PhD positions in “Gravity & Matter at the Extreme” at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam

Job Offer from October 28, 2021

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam, Germany, announces the opening of several PhD positions in “Gravity & Matter at the Extreme”. We are particularly interested in hiring creative, proactive and intellectually ambitious candidates who flourish at working in a vibrant,  interdisciplinary and synergistic group.

Successful candidates will join the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy at the AEI, comprised of the “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” (ACR) and “Computational Relativistic Astrophysics” (CRA) divisions at the AEI in Potsdam, the University of Potsdam and the Humboldt University in Berlin. Our graduate students are exposed to a variety of research topics and have access to a world-wide research network, including international partner universities (University of Maryland and the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University), the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the LISA Consortium. Students may also participate in building the science case for third generation ground-based detectors, such as the Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer. For a detailed overview of the IMPRS, its research groups, and the application procedure, please visit the IMPRS website.

The two research divisions (ACR and CRA) at the AEI in Potsdam operate three high-performance compute clusters to model gravitational-wave sources (binary black holes, neutron star binaries, and stellar collapse of massive stars), electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves, high-energy astrophysical phenomena, and to carry out data-analysis of gravitational waves as part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Ph.D. theses can cover a broad spectrum of topics in gravitational-wave astronomy, high-energy astrophysics and fundamental physics, such as:

  • analytical modelling of gravitational dynamics and radiation (within post-Newtonian theory, post-Minkowskian theory, gravitational self-force, black-hole perturbation theory, and effective-one-body theory),
  • numerical-relativity, most notably simulations of compact objects in general relativity and alternatives,
  • interpretation and analysis of data from gravitational-wave detectors on the ground (LIGO and Virgo) and in space (LISA),
  • acceleration techniques for gravitational-wave inference, including machine learning,
  • cosmography with gravitational waves (including dark energy, dark matter, gravitational lensing),
  • tests of gravity in the strong-field and highly dynamical regime
  • modelling neutron star mergers as high-energy phenomena,
  • modelling electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves,
  • exploring neutron-star equation of state,
  • exploring nucleosynthesis,
  • stellar collapse to a black hole and a neutron star, and
  • modelling gamma-ray bursts.

PhD students will have the opportunity to join the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium through the ACR-division’s membership, and also participate to building the science case for third generation (3G) ground-based detectors (Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer).

Successful applicants will conduct their research projects at the AEI in Potsdam, and they will have to enroll and receive their Ph.D. degree from either the University of Potsdam or the Humboldt University in Berlin. The expected duration of the PhD program is three to four years. Applicants are required to have a Master degree by the start of the PhD program.

The science campus in Potsdam offers a stimulating research environment with three Max-Planck Institutes and two Fraunhofer Institutes. The city of Potsdam is home to over 40 research institutes, and is located just 30 minutes from the city center of Berlin.

In order to apply, please fill in this form.

You will be asked to upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, university transcripts, a statement of research interests, a list of publications (if applicable), and your Master thesis (if applicable). The statement of research interests should describe the student’s past research experience, future research interests and how they relate to the IMPRS’s scientific mission. Applicants also need to indicate the names of three referees for recommendation letters. Referees will be notified by email on how to upload the letters. More information on the preparation of the documents can be found on the IMPRS website (Application and Admission and the FAQ).

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is January 7th, 2022.

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. The AEI and the Max Planck Society welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity Code of Conduct.

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