The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is seeking three ambitious and highly qualified post-doctoral researchers to strengthen and co-lead the research group on understanding the dynamical structure and the evolution of the Milky Way in a cosmological context with Prof. H.-W. Rix. The overall goal of the group is to analyze and model the data emerging from the suite of vast new spectroscopic and astrometric surveys that map the stellar body of our Galaxy; and to put these results in the context of stellar dynamical models and of ab initio disk galaxy formation simulations, in order to constrain the Galactic potential and formation history. Expertise and interest in large survey data analysis/management, in determining stellar properties from survey data, in dynamical modeling, and in cosmological disk galaxy formation would be particularly advantageous, but full consideration will be given to candidates with other astrophysical or data mining backgrounds.
This group is embedded in the Galaxies and Cosmology Department at MPIA, which is pursuing a wide range of astrophysical research, from galaxy structure and the interstellar medium, to the high redshift universe and the intergalactic medium and to cosmological simulations.
All MPIA researchers have institutional access to the twin 8.4 meter Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, the 2.2 m MPG telescope on La Silla, the 2.2m and 3.5 m telescopes on Calar Alto, as well as the PanSTARRS1 survey. MPIA astronomers also have access to and extensively use ESO facilities. MPIA has a leading role in data processing for the Gaia. MPIA also offers an excellent computational environment. Through its collaborative research center on the Milky Way system (SFB 881), astrophysics in Heidelberg has a focus on Milky Way research, as this center brings together researchers from Heidelberg University’s Center for Astronomy (ZAH), the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), and the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy and Nuclear Physics.
Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a closely related field. One of the appointments will be a senior position, with an initial period of three years and a likely extension to a total of five years. The other appointments will be for an initial period of two years with a likely extension to a total of three years. MPIA provides employment benefits, a stimulating work environment, and funds for publications, computing, observing, conference travel, etc.
The starting date is expected to be no later than autumn 2013, but earlier dates are possible. For further inquiries, please contact H.-W. Rix (firstname.lastname@example.org). Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae, publication list, and a brief statement of research expertise and interests by January 1, 2013, and arrange for three letters of reference to be provided separately by the same date. All applications and references letters must be submitted using our online application system at: https://s-lotus.gwdg.de/mpg/mhas/gc_pd_12_16_in.nsf/portal
Candidates should first register with the online system to generate a registration code, which must then be sent to referees for letter submission. Please concatenate the CV, publication list, and research statement into a single PDF file.