PhD position in Theoretical Stellar Astrophysics in Heidelberg, Germany (HITS-04-2020)

The newly established Stellar Evolution Theory (SET) group at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS gGmbH) invites applications for one PhD position (m/f/d) within the ERC funded project “Turbulent and Explosive Lives of Massive Stars”.

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies was established in 2010 by SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. It conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics.

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher to join the SET group to work with Dr Fabian Schneider on the evolution and final fates of massive single and binary stars.

The SET group carries out state-of-the-art theoretical work and employs a range of cutting-edge simulation techniques such as 1-dimensional stellar evolution modelling, 3-dimensional (magneto-)hydrodynamical computations and advanced statistical methods. Currently, we are very interested in the final fates of massive stars as supernovae, in the turbulent merging process of stars and the intricate common-envelope phase.

The successful candidate will have a Masters’ degree or equivalent in Physics/Astronomy by the starting date and a very strong background in physics. Further knowledge of stellar astrophysics and/or numerical techniques may be advantageous. They will enrol in a PhD program at Heidelberg University and join a graduate school that offers excellent training opportunities.

HITS offers a first-class research environment with outstanding computational resources and is embedded within the vibrant Heidelberg astronomical community that includes the Center for Astronomy of Heidelberg University and two Max Planck Institutes.

A generous research budget is available, e.g. to attend conferences, as well as a competitive benefits package.

For more information regarding working at HITS see

To apply, please submit a motivation letter including a brief description of your Master or equivalent research project, a CV, relevant university certificates including a list of courses taken and grades achieved, and contact details of at least two professional referees that agreed to write letters of recommendation. If available, you may also submit your Master thesis and/or other research-oriented work.

The earliest starting date is January 2021, negotiable. Initial review of applications will start on 26th October 2020 and may continue until the position is filled.

Please understand that we only accept applications that are submitted via this application link:

For general enquiries, please contact Dr Fabian Schneider (

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