Group Leader in Theoretical Gravitational Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam, Germany

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 a Group Leader position in theoretical gravitational physics. The position will be either for a fixed term (5 years) or a tenure-track with the possibility of becoming permanent after 5 years (or sooner). In exceptional cases, the position can be made permanent from the beginning.

Scientists working on or interested in working on the below research areas are strongly encouraged to apply.:
– probing the nature of gravity and compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars, through gravitational waves,
– solving analytically the two-body problem in General Relativity and alternative theories of gravity, employing methods such as post-Newtonian theory, post-Minkowskian theory, gravitational self-force, effective-one-body theory, etc.

The successful candidate will lead a group of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and will take advantage of interactions and collaborations with other members of the department.

The ACR department, led by Alessandra Buonanno, is composed of about 20-25 scientists, including two research group leaders, Jonathan Gair (as of Spring 2019) and Harald Pfeiffer. The department also hosts several long and short-term visitors, and it has ties with the Physics Department at the University of Maryland, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and the University of Potsdam.

The ACR division focuses on several aspects of gravitational-wave physics and astrophysics, including (i) theoretical gravitational dynamics and radiation (effective field theory, post-Newtonian theory, post-Minkowskian theory, gravitational self-force approach, perturbation theory and effective-one-body formalism), (ii) numerical relativity, most notably simulations of binary black holes and binary neutron stars, (iii) interpretation and analysis of data from gravitational-wave detectors on the ground (LIGO and Virgo) and in space (LISA), (iv) astrophysics of compact objects, (v) cosmography with gravitational waves from binary systems, and (vi) tests of strong gravity within General Relativity and alternative gravity theories. Members of the division have the opportunity to join the LIGO Scientific Collaboration through the group’s membership, the LISA Consortium, and also participate to building the science case for third generation (3G) ground-based detectors (Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer).

The ACR division has a high-performance computer cluster, Minerva with ~9,500 cores, and a high-throughput computer cluster Vulcan with ~2,000 cores (soon to be replaced by Hypatia with ~8,000 cores). Those clusters are used to run numerical-relativity simulations of gravitational-wave sources, and carry out source-modeling and data-analysis studies for current and future gravitational-wave detectors.

For the application submission you will be asked to upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications, a 2-page summary of past research achievements, and a 2-page research proposal. Applicants will need to indicate the names of three referees for recommendation letters. Referees will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letters.

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is January 20th, 2019. The position is available as early as Spring 2019, but it can also start later, in Fall 2019. Applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

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, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.

Scientific Programmer in Gravitational-Wave Physics at the MPI for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam, Germany

The “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” division at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam is looking for a highly motivated, talented Scientific Programmer who will actively engage in the computational research activities carried out in the division. The position will be at the level of a staff scientist; the appointment will initially be for 3 years, with the possibility of becoming permanent afterwards. In exceptional cases, the position can be made permanent sooner, or from the beginning.

The “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” (ACR) division, led by Alessandra Buonanno, develops theoretical models of gravitational waves (GW) from astrophysical and cosmological sources. These models — implemented by the ACR division in Language C (for production analyses in the LIGO Algorithm Library (LAL) “LALsuite” code package) and Mathematica (for development) — are used to detect signals in the LIGO and Virgo data streams, and extract invaluable information about extreme gravity and matter. The ACR division is composed of about 20-25 scientists, including two research group leaders, Jonathan Gair (to arrive in Spring 2019) and Harald Pfeiffer. The division also hosts several long and short-term visitors. Many members of the division are part of international collaborations including the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA consortium.

The ACR division has a high-performance computer cluster, Minerva with ~9,500 cores, and a high-throughput computer cluster Vulcan with ~2,000 cores (soon to be replaced by Hypatia with ~8,000 cores). Those clusters are used to run numerical-relativity simulations of gravitational-wave sources, and carry out source modeling and data-analysis studies for current and future gravitational-wave detectors.

Key tasks/responsibilities:
– Lead the development and maintenance of software packages used to generate waveform models, and to carry out statistical inference on the properties of observed gravitational-wave sources.
– Work to ensure that the computational performance of the software meets the needs of the ACR’s scientists.
– Ensure that software developed in the division is well documented to facilitate the easy use of the code by new members and external collaborators.
– Consult and train scientists in the use of software, as needed.
– Support research and publications conducted by scientists in the division.
– Engage in visualization of results.

Required education and experience:
– Ph.D. in computer science, astronomy, physics or a related discipline.
– At least 4 years of experience with high-performance computing (HPC) or high-throughput computing (HTC) resources.
– Expert knowledge in computational languages used in the astrophysics and physics community (e.g., Python, C/C++, Mathematica, MatLab).
– Experience using multiple computational platforms (e.g., OSX, Windows, Unix/Linux).
– Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
– Excellent knowledge of oral and written English.

Preferred qualifications:
– Background in gravitational-wave physics or astrophysics.
– Familiarity with gravitational-wave software.
– Familiarity with modern software development practices, such as version control system (Git) and continuous integration (CI).
– Experience in numerical solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations.

Salary and benefits follow the remuneration of public employees in Germany (“Tarifvertrag im Öffentlichen Dienst, TVöD”).

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is October 31st, 2018. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

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, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.