PhD studentship at the Institute of Planetary Research – DLR (Germany)

PhD open position to work on constraining the Love number k2, h2 of exoplanets @ The Institute of Planetary Research (DLR)

The Institute of Planetary Research, which is part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), is advertising a paid PhD studentship, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The position is to work in Berlin on the Love-numbers of exoplanets and brown dwarfs, especially to find observational constraints from light curves, TTVs and radial velocities.

Starting date: 1 July 2021.
Applications until: 10 May 2021
Where: Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstraße 2 12489 (Berlin)
Duration of the contract: 3 year (part-time employment)
Salary: in accordance to the German civil service tariff up to TVöD 13


Matter Under Planetary Interior Conditions (High Pressure, Planetary, and Plasma Physics) is a Research Unit located in Rostock, Hamburg, Bayreuth and Berlin (Germany) and funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.
The scope of the Research Unit is aiming at an improved knowledge of the composition and interior structure of planetary interiors through an interdisciplinary approach, involving experiments, theory and modeling activities.
Here, the focus of this PhD work will be on the construction of combined numerical light curve and radial velocity modeling code to measure the polar flattening as well as eccentricity and orbital precession of exoplanets. The results quantity can then be used to give constraints on the Love-number of the exoplanet. The code can be applied to observational data of archive data and of ongoing future satellite missions such as CoRoT, Kepler, K2, TESS, CHEOPS, JWST and PLATO, too. The Research Unit as a whole, will give a particular emphasis on the derivation of scaling laws for exoplanets, relating mass, radius, thermal state, and equilibrium shape as induced by rotational and tidal distortions to each other.
Within the department of Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres, you will work primarily together with Szilárd Csizmadia, but, of course, you will be in contact with all department members.

Profile’s requirements 

Physicist, Astrophysicist or similar (f/m/x) with the following qualifications:

  • Diplom or Master degree in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, or similar field
  • knowledge of scientific programming in high-level language, e. g. IDL, GDL, Java, C++ or Python, and in script languages in UNIX/Windows environment
  • expertise in one of the following fields: high precision light curve of space observations and in modelling of transit light curves of exoplanets or binaries, or in planning, data reduction, analysis and modelling of high precision radial velocity data; expertise in modelling stellar activity is beneficial
  • deep interest in numerical modelling, planetary research and mathematics
  • availability to business trips
  • ability to work alone as well as in a team in a structured way
  • good knowledge of English, excellent communication skills, including ability to write in English
  • For non-native German speakers, the knowledge of German is an advantage

How to apply 

The application must be done online by the link reported in the Job Offer published on the DLR website.


More information can be found in the Job Announcement.
For further information about the position and planned activities, please contact Dr Szilard Csizmadia (