Postdoctoral Fellowships and Research Positions in the Galaxies and Cosmology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Galaxies and Cosmology
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

Postdoctoral Fellowships and Research Positions (Reference Number 20-311) in the Galaxies and Cosmology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is offering up to nine post-doctoral research and fellowship positions, to pursue innovative research projects within the Galaxies and Cosmology department. The department’s research covers a wide range of topics from the Milky Way to the highest redshifts: stellar spectroscopy and its diagnostic potential for Galactic archaeology; the Milky Way as a galaxy model organism; star-formation and the interstellar medium in galaxies near and far; galactic nuclei, black holes and AGN; the redshift evolution of the galaxy population and of the intergalactic medium. Our research approaches encompass large observing programs, large surveys such as Gaia, SDSS-V and 4MOST, instrumentation development, as well as theoretical modelling and numerical simulations. The department also hosts a number of independent MPG, ERC and Humboldt research groups.

Exceptional candidates in all areas of astrophysics related to the above topics will be considered for several independent fellowship positions. In addition, there are a number of positions in our various research groups, specified here:

MPIA researchers have privileged access to the twin 8.4m Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, the 2.2m MPG telescope on La Silla, the Calar Alto 2.2m telescope, and the IRAM millimeter facilities, including the newly upgraded NOEMA. MPIA astronomers make frequent use of all ESO facilities, including the VLT and ALMA, and all are encouraged to lead proposals as Principal Investigators. MPIA also offers access to a range of local computing clusters and external super-computing resources. The institute leads or is involved in a number of large science collaborations and surveys, including SDSS-V, 4MOST, VRO (formerly: LSST), and JWST GTO programs. MPIA also plays a leading role in the data analysis for Gaia and the preparations for Euclid.

Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a closely related field. The appointments will be for three or four years, depending on the research group. The starting dates are expected to be no later than autumn 2021; earlier dates may be possible for certain positions. MPIA aims to provide a stimulating and supportive work environment, and the successful candidates can draw on funds for publications, computing, travel, training, etc. Remuneration will be on the German public sector scale (expected to be TVOeD level E14), and depends in detail on qualification and experience. Extensive social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.

For inquiries, please contact the chair of the search committee Dr. Tom Herbst ([email protected]), the department assistant Susanne Koltes-Al-Zoubi ([email protected]), or any of the staff members in the Galaxies and Cosmology department (, in particular those listed under the link above.

Applicants should prepare a cover letter indicating the position(s) of interest, CV, publication list, and a brief statement of research interests by December 2, 2020 (Attention to: Dr. Tom Herbst), and arrange for three letters of reference to be provided separately by the same date. All applications and reference letters must be submitted using the online application system:

Before submission, candidates first need to register with the online system to generate a registration code, which should then be forwarded to referees for letter submission. The cover letter, CV, publication list, and research statement must be concatenated into a single PDF file.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and strives for a diverse community of employees. Applications from historically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged. MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care.

Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

Extensive social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2020 Sep 26
Application Deadline
2020 Dec 02
Reference Code
MPIA Reference Number 20-311


Dr. Tom Herbst