The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam, Germany, announces the opening of several PhD positions in "Extreme Gravity and Matter".

Successful candidates will pursue research in the “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” division, led by Alessandra Buonanno, and the newly established “Computational Relativistic Astrophysics” division, led by Masaru Shibata. Currently the two divisions are composed of about 30-35 scientists, including group leaders, Jonathan Gair (as of Spring 2019), Kenta Kiuchi (as of January 2019) and Harald Pfeiffer, about 22 postdoctoral scholars and 6 graduate students. The divisions also host several long and short-term visitors

Given the breadth of research in those divisions, PhD theses will cover a variety of topics in gravitational-wave astrophysics and fundamental physics, such as: i) theoretical gravitational dynamics and radiation (within post-Newtonian theory, post-Minkowskian theory, gravitational self-force, black-hole perturbation theory, and effective-one-body theory), ii) compact-object binary simulations, iii) waveform modelling at the interface between analytical and numerical relativity, iv) gravitational-wave observations and astrostatistics, v) cosmological and astrophysical interpretation of gravitational waves, vi) tests of General Relativity, vii) neutron star mergers and high-energy astrophysics, viii) neutron-star equation of state, ix) formation of compact objects, and x) multi-messenger astronomy.

The two divisions have close partnerships with the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland and the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University. Members of the groups have the opportunity to join the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium through Buonanno’s membership, and also participate to build the science case for third generation (3G) ground-based detectors (Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer).

The two research divisions at the AEI operate three high-performance computer clusters to carry out source modeling and data-analysis studies, and to run numerical-relativity simulations of binary black holes, compact objects with matter, and the core collapse of massive stars.

Successful applicants will conduct their research projects at the AEI in Potsdam, and they will have to enrol and receive their PhD degree from either the University of Potsdam or the Humboldt University in Berlin. The expected duration of the PhD program is three years, and can be extended to four years in cases of exception. Applicants are required to have a Masters degree by the start of the PhD program.

For more information, please visit

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for full consideration is January 14th , 2018. Applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics is an equal opportunity employer, and is
committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.

For further information please contact Dr. Andre Schirotzek: andre.schirotzek at