Ph.D. position (m/f/d) in the Centre for Astrochemical Studies

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job

Young Researchers

Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 18/2020

Job offer from July 21, 2020

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching (Bavaria, Germany) is a world-leading institute in space- and ground-based experimental astrophysics, with leading roles in a number of large astronomical projects.

Our Centre for Astrochemical Studies (CAS) group focuses its research on several aspects of star formation, with special interest in the growing chemical complexity during this process. We have world-leading expertise in all the main fields related to astrochemistry, from theoretical works concerning dynamic simulations and chemical networks, to laboratory experiments with molecules of astronomical interest, to observational studies of star- and planet-forming regions at various stages of evolution. Among these topics, we extensively study the kinematics of starforming regions.

The position

In this framework, we offer a Ph.D. project focusing on the kinematics of magnetised star-forming regions. This is a very topical subject. Although magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium, their exact role during the different stages of the star-forming process is still under debate, since it is not completely clear how magnetic fields affect the dynamics (and kinematics) of the interstellar gas.

This project will involve the analysis of high-quality, molecular spectroscopic data in combination with polarimetric data at distinct wavelengths. Since the beginning the student will have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the data analysis of mm/sub-mm wavelengths. The student will also learn how to prepare observing proposals for the state-of-the-art facilities in the field (IRAM telescopes, APEX, ALMA,…).

This position is essentially observational and will involve all steps of on-site data collection and analysis. However, possible collaborations with theoreticians in the CAS group are expected, and they will allow the student to interpret the observational data through models/simulations.

The selected Ph.D. candidate will work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Paola Caselli, director of the group, and Dr. Elena Redaelli, who has done extensive research on low-mass star formation. The appointment will last three years, with a possible one year extension if needed.

Our offer

The salary and working hours are in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society for junior scientists. The envisaged starting date is beginning of 2021.


Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF form) online via our application portal including a cover letter, a CV, a publication list as well as contact information of two references. Your cover letter should briefly describe your past and current research interests and why you are interested in joining our group. Applications received before September 30, 2020 will be given full consideration. 

For further information please contact Dr. Redaelli ().

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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