Postdoctoral Position in X-ray Time Domain Astrophysics

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job


Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 16/2019

Job offer from August 06, 2019

MPE is a world-leading institute in space- and ground-based experimental astrophysics, with leading roles in a number of large astronomical projects.

The High-Energy group, led by Prof. K. Nandra, carries out major space hardware programs, including the development of X-ray detectors and X-ray optics. The group has contributed significantly to ROSAT, Chandra and XMM–Newton and has built the eROSITA X-ray telescope, successfully launched aboard the SRG mission on July 12th 2019.

MPE is also providing hardware to the Chinese Einstein Probe Mission, due for launch in mid-2020s, and is a leading institute in ESA’s Athena X-ray observatory, due for launch around 2030. The group is also involved in a number of ground-based projects, such as the 7-channel optical/NIR imager GROND, SDSS-IV and -V, VISTA/4MOST, mostly in support of the space programs. For further details about MPE and the High-Energy group see

Applications are invited for one Postdoctoral position in the field of X-ray transients and time domain studies in the High-Energy astrophysics group of MPE. The appointment will be for 2 years, with the possibility of an extension to 3 years.

Your profile

Applicants must have Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or Astrophysics, or expect to obtain their Ph.D. in the near future.

The position

The successful applicant is expected to contribute specifically to two areas in the MPE High-Energy group. Firstly, they shall coordinate the scientific activities in the group in preparation for the Chinese Einstein Probe mission. Einstein Probe is due for launch in the mid-2020ies and the High-Energy Group is contributing hardware for the FXT instrument. Secondly, the applicant is expected to perform time domain studies related to transients detected in the SRG/eROSITA all-sky survey. Familiarity with X-ray transient time domain studies, multi-wavelength follow-up, and/or interpretation would be desirable.

Our offer

We offer a very challenging and rewarding international field of work with state-of-the-art technology. The remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) depending on experience. Social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.


Applicants should submit their documents (in English, and in PDF form) online ( ), including a CV, a list of publications, and a brief (~1 page) description of research interests, by September 30, 2019. Review will begin soon after that date, but later applications may be considered if received before the selection process is completed. Three referees should be identified, who can provide letters of recommendation upon request.

Prospective applicants can contact Dr. Arne Rau for further information (phone: +49-89-3000-3851; email: ).

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.

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