Logo: IMPRS for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen - International Max Planck Research School - Solar System School

PhD thesis projects offered

September 01, 2021

All partner institutes in the Solar System School (Institute for Astrophysics and Geophysics, Geoscience Center, and Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research) may offer and support PhD projects in the Solar System School. The PhD topics are as diverse as the research fields of the participating partner institutions. The topics include all areas of our own Solar system (the Sun and its planets and minor bodies), embedded in the wider geo- and astrophysical context, and extend to other stars and their planetary systems. Correspondingly, the following disciplines in geo- and astrophysics are represented in the Solar System School: Earth and planetary sciences, Solar and stellar physics, helioseismology, asteroseismology, and to some extent extra-solar planets. Since the methods of research comprise instrumentation development, calibration and improvement , ground- and space-based observations, remote-sensing or in-situ measurements in space exploration missions, data analysis and interpretation, numerical simulations and theoretical modeling, some projects may additionally require good skills in programming, in mathematics, or in engineering.

The following list gives an overview of the variety of research topics, but is not necessarily complete. Further projects may yet become available: This list still is updated from time to time. Please check the list again before submitting your application. Applications may be submitted between 1 August and 1 October.

Open PhD Projects


Numerical simulations to better understand the complete reversals of the geodynamo dipole more


High-precision laboratory studies of meteorites as well as terrestrial and lunar rocks reveal tiny differences in isotopic composition. This provides valuable insights into the formation and evolution of the early Solar System, enables dating important events, and will help us understand how our Solar System with its planets, moons, and small bodies became what it is today. more

Interaction of sound waves with Solar granulation

Hydrodynamic simulations of near surface convection and waves in the Sun and stars more

Solar coronal structures observed with EUI. The left panel shows a high-resolution view of ~1 MK coronal loops in an active region. The right panel is a zoom into the south pole of the Sun, showing numerous megameter-scale plasma jets.  These data were acquired during the first science perihelion of Solar Orbiter during March-April 2022.

Deciphering the magnetic origins of the Sun's hot corona: developing a framework for coronal heating by probing the elusive photosphere-corona connection more

Artist's impression of an early solar system: a sun with a disk in the background to the right, planetoids and a planet in the foreground to the left

The Sun’s planets and small objects have undergone substantial evolution. Deciphering the history of our cosmic home is not a simple task even though we now have access to a multitude of data gathered by space missions, remote observations, and laboratory studies of diverse samples. A significant fraction of materials available for the study of planetary bodies come from meteorites. more

Jupiter’s magnetosphere and the space plasma environment of the Galilean moons

The Planetary Plasma Environments group (PPE) has a strong heritage in the exploration of planetary magnetospheres and space plasma interactions throughout the solar system. It has contributed instruments to several past missions that flew-by or orbited Jupiter (Galileo, Cassini, Ulysses). The PPE participates in the JUICE mission by contributing hardware and scientific expertise to the Particle Environment Package (PEP). more

Modelling and understanding of solar irradiance variations

Open PhD projects in the Solar variability and climate group more

Cryovolcanism on Ceres

Dawn Framing Cameras observations of surface structures on Ceres more

Studying the upper solar atmosphere with Solar Orbiter

Imaging and spectroscopy in the extreme UV with Solar Orbiter more

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