National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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PhD position in exoplanetary geodynamics


Applications due: 1st January 2018*
Anticipated start date: 2018
Duration:  3.5 years (full time, fully funded)

* This vacancy may close early if sufficient applications are received before this date.


An SNSF funded PhD position is available to study the interior dynamics of Earth-like exoplanets under the guidance of Dr Dan J. Bower at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Motivated by the discovery of Earth-like exoplanets orbiting close to their stars, this project involves developing and using state-of-the-art numerical models to understand the interior dynamics of super-Earths. In particular, the project will apply thermodynamic and transport models of melt within a solid-state convection code to understand how melt dictates the thermochemical evolution of rocky planets and determines the likelihood of plate tectonics. The student will acquire knowledge of multiphysics simulations through numerical modelling techniques, code development, parallel computing, and data analysis and synthesis. The project is complementary to ongoing research efforts at the CSH and hence there is flexibility to lend additional insights to the project, such as linking interior models to observations from the next generation of telescopes.


The successful candidate will have a strong background in a quantitative science or engineering discipline (e.g., physics, astrophysics, geophysics, computer science) and a keen interest in Earth and space science. Competence in written and spoken English is necessary.

The application (in English) should be sent to Dr Dan J. Bower (daniel.bower – at – as a single PDF file. Please compile the following documents:


Salary is set by the SNSF and is approximately 47,000–50,000 CHF per year. The University of Bern offers a competitive benefit package including 5 weeks of holiday per year.

PI: Dr. Dan J. Bower (CSH, University of Bern),

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