Postdoctoral positions in Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astrophysics at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam

Job Offer from September 22, 2023

The "Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity" (ACR) department at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam announces the opening of several postdoctoral appointments, which will be available at different levels, depending on experience and seniority, and can last from 2 to 5 years. We are particularly interested in hiring creative and highly motivated candidates who are at ease working both collaboratively and independently in a vibrant, interdisciplinary and synergistic group.

The ACR department, led by Alessandra Buonanno, is composed of about 45 scientists, including three permanent research group leaders, Jonathan Gair, Harald Pfeiffer and Jan Steinhoff, and the five-year research group leader Miguel Zumalacarregui. The department also hosts several long and short-term visitors, and has ties with the Physics Department at the University of Maryland, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and the University of Potsdam.

The ACR department is interested in several aspects of gravitational-wave astronomy, including (i) analytical modeling of gravitational dynamics and radiation (effective field theory, post-Newtonian and post-Minkowskian expansions, gravitational self-force approach, perturbation theory and effective-one-body formalism), (ii) numerical relativity, most notably simulations in vacuum of compact objects on bound and unbound orbits in general relativity and alternative gravity theories, (iii) observation (including searches and detector characterization) and interpretation of data from gravitational-wave detectors on the ground (LIGO, Virgo, KAGRA, Cosmic Explorer, Einstein Telescope) and in space (LISA), (iv) techniques for the acceleration of gravitational-wave inference, including machine learning, (v) astrophysics of compact objects and binary’s formation scenarios, (vi) cosmography with gravitational waves (including dark energy, dark matter, gravitational lensing), and (vii) tests of gravity in the strong-field and highly dynamical regimes.

Members of the department have the opportunity to join the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the LISA Consortium, and the Einstein Telescope Collaboration through the division’s membership.

Currently, the ACR department operates a high-performance compute cluster, Urania, with ~6,050 cores, a high-throughput compute cluster, Hypatia, with ~12,000 cores, and two servers, Saraswati and Lakshmi, each with 8 A100 GPUs. Those clusters are used to run numerical-relativity simulations of gravitational-wave sources, and to carry out source modeling and data-analysis studies for current and future gravitational-wave detectors.

To apply, please submit your application via our job portal here.

You will be asked to upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications and a statement of past and future research activities of not more than 3 pages. Applicants will need to indicate the names of three referees for recommendation letters. Please register an account with our job portal and fill in the contact information for the referees well before the deadline, so that reference letters can be received in time. Referees will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letters. In case of technical problems with the application form, please contact

The ACR department also offers Max Planck Fellowships to non-German scientists. Information on those fellowships and explanations on how to apply are summarized here.

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is November 22, 2023, including reception of reference letters. The anticipated start date of the positions is Fall 2024. Applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

The salary and social benefits (e.g. health insurance) are based on the collective labor agreement "TVöD Bund" for the German public sector, usually at pay grade E13 (if the qualifications according to TVöD are met). A projection of the gross and net salary based on the TVöD regulations will be prepared in case an offer is made.

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation or national origin. The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individual. The AEI and the Max Planck Society welcome persons with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusion (Code of Conduct). The institute promotes a healthy work-life balance by offering all employees a family support service, cooperation with a nearby international kindergarten, as well as an in-house a parent-child office and a nursing room.

For further information please contact Jan Steinhoff:

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