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Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­sität Ber­lin - Fac­ulty II - Cen­ter of Astro­nomy and Astro­phys­ics

Research Assist­ant (PostDoc) - salary grade E13 TV-L Ber­liner Hoch­schu­len

part-time employ­ment may be pos­sible

The TU Ber­lin Cen­ter of Astro­nomy and Astro­phys­ics is cooper­at­ing with the Depart­ment of Extra­solar Plan­ets and Atmo­spheres at the Insti­tute of Plan­et­ary Research of DLR (Ber­lin, Ger­many) that per­forms pho­to­met­ric ana­lysis of time-series data of stel­lar meas­ure­ments to detect and accur­ately char­ac­ter­ize exo­plan­ets (mass, radius, atmo­spheric prop­er­ties etc). We also develop numer­ical mod­els of plan­et­ary atmo­spheres.

Work­ing field:

We are is seek­ing a highly motiv­ated and ded­ic­ated astro­nomer/phys­i­cist for the pro­ject "Explor­ing the Diversity of Exo­plan­ets in the Mass-Dens­ity Dia­gram" which is fun­ded through the DFG Pri­or­ity Pro­gram SPP1992: "Explor­ing the Diversity of Extra­solar Plan­ets".
Our pro­gram char­ac­ter­izes exo­plan­ets in terms of their masses, radii and dens­it­ies using trans­it­ing plan­ets found by the K2 and, in the near future, TESS transit search mis­sions. This work is a strong col­lab­or­a­tion between Rhen­ish Insti­tute for Envir­on­mental Research at Cologne Uni­versity (RIU) and the Thüringer Landesstern­warte Tauten­burg (Thuringia State Obser­va­troy, TLS). Our team is involved with all aspects of exo­planet transit stud­ies: light curve pro­cessing, transit detec­tions, transit light curve mod­el­ing, planet mass determ­in­a­tion via Dop­pler meas­ure­ments and determ­in­a­tion of the stel­lar para­met­ers of the host stars.
The duties of the suc­cess­ful can­did­ate are: 1) to reduce data, per­form pho­to­metry and decor­rel­a­tion on K2, and future TESS, CHEOPS data; 2) stel­lar vari­ab­il­ity removal, 3) par­ti­cip­at­ing in transit can­did­ate detec­tion, 4) par­ti­cip­at­ing in joint radial velo­city and light curve fits, 5) char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion of the plan­et­ary sys­tems in terms of mass, radius and dens­ity.


  • Suc­cess­fully com­pleted uni­versity degree (Mas­ter, Dip­lom or equi­val­ent) and PhD in phys­ics, astro­nomy, astro­phys­ics
  • know­ledge of sci­entific pro­gram­ming in high-level lan­guage, e. g. IDL, GDL, Java, C++ or Python, and in script lan­guages in UNIX/Win­dows envir­on­ment
  • exper­i­ence in the field of exo­planet research
  • it will be con­sidered bene­fi­cial hav­ing expert­ise in the ana­lysis of high pre­ci­sion pho­to­met­ric time-series of space obser­va­tions, in the mod­el­ling of transit light curves of exo­plan­ets and stel­lar bin­ar­ies, in the mod­el­ling of stel­lar vari­ab­il­ity, the detec­tion meth­ods of trans­it­ing plan­ets, and in the dis­cov­ery of vari­able stars
  • deep interest in numer­ical mod­el­ling, plan­et­ary research
  • abil­ity to work alone as well as in a team in struc­tured way
  • good com­mu­nic­a­tion skills and know­ledge of Eng­lish

More inform­a­tion on the job can be obtained from Claudia Kieschke (

How to ap­ply:

Please send your writ­ten app­lic­a­tion with the ref­er­ence num­ber and the usual doc­u­ments (let­ter of motiv­a­tion, CV, cop­ies of uni­versity degrees and con­tact details for two let­ters of ref­er­ence; a list of suc­cess­ful tele­scope time and research grant applic­a­tions is desir­able) prefer­ably in a single pdf file to or in writ­ing to Tech­nis­che Uni­ver­si­tät Ber­lin - Der Prä­sid­ent - Fak­ultät II, Zen­trum für Astro­nomie und Astro­phy­sik, Frau Prof. Dr. Heike Rauer, Sekr. EW 8-1, Har­den­berg­straße 36, 10623 Ber­lin.

To ensure equal oppor­tu­nit­ies bet­ween women and men, app­li­ca­ti­ons by women with the requi­red qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons are expli­citly desi­red. Qua­li­fied indi­vi­du­als with disa­bi­li­ties will be favo­red.

Please send cop­ies only. Ori­gi­nal docu­ments will not be retur­ned