirations (max. 2 pages).
  • Curriculum vitae including publication list.

Send these documents as one joint PDF (max. file size 2MB). Additionally, please arrange for two recommendation letters to be sent to same email address and provide contact details of a third senior scientist who could provide a recommendation letter for you upon request.

For questions, please contact Frank Ohme () directly.

Applications may remain possible after the deadline (15th December 2018) only in case the position has not been filled.

Go to Editor View
loading content