Astrophysicist/Physicist/Engineer (m/f/d) Ref.No. 346

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, September 12, 2022
Archive Date: 
Monday, October 10, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Faculty Positions (tenure and tenure-track)
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Department Name: 
Technical Department
Street Line 1: 
Königstuhl 17
Job Announcement Text: 

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is a world-leading research institution with about 350 employees from 40 different countries. Its three research departments cover science from exoplanets and their atmospheres to the formation of planets, stars and galaxies.

Observational astronomy places demands on telescopes and instruments that are regularly pushed to the limits of what is technically feasible. The measuring instruments used at the telescopes are therefore almost always new developments with close participation of the researchers themselves. Development and construction of such measuring instruments - especially highly sensitive cameras and spectrographs - are part of the field of activity of the scientists, engineers and technicians at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. The technical departments with their efficient workshops and laboratories enable the development and construction of state-of-the-art astronomical observation instruments.

We are looking for the following person to lead the Technical Departments of the MPIA starting on 01.02.2023:


The scope of duties includes:

  • Management of the technical departments
  • Conception and further development of new instrumentation projects for integration into large-scale scientific and technical projects 
  • Coordination of instrumentation projects
  • Resource planning and monitoring in the technical departments
  • Personnel decisions
  • Content organization of department and project meetings and of meetings with the institute management

Your profile:

  • PhD in the field of astrophysics, physics, or engineering
  • Several years of experience in astronomical instrumentation projects as well as knowledge in observational astronomy and astrophysics.
  • Knowledge of optical and infrared astronomy as well as adaptive optics and interferometry is desirable
  • Many years of professional experience in a scientific working environment
  • Conceptual and interdisciplinary thinking
  • Experience in leading and coordinating teams, especially with regard to communication between scientists*, engineers* and technicians*.
  • Enthusiasm for the innovative development of instrumentation techniques
  • Organizational talent for the systematic implementation of instrumentation priorities
  • Fluency in English

We offer:

  • Interesting international working environment in a world-renowned and leading scientific institute of the Max Planck Society.
  • Interaction with a highly motivated team of scientists, engineers and technicians 
  • A high degree of independence and responsibility
  • Remuneration is in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD) EG 15. Social benefits are granted comparable to the public service, including a company pension plan.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. A good work-life balance is an important concern for us at the Institute. We offer our employees family-friendly working hours and provide support in finding suitable childcare facilities.

The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of employing more severely disabled people. Applications from severely disabled persons are expressly encouraged.

If you have any questions about equal opportunities, please contact the Equal Opportunity Officer ([email protected]), and on the subject of severely disabled persons, Dr. Ralf Launhardt ([email protected]).

If you are interested, please apply exclusively online at the following link:  Online application

Application deadline: 10.10. 2022

For more information, please visit

If you have any questions regarding the job offer, please contact the Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning, [email protected].

Included Benefits: 

Remuneration is in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD) EG 15. Social benefits are granted comparable to the public service, including a company pension plan.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, October 10, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Thomas Henning
Prof. Dr.
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning