Postdoctoral researcher positions in numerical astrophysics & spectral modelling at EPFL

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, October 18, 2021
Archive Date: 
Monday, December 13, 2021
To event remaining 16 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Department Name: 
Job Announcement Text: 

Applications are invited for one junior and one senior postdoctoral researcher position at the Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO) at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. The successful applicants will join the newly established and dynamic research group for theoretical/computational astrophysics, led by Assistant Prof. Michaela Hirschmann at LASTRO. 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 candidates will have the opportunity to pursue research in one or more of the following themes:

  • Formation and evolution of galaxies at cosmic dawn by performing new classes of numerical simulations
  • Black hole and AGN science, including feedback mechanisms, emission processes, gas accretion, black holes in the context of galaxies, and the formation of first supermassive black holes in our Universe
  • Characterisation of the interstellar medium in extreme galactic environments at early cosmic epochs, and its emission line signatures via conducting detailed ISM simulations and developing new-generation spectral evolution models
  • Building an interpretative framework for the observational spectroscopic surveys, in which EPFL/LASTRO 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 pursue independent research projects, to apply for prestigious SNF funding, and to collaborate with other researchers at LASTRO/EPFL and at the nearby University of Geneva. Engagement in supervision of bachelor/master students as well as co-supervision of PhD students will be appreciated.

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 the high-redshift Universe, numerical/computational astrophysics and/or spectral evolution and photo-ionisation modelling. The successful applicants will have access to high-performance computating facilities at EPFL, to the Swiss Super-computing facility (CSCS), and to local computing clusters at the Observatoire de Sauverny. Generous allowances will be provided for personal computing equipment, publication charges, organisation of workshops, invitation of visitors, and travel. 

Working environment:

EPFL offers a unique, active and stimulating research environment and has been repeatedly highly ranked at international university evaluations (e.g. 14th in QS World University Rankings). Astrophysicists at EPFL are involved in different large-scale surveys, such as eBOSS and HST-Buffalo, as well as in many other observing programmes with e.g., WEAVE/WHT, 4MOST/Vista, MOONS/VLT, BlueMuse/ELT, EUCLID and DESI. 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, LASTRO has joined the consortium for the Mosaic instrument at the ELT. The spatial proximity at the Observatoire de Sauverny to astrophysicists from the University of Geneva allows for further fruitful and scientifically stimulating interactions.

Starting date and benefits:

The start date is anticipated to be in April 2022, although a later starting date in fall 2022 would be also possible. Appointments will be for 2+2 years, with the final two years awarded on successful performance. 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 and LASTRO; 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 (or Physics); furthermore, very good programming skills and excellent knowledge of English are desirable. Applications should be sent to [email protected] 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 max). 

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]. All application materials, including the 3 letters, are due by December 15th, 2021.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Michaela Hirschmann
Assistant Professor
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Michaela Hirschmann
PostDoc EPFL