Postdoctoral Research Positions in the Planet and Star Formation Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Heidelberg

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
To event remaining 31 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Department Name: 
Planet and Star Formation
Job Announcement Text: 

Postdoctoral Research Positions in the Planet and Star Formation Department at the

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Heidelberg (Reference number 20-308)


The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is seeking a number of post-doctoral researchers to pursue innovative research projects within the science program of the Planet and Star Formation Department. Active research areas of the department include the formation of planetary systems, the characterization of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets, the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium, star formation, young stellar clusters, astrochemistry and laboratory astrophysics, and infrared instrumentation.


As part of this advertisement we are seeking to fill two positions in the “Origins” research group supported by an ERC Advanced Grant (PI. Th. Henning). The group has the goal to connect the physical and chemical structure of planet-forming disks with the properties of giant planets. The first postdoc position is dedicated to the study of the molecular content of planet-forming disk. Active participation in ALMA/NOEMA and JWST programs is expected. The second postdoc position has the goal to discover and characterize young giant planets with extreme adaptive optics systems and JWST. This will include the development of new detection algorithms.


Additionally, we are seeking to fill one three-year position in the "PAMDORA" research group (Pl. Dr. Bertram Bitsch), with the goal of understanding the influence of the chemical composition of planetary building blocks on the formation pathways of planets.


The Planet and Star Formation Department at MPIA is pursuing a wide range of astrophysical research, encompassing large observing programs, computational modelling, instrumentation development, and laboratory experiments (see for details). MPIA researchers have privileged access to the twin 8.4 m Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, the 2.2m MPG telescope on La Silla, and the IRAM facilities including the newly upgraded NOEMA. MPIA astronomers make frequent use of all ESO and ALMA facilities. MPIA is part of the MATISSE and GRAVITY instrument consortia for the VLTI, a partner in the Hat-South transit network and TESS-related exoplanet programs. The department is a leading member of the Heidelberg Origins of Life Initiative and provides dedicate laboratory facilities for the study of prebiotic molecules. In addition, MPIA is a core consortium member of the radial velocity instrument CARMENES and is part of the SPHERE and JWST/MIRI consortia. MPIA also offers access to a range of local computing facilities and external super-computing resources.


Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, physics or a closely related field. The appointments will be for three years. MPIA provides funds for publications, travel and computer equipment. The available positions range from independent work within the broad research directions of the Planet and Star Formation Department to more project-oriented positions.


The positions have flexible start dates, the preferred start period is before fall 2021. The remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) depending on qualification and experience in level E13/E14. Social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.


Interested candidates should send a CV, publication list, and a brief statement of research interests by December 1st, 2020. They should also arrange for three letters of reference to be provided separately by the same date. All applications and reference letters need to be submitted using our online application system at:


Candidates should first register with our online system to generate a registration code, which must be sent to referees for letter submission. Please concatenate CV, publication list, and research statement into a single PDF file.


In their application, all applicants need to indicate if they apply for all positions or for an individual position only.



For inquiries, please contact:  Thomas Henning

                                                 Henrik Beuther


The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women, disabled people and minority groups are particularly welcome. The MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care institutions.

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Thomas Henning
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Thomas Henning, Henrik Beuther; Bertram Bitsch
Postdoctoral Research Positions in the Planet and Star Formation Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Heidelberg