Postdoctoral fellowship in numerical astrophysics & spectral modelling at EPFL

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, October 16, 2023
Archive Date: 
Monday, December 11, 2023
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Department Name: 
GALSPEC, Institute of Physics
Job Announcement Text: 

Applications are invited for a junior or senior postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratory for GALaxy evolution and SPECtral modelling (GALSPEC) at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and at the Observatory of Sauverny, in Switzerland. The successful applicant will join the active and dynamic research team for theoretical/computational astrophysics, led by Assistant Prof. Michaela Hirschmann at Institute of Physics at EPFL. The group’s research topics evolve around galaxy formation and evolution, supermassive black holes and AGN, the interstellar medium and its spectral observables, numerical simulations, galaxy formation models, and spectral evolution modelling.

Project description:

The selected candidate will have the opportunity to pursue independent research in one or more of the following interesting and relevant themes:

  • Formation and evolution of galaxies by performing new classes of numerical simulations (high-redshift, dwarf galaxies etc.)
  • Black hole and AGN science, including feedback mechanisms, BH dynamics and gravitational wave modelling, and the formation of first supermassive and intermediate-mass black holes in our Universe
  • Modelling and characterising the multi-phase interstellar medium, star formation and feedback in different galactic environments from present-day to early cosmic epochs
  • Building an interpretative, theoretical framework to closely link simulations to spectroscopic/photometric observational surveys, in which EPFL/GALSPEC is involved, and which are expected to be conducted in the near and far future with revolutionary facilities such as JWST/NIRSpec, Euclid and ELT/Mosaic.

Successful applicants are further encouraged to apply for prestigious SNSF funding, and to collaborate with other researchers in astrophysics at EPFL and the nearby University of Geneva. Engagement in supervision of bachelor/master students as well as co-supervision of PhD students is most welcome.

Applicants with backgrounds in all different areas of astronomy, astrophysics, and/or computational research are welcome to apply. Particularly encouraged are applications from theorists with a strong expertise and interest in numerical/computational astrophysics. The successful applicant/s will have access to super-computing facilities at EPFL, to the Swiss high-performance computing facility (CSCS), and to local computing clusters at the Observatory of Sauverny. Generous allowances will be provided for personal computing equipment, publication charges, organisation of workshops, invitation of visitors, as well as travel. 

Working environment:

EPFL offers a unique, active and stimulating research environment and has been repeatedly highly ranked at international university evaluations (e.g. 16th in QS World University Rankings). Specifically, different astrophysics groups at EPFL (e.g., LASTRO led by Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib) are involved in different large-scale surveys, such as eBOSS and HST-Buffalo, as well as in many other observing programmes with e.g., 4MOST/Vista, MOONS/VLT and BlueMuse/ELT. In 2020, EPFL became a member of the SKA Organisation ( and will coordinate the contributions to this project on behalf of the Swiss academic community. Since 2021, GALSPEC and LASTRO also joined the consortium for the Mosaic instrument at the ELT. The spatial proximity at the Observatory of Sauverny to astrophysicists from the University of Geneva, allows for further fruitful scientifically stimulating interactions.

Starting date and benefits:

The start date is anticipated to be between spring and fall 2024. Appointments will be for 2+1 years, depending on performance (and financial budget). Generous salary levels will depend on previous expertise and qualification and come with extensive social benefits, allowing for a high-level living standard in Switzerland. Equal opportunities and diversity are an integral part of personnel and organisational development at EPFL; therefore, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to background, gender identity, national origin, etc.

Application material:

A formal requirement to apply is a PhD in Astrophysics/Astronomy; furthermore, very good programming skills and excellent knowledge of English are desirable. Applications should be sent to [email protected] (subject “PostDoc YourName”) and should include: 

  • motivation letter (pdf, 1 page) 
  • curriculum vitae (pdf) 
  • publication list (pdf) 
  • research statement, including a summary of past/current research with a tentative research proposal (pdf, 4 pages). 

All documents should be concatenated in the order listed above in a single pdf file. Applicants should also arrange for 3 letters of reference to be sent to [email protected] (subject “Letter PostDoc YourName”). All application materials, including the 3 letters, are due by December 8th, 2023.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 8, 2023
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Michaela Hirschmann
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Michaela Hirschmann