National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland
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PhD position: Impact of stellar activity on exoplanet atmospheres

Applications are invited for a research assistant (PhD student) position at the University of Geneva (Department of Astronomy) working with Dr. Monika Lendl on exoplanet atmospheres as part of her SNF Eccellenza research group.
The PhD project will focus on investigating the impact of stellar phenomena on exoplanet atmospheres and on distinguishing stellar and planetary sources of observational variability. The successful candidate will work on data from the CHEOPS and TESS space missions, and join them with complementary ground-based observations. There will be an extensive observational component to the work, with regular observations at the 1.2m Euler telescope located at La Silla observatory (Chile). The student will be involved in data analysis and interpretation, and in the development of new insights about the atmospheres of highly irradiated planets.

Setting: The Geneva Observatory offers one of the most vibrant environments worldwide for exoplanet research. The exoplanet team ( counts over 50 members, currently including 10 faculty members, 12 postdoctoral researchers, 15 PhD students, and 14 project staff members. Research topics include exoplanet detection and characterisation (atmospheres, interiors), planetary system dynamics, and instrumentation. Team members are directly involved in a large number of projects, including photometric instruments (CHEOPS, NGTS, TESS, PLATO), high-resolution spectrographs (ESPRESSO, NIRPS, HARPS and others), direct imaging (SPHERE@VLT) and astrometry (GAIA). The exoplanet team is also part of PlanetS (, a Swiss research network focused on exoplanetary science, which includes 130 scientists from the Universities of Geneva, Bern, Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ). The successful applicant will be able to take advantage of this unique collaborative framework.

The University of Geneva is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.
Start date: is flexible; the position could start as early as June 2021.
Duration: 4 years (the standard duration of a PhD in Switzerland).
Salary: approx. 47,000 CHF/year gross salary, according to rules of the University and Canton of Geneva.
Deadline: Applications received until 28 Feb 2021 will receive full consideration. Later applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
Requirements: A MSc degree in astronomy, astrophysics or related fields. The successful applicant will become part of a vibrant team, making the ability to work in a team a strong asset. Experience in scientific programming and experience with Python will be considered as a plus.
The following application materials should be sent to in a single PDF:


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