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Job advertisement PhD Positions in Planetary Science

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European Geosciences Union

PhD Positions in Planetary Science

PhD Positions in Planetary Science

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany logo

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany

The cosmic neighborhood of the Earth is the central topic of the research at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research: the solar system with its planets, moons and diverse small bodies like comets and asteroids, and, of course, the Sun. Based on numerical simulations and novel measurement techniques the researchers probe the deep interior of our star and investigate its gaseous envelope, the solar magnet field and high-energy particles emitted by the Sun into space. Likewise they examine the surface and the interior of the planets as well as their magnetospheres, rings and moons. Further research areas comprise comets, asteroids and planetoids. The researchers develop physical models in order to specify the crucial processes, and evaluate them in numerical simulations. In addition the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is involved with scientific instruments in numerous missions of international space agencies.


Göttingen, Germany


Relevant divisions
Planetary and Solar System Sciences (PS)
Seismology (SM)
Solar-Terrestrial Sciences (ST)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship

Doctoral support contract: see

Required education

Application deadline
1 November 2021

1 October 2021

Job description

The Solar System School invites applications for PhD positions in Solar System Science. Review of applications will begin on 1 November 2021.

The International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen (Solar System School) offers a research-oriented doctoral programme covering the physical aspects of Solar system science. It is jointly run by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the University of Göttingen.

Research at the MPS covers three main areas:

Solar System School students collaborate with leading scientists in these fields and graduates are awarded a doctoral degree from the renowned University of Göttingen or, if they choose, another university.

The Solar System School is open to students from all countries and offers an international three-year PhD program in an exceptional research environment with state-of-the-art facilities on the Göttingen Campus. Successful applicants will be offered a three-year doctoral support contract as well as postdoc wrap-up funding.

The language of the structured graduate program is English, with complimentary German language courses offered (optional). The program includes an inspiring curriculum of scientific lectures and seminars as well as advanced training workshops and provides relocation costs and travel funds to attend international conferences.

Applicants to the Solar System School should have a keen interest in Solar system science and a record of academic excellence. They must have, or must be about to obtain, an MSc degree or equivalent in physics, earth sciences or a related field, including a written Masters thesis, and must document a good command of the English language.

Review of applications for a starting date of September 2022 will begin on 1 November 2021, but other starting times are also negotiable. The positions are awarded on a competitive basis.

How to apply

Applicants must submit the following documents through the online application portal between 1 September and 1 November 2021:

  • an application form to be filled online, including two short texts describing the applicant’s scientific interests and their motivation to apply for PhD projects in the Solar System School, along with the applicant’s choice of up to three PhD projects;
  • a curriculum vitae in pdf format;
  • degree certificates and full transcripts of all academic records: i.e. scanned copies of BSc and MSc degree certificates (or equivalent), and lists of all courses with credits and grades issued by the respective school or university, with English or German translations;
  • certificate to prove proficiency in the English language, for candidates whose native language is not English or German (e.g. transcript of TOEFL / IELTS scores or equivalent);
  • contact details for two or three academic referees who have been contacted by the applicant and who have agreed to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. The referees will subsequently be contacted by the School and will be asked to submit their letters through the online portal no later than 10 November 2021.

It is highly recommended to also submit

  • GRE Physics test scores or equivalent for candidates who have obtained their Master’s degree at a university outside of Europe.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of individuals of underrepresented genders and therefore explicitly encourages individuals of underrepresented genders to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with severe disabilities. Applications from individuals with severe disabilities are explicitely encouraged.

To apply, please

For further information, please see the list of Open Projects and see the answers to Frequently Asked Questions and direct any further inquiries to the IMPRS scientific coordinator, Dr. Sonja Schuh, at