Six long-term postdoctoral positions for the 4D-STAR project

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
KU Leuven
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

We invite motivated candidates to apply for postdoctoral positions as part of the 6-year Synergy Grant 4D-STAR (, a transnational project funded by the European Research Council. 4D-STAR will develop new theory and open-source modules to simulate the evolution of rotating magnetic stars in 3 spatial and 1 time dimension, calibrated by asteroseismic observables of single and binary stars, as well as by star clusters. To reach the 4D-STAR goals, we will integrate four teams led by asteroseismologist Conny Aerts at KU Leuven (Belgium), theoretical astrophysicst Stéphane Mathis at CEA-Saclay (France), astrophysical fluid dynamicist Michel Rieutord at Toulouse (France), and stellar evolution software developer Aaron Dotter at Dartmouth College (USA). The six selected candidates will have ample opportunity for research stays at each of the four 4D-STAR nodes. They will also be offered training in science and people management, in student supervision and lecturing, in science communication, and in grant application writing with the aim to develop a personal independent career track.

The following initial 4D-STAR positions are offered:

1) a 6-year software-oriented postdoctoral position at Dartmouth College (USA) to work on the development of a new, open-source, multidimensional stellar evolution software instrument.  The successful candidate will be involved in building a new software infrastructure from the ground up. Major tasks include code development and integrated testing.  Past experience in stellar evolution and astrophysical software development is considered advantageous for this position. Inquiries: [email protected]

2) a 3-year science-oriented postdoctoral position at Toulouse University (France) to include transport processes due to internal rotation and magnetism into numerical 2D and 3D structure models of single magnetic rapidly rotating stars. The postdoc will extend the 2D stellar structure code ESTER towards stars with a convective envelope and confront simulations with observations. Past experience in astrophysical fluid dynamics is an asset for this position. Inquiries: [email protected]

3) a 6-year software-oriented postdoctoral position at Toulouse University (France) to expand the currently 2D stellar structure code ESTER towards 3D.  The successful candidate will also develop modules to produce spectra and spectral energy distributions by coupling the ESTER code and its extension to 2D/3D dynamical non-local thermodynamic equilibrium atmosphere models. The postdoc will have the task to manage and document the code.   Experience in numerical simulations (fluid dynamics, stellar physics,…) and in software development is advantageous for this position. Inquiries: [email protected]

4) a 4-year science-oriented postdoctoral position at CEA-Saclay (France) to develop new 3D theories for the stochastic excitation, propagation, and damping of waves triggered by the rotating magnetic convective regions of stars. The postdoc will also develop 3D simulations for these three physical processes in stars with a large range of masses and evolutionary stages and predict observables to confront them with available asteroseismic data. The successful candidate will build theoretical prescriptions for the wave-driven transport of angular momentum and chemicals that can be implemented in 2D & 3D stellar structure and evolution models. Past experience in astrophysical/geophysical fluid dynamics, particularly in theory of waves, is an asset for this position. Inquiries: [email protected]

5) a 5-year science-oriented postdoctoral position at KU Leuven (Belgium) to develop nonlinear rotation and magnetic field inversions and apply them to stars with sufficient identified modes, covering various evolutionary stages. The candidate will also develop and apply nonlinear asteroseismology based on amplitude equations to exploit observed mode couplings in rotating magnetic single and binary field stars, as well as open cluster members, thus offering asteroseismic calibrations for new 3D stellar structure and evolution theory. Experience in the computation of gravito-inertial modes and derivation of (near-)core rotation from data is an asset for this position. Inquiries: [email protected]

6) a 4-year software position at KU Leuven (Belgium). This IT-oriented candidate will develop Java modules within the Leuven branch of Coordination Unit 7 of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) to process Gaia's photometric and spectroscopic time series of variable stars via machine learning (ML) algorithms. Further, the applicant  will lead and manage high-performance computing (HPC) time applications to European supercomputers to facilitate, operate, document, and help interpret 4D-STAR simulations. Experience in software development, ML, and HPC is an asset, particularly in C++ and/or Java coding. Inquiries: [email protected]


Applicants with a PhD degree in astrophysics or physics are eligible for all positions. For the software-oriented positions, a PhD degree in computer science, or equivalent qualifications by experience are also acceptable. High proficiency in English is mandatory.

The application package should contain:

  • A 1-page cover letter, indicating a motivational statement and a list of all the positions applied for in ranked order of preference (1 page);
  • A summary of previous research experience and achievements (2 pages);
  • A 1-page research statement for a single application; in case of multiple applications 2 pages are allowed;
  • A curriculum vitae, with a full publication list. Applicants must also provide the names and contact details of four references who are prepared to send confidential recommendation letters should they be requested to do so.

Members of minorities and underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


The selected candidates will initially be offered a 2-year contract, with prolongations subject to positive evaluation. Salaries will be commensurate with the standard scales at the host institutes and will depend on the number of years of relevant work experience after PhD or equivalent diploma. Salaries include social and medical/dental insurance, opportunities for parental leave, and retirement contributions.

The short-listed applicants will be invited for an online interview in the week of 17 to 21 April 2023. Decisions will be communicated by 1 May 2023, followed by a 1-week term to decide on acceptance or rejection of the offered position. The starting date for positions 1 to 5 is between 1 September 2023 and 1 February 2024; for position 6 it is asap and no later than 1 September 2023.

Application Deadline: Friday 24 March 2023

Selection Deadline: Monday 1 May 2023

All applications go via the online application tool: 





Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits






Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Jan 28
Application Deadline
2023 Mar 24


Conny Aerts, Corresponding Principal Investigator 4D-STAR