Since September 2022, astrophysicist Rajika Kuruwita has been the first fellow of the HITS Independent Postdoc Program. The program offers an opportunity for highly talented young scientists wanting to transition from PhD student to junior group leader. The next opening will be in 2023.
Born in Sri Lanka, Rajika completed her PhD at the Australian National University, where she focused on the formation and evolution of discs in binary star systems.
Before she joined HITS, she was a fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. There she investigated protostellar multiplicity statistics using star cluster formation simulations. Her current work continues to look at multiple star formation, particular accretion in young stars and spin up of binary components. She is collaborating closely with the Stellar Evolution Theory group (SET).
HITS, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, was established in 2010 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural, mathematical, and computer sciences. Major research directions include complex simulations across scales, making sense of data, and enabling science via computational research. Application areas range from molecular biology to astrophysics. An essential characteristic of the Institute is interdisciplinarity, implemented in numerous cross-group and cross-disciplinary projects. The base funding of HITS is provided by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.