National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | 3012 Bern | Switzerland
  +41 31 684 32 39

PhD position – study the atmospheres of exoplanets

An SNSF funded PhD position (4 years duration) is available to study the atmospheres of exoplanets under the guidance of Dr. Graham K.H. Lee at the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH), University of Bern in Switzerland.

With the onset of launch of JWST, astronomers are set to revolutionise our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres.
Motivated in concert with this observational effort, modelling and simulation of exoplanet atmospheres are required to be further developed in order to build physical pictures of the observational data.
In this project you will investigate the 3D nature of exoplanet atmospheres by utilising and developing state-of-the art atmospheric models, and unveiling how the 3D nature of exoplanets affects the physical interpretation of observational data.

You will focus on developing understanding of exoplanet atmospheres in several general topics, dependent on your interests:
(1) Examining the 3D dynamics of exoplanets and their interactions with local thermochemical environments using global circulation models (GCMs).
(2) Modelling detailed radiative-transfer and photon microphysics using the Monte Carlo Radiative-Transfer (MCRT) method.
(3) Examining the formation of clouds and their impact on atmospheric properties using microphysical cloud formation models.

This project is also highly complementary to ongoing scientific research and expertise at CSH, in particular the use of graphical processing units (GPUs) to greatly increase the efficiency of time consuming simulations.

The successful candidate will have a background in a quantitative science or engineering discipline and a keen interest in exoplanet and planetary science.
This position requires a Masters level degree (e.g. MPhys or MSc degree) or equivalent at the time of employment.
Competence in written and spoken English is necessary.

The application (in English) should be sent to Dr. Graham K.H. Lee (graham.lee – at – as a single PDF file.
Please compile the following documents:

(1) Curriculum Vitae (CV)
(2) Motivation letter (1 page max.)
(3) Research statement (inc. research interests, experience & relevant skill sets) (2 pages max.)
(4) Academic transcript(s)
(5) Contact details of 2 referees

Salary: 47,040 CHF (51,500 USD) to 50,040 CHF (54,700 USD) per annum.
Application deadline: 1st November 2020
Start date: Latest March 2021

Attention to: Dr. Graham K.H. Lee
Institution/Company: CSH, University of Bern
Department Name: Center for Space and Habitability
Street Line 1: Gesellschaftsstrasse 6
Zip/Postal Code:  3012 Bern
Country: Switzerland
Email: graham.lee–at–

Categories: Archive of previous job ads (do not apply)

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