Stellar Abundances and r-process origin

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Institute of Applied Physics
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The project’s goal is to understand how heavy elements form through rapid neutron-captures (the r-process), which can take place in binary neutron star mergers or rare supernovae. To answer this key open question in physics, the project focuses on indirect observations of low-mass stars that preserve the chemical imprints of the r-process and its origin. The available high-resolution spectra are part of a new survey targeting the r-process and span a broad range of metallicities. The stars should be analysed in a Galactic chemical evolution (GCE) framework tying in also the stellar kinematical properties using recent Gaia data. Within local as well as international collaborations[1,], also a theoretical modelling of r-process nucleosynthesis is foreseen. These connections will provide transnational access to high-resolution spectrographs, laboratory beam time, and supercomputers spread all over Europe. A part of the position will consist of securing more observing time as part of the survey.

The position will be located at the Goethe University (IAP) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with Dr. Camilla J. Hansen as the advisor. The project is of interdisciplinary nature, spanning all three disciplines of observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics, and nuclear physics.


· PhD degree in astronomy/astrophysics or related fields by the time the project starts;

· Experience with programming languages such as Python and MOOG (or other spectrum synthesis codes);

· Experience with spectroscopy, abundance analysis, and data reduction are prerequisites while knowledge of astrometry, kinematics, dynamics, and GCE are welcomed additions;

· Fluency in English.

The application should include a: Cover letter listing the names of referees/references (min 2 referees);

· Personal statement of interest and past, current and future research (max 3 pages);

· CV (max 4 pages);

· List of publications;

· Transcripts of your grades of courses obtained during your PhD degree with a description of the grading system / PhD certificate;

· Reference letters should be sent directly to the email below before the deadline.

Close attention will be paid to the personal statement of interest as well as the background in astronomy. The application should be sent as a single pdf file to Ms Rand by 11 February 2022 for full consideration.

Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

The salary (TV E13) includes employer contributions to medical and dental insurance, maternity leave, and retirement benefits. Goethe University is  part of the association "Family in the University" and offers a variety of services for families, including child care facilities and dual career services. As Goethe University is an equal opportunity employer, women and members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply. The project/position will run from April 2022 until March 2025

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2022 Jan 11
Application Deadline
2022 Feb 11


Sigrid Rand