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Deadline: 2021-01-08
Location: Potsdam, Germany

Several PhD positions in Gravitational-Wave Astronomy at the Max-Planck Insitute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam, Germany, announces the opening of several PhD positions in “Gravity and Matter at the Extreme”.

Successful candidates will join the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy at the AEI, comprised at the AEI Potsdam of the “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” (ACR) and “Computational Relativistic Astrophysics” (CRA) divisions, the University of Potsdam, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics. 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 Potsdam belonging to the IMPRS 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.

PhD theses will cover a variety of topics in gravitational-wave astronomy, high-energy astrophysics and fundamental physics, such as:
– theoretical 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 simulations of binary systems composed of black holes and neutron stars,
– waveform modelling at the interface between analytical and numerical relativity,
– interpretation and analysis of data from gravitational-wave detectors on the ground (LIGO and Virgo) and in space (LISA),
– cosmography with gravitational waves from binary systems,
– cosmology beyond the standard paradigm (dark energy, dark matter, gravitational lensing),
– tests of strong gravity within General Relativity and alternative gravity theories,
– neutron star mergers and high-energy astrophysics,
– neutron-star equation of state,
– stellar collapse to a black hole and a neutron star, and
– multi-messenger astronomy.

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 PhD degree from either the University of Potsdam or the Humboldt University in Berlin. The expected duration of the PhD program is three years, and it can be extended to four years in cases of exception. 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.

You will be asked to upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications and statement of research interests. 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 and the FAQ.

Generally, applicants should have progressed far enough in their Master’s research (or equivalent) to be able to give a brief presentation at the time of the interview in early February.

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is January 8th, 2021.

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.

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