Postdoctoral Position

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen

Astronomy & Astrophysics

(PstD ERC AG 2017)

Type of Job


Postdoctoral Position - Cometary Science

Job offer from September 22, 2017

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen, Germany, invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the framework of a newly establishing research group to study activity in comets and asteroids, funded by an ERC Starting Grant.

The research

The applicant is expected to carry out research focused on one of the following topics:
(1) Physical, thermal, and optical properties of cometary material: The goal is to characterize the structure and composition of cometary material over a wide range of size scales, bridging results from the Rosetta in situ and remote sensing instruments, and telescopic observations of cometary dust through numerical modelling. The candidate should have a strong background in theoretical modelling of the thermal and/or optical properties of dust and/or the cometary (sub-)surface.

(2) Activity in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a Rosetta multi-instrument perspective: The goal is to understand the processes underlying activity, and their implications for the structure and composition of the cometary sub-surface and interior. The approach should exploit synergies between the various Rosetta instruments and the broad temporal and spatial coverage of the Rosetta data set. Experience with the analysis of Rosetta data is an advantage.

(3) Activity in asteroids: The goal is to better understand the processes at work in active asteroids. This will be achieved by acquiring and analyzing telescopic observations, potentially supported by the development of numerical models. A background in astronomical observations of solar system objects is advantageous.

Your profile

Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant field, and combine proven dedication to scientific work with a strong motivation to approach their project from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Our offer

The position will be for a period of three years, starting from 1 March 2018 or later. Remuneration is according to the German public salary scale (TVöD), pay level E13 or E14, depending on the agreed project and the candidate’s profile. Social security benefits are in accordance with the public service regulations.

Your application

Applications should include a description of research interests, curriculum vitae, publication list, proposed starting date and the contact information of two potential referees. Applications should be sent by email as a single pdf file to Jessica Agarwal (). Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.

The Max Planck Society strives to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. Applications from disabled persons are encouraged and will be favored in the case of equally qualified applicants.

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3
37077 Göttingen

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