PostDoc - Massive black holes and galaxy evolution (Closed)

Post-doctoral position
Position category: PostDoc
Reference: 2024/04
Duration: Up to 3 years
Application deadline: 2024/02/13
For more info contact the supervisors:
Silvia Bonoli
Lucio Mayer
How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for the above mentioned position. This is a unique opportunity for junior researchers with a recent PhD degree in Physics or related fields to join one of DIPC’s high-profile research teams.

The role

The Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) is accepting applications for one postdoctoral position in the topic of massive black holes and galaxy evolution in collaboration with the newly born Department of Astrophysics at the University of Zurich.

Desired background & competences

Candidates with expertise in the modeling of galaxy evolution and/or the formation and growth of massive black holes are particularly encouraged to apply.

Working conditions

  • Contract duration: 2 years (possibility to extend to a third year)
  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2024/10/01

We provide a highly stimulating research environment, and unique professional career development opportunities.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The center

DIPC is a research center whose mission is to perform and catalyze cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines, as well as to convey scientific culture to society. Located in Donostia / San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain), DIPC was born from a strategic alliance of both public institutions and private companies. Since 2008 DIPC is a 'Basque Excellence Research Center' (BERC) recognized by the Basque Government's Department of Education. In 2019, DIPC was also recognized as a "Severo Ochoa" Excellence Center by the Spanish Research Agency.

About the team

The successful applicant will work together with Prof. Silvia Bonoli at the DIPC and Prof. Lucio Mayer at the University of Zurich.

The DIPC is a research institute located in Donostia/San Sebastian, a beautiful mid-sized city on the coast of the Spanish Basque Country. The Astrophysics & Cosmology group currently consists of 4 staff members, Prof. Raul Angulo, Prof. Nate Bastian, Prof. Silvia Bonoli and Prof. George Smoot; 6 postdocs and 8 PhD students. The group’s research includes numerical simulations of structure formation and galaxy evolution (dark matter/hydrodynamical/semi-analytical), large galaxy surveys and the physics of globular clusters. The group is involved in the Euclid, the Athena and the LISA missions and the J-PAS and the WEAVE-QSO surveys. The postdoc will also have access to the DIPC supercomputing center and will have the possibility to supervise/co-supervise master and PhD students.

The Department for Astrophysics in Zurich, under the direction of Prof. Lucio Mayer, hosts several strong groups specializing in computational astrophysics and computational cosmology/galaxy formation, as well on theoretical exploration of astrophysical black holes and gravitational wave sources (especially the groups of Prof. Mayer, Prof. Robert Fedmann, Prof. Joachim Stadel and Prof. Aurel Schneider). The postdoc will have access to the top-notch supercomputing facilities of the Department, which include rolling allocations of several million node hours at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS). The Department leads or co-leads various swiss-wide funded initiatives such as the Swiss SKA Consortium (SKACH), the SPH-EXA PASC project to develop Exascale-ready simulation codes, and a national network on black holes as gravitational wave sources (GWlearn), all involving collaborations with computer scientists and data scientists, and with other groups at ETH Zurich, the University of Basel and the University of Geneva. The postdoc will have a privileged entry point to these various networks and collaborations. The Department also has a strong presence in the Euclid and LISA Consortia, and in the new NASA-ESA ARRAKIHS mission for Near-Field Cosmology.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit:

  • An updated CV and a brief statement of interests and goals (maximum 3 pages)
  • A publication list
  • 3 reference letters

The reference of the specific opening to which the candidate is applying should be stated in the subject line, and the application must be received before the application deadline.

Although candidates are welcome to contact the project supervisors to know further details about the proposed research activity, please be aware that the application will be evaluated only if it is submitted directly to the email address listed below as application email.

Selection process

Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a Committee designed by the DIPC board on the basis of the following criteria:

  • CV of the candidate (40%)
  • Adequacy of the candidate’s scientific background to the project (40%)
  • Reference letters (10%)
  • Other: Diversity in gender, race, nationality, etc. (10%)

Evaluation results will be communicated to the candidates soon after. Positions will only be filled if qualified candidates are found.

The DIPC may revoke its decision if the candidate fails to join by the appointed time, in which case the position will be awarded to the candidate with the next highest score, provided it is above 50 (out of 100).

However, the selected candidate may keep the position if, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, the candidate duly justifies the reasons why he or she cannot join before the specified deadline, and as long as the project allows it.


This project has received funding from the Spanish Government grant program "Proyectos de «GENERACIÓN DE CONOCIMIENTO», del Programa Estatal para Impulsar la Investigación Científico-Técnica y su Transferencia, en el marco del Plan Estatal de Investigación científica,técnica y de Innovación 2021-2023" under grant number PID2021-124243NB-C21 funded by  MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and by FEDER “Una manera de hacer Europa"





The resolution of this opening has been already published. You can download it here.