Scientific (Python) Software Developer in a Max Planck Research Group - JRID46897

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
January 31, 2014
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
January 6, 2014
Job Details
Job Category: 
Institution/Company Name: 
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Institution Classification/Type: 
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs
Attention To: 
Thomas Robitaille
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Contact Information For Inquiries About Job
Email Address for Inquiries:
Job Announcement Text: 

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is seeking a highly motivated and qualified individual to develop cutting-edge scientific software in the Max Planck Research Group Star Formation throughout the Milky-Way Galaxy led by Dr. Thomas Robitaille. The group specializes in making use of large-scale Galactic plane surveys as well as radiative transfer modeling to study star formation across the Galaxy. Applicants do not need to be qualified in the area of research of the group in order to apply.

The successful candidate will work on maintaining and developing new functionality for a number of open source software projects, including the Hyperion ( radiative transfer code, analysis tools used to study the structure of the interstellar medium (e.g., and other Scientific Python projects (e.g. that are used to carry out scientific projects in the group. In addition, the successful candidate will work on developing web interfaces to databases of models and observations of young stars.

Applicants should be experienced with Python programming, and evidence of having contributed code to open source projects is desirable. Experience with web development, knowledge of other programming languages and web frameworks, and data mining skills will be considered bonuses. A Master or PhD degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Physics, Computer Science, or other related fields is required. Previous experience with topics of research related to the field of research of the group will be considered a bonus, but is not required.

The position will initially be for two years, with a starting date between February and September 2014 (later starting dates negotiable). Funds will be available to cover moving expenses, computer equipment and software, travel, and publications (if needed).

Applicants should submit (as PDF files):

  • a cover letter (max 2 pages) giving a description of their educational, research, and/or programming background
  • a curriculum vitae (including a publication list if relevant)
  • a summary (max 2 pages) of programming/computing skills, including any software development experience and evidence (if any) of contributions to open source projects.

The application materials should be sent to Candidates should arrange for at least two letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the same e-mail address. Applications received before January 6th 2014 will be given full consideration, but will continue to be accepted after this until the position is filled.

For more information, please e-mail

The remuneration for this full-time position will be based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) at the E13 level. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women, persons with disabilities, and minorities are particularly welcome. The MPIA supports its employees in the search for suitable child care.

Included Benefits: 

No benefits information has been provided by the employer.