We invite applications for PhD fellowships established in the framework of a newly installed Research Unit entitled "Magnetisation of Interstellar and Intergalactic Media: The Prospects of Low-Frequency Radio Observations". This Research Unit is funded by the German Research Council (DFG). Coordinated by the University of Bonn, it comprises eight astronomical institutes in Germany. Its focus will be on magnetic fields in the interstellar and intergalactic medium that will be explored via radio observations with LOFAR. These observations, supplemented and supported by magnetohydrodynamical simulations, will cover the magneto-ionic media in the Milky Way, in nearby galaxies, in galaxy clusters as well as on scales of cosmic filaments. The participating institutes are the astronomical institutes of the universities in Bonn, Bochum, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, Jacobs University Bremen, Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics Garching, Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy Bonn, and the Thuringian state observatory in Tautenburg.

We seek candidates interested in the structure and the orgin of cosmic magnetic fields and offer fellowships for both, observational and theoretical projects. The observational projects focus on radio observations and their calibration, data reduction, analysis and interpretation. The theoretical projects are concerned with the galactic dynamo or MHD flows in galaxy clusters. While the candidates will be located at one of the eight participating institutes, there is generous funding for travel and exchange between the participating institutes of the Research Unit, as well as for training schools, workshops and conferences.

Interested candidates are invited to submit an application including a CV, copies of university degrees/records via e-mail (all documents in pdf format) to, until 1 March 2010. They should also arrange for two letters of recommendation, to be sent to the same address via e-mail. Candidates should give an indication of whether they are mainly interested in observational or theoretical work. The salary for the PhD positions is based on the German federal public service scale (E13 TV-L/2).

The participating institutes are equal-opportunity employers and particularly welcome applications from women, disabled persons and minorities.

Postdoctoral Fellowship for Polarization Commissioning and Pilot Observations with the LOFAR Radio Telescope

LOFAR is a novel digital telescope for low-frequency radio astronomy presently under construction by ASTRON (Netherlands) and international partners which will extend over Europe. The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the leading institute for radio astronomy in Germany, operates the first international LOFAR station, next to the100 m Effelsberg telescope located 40 km south of Bonn. The MPIfR leads the LOFAR Key Science Project on “Cosmic Magnetism” and is responsible for preparing LOFAR for polarization observations.The German Research foundation DFG is funding a Research Network between 8 German institutes for LOFAR observations and simulations of magnetic fields in the Milky Way, nearby galaxies, galaxy groups, and galaxy clusters. We seek candidates for a postdoctoral position to plan, perform, and analyze commissioning observations for polarization with LOFAR. The successful applicant should also train and supervise Ph.D. students of the Research Network, organize workshops, and run scientific projects.

The applicant should have extensive experience with reducing, calibrating, and analyzing radio-interferometric data, preferably at low frequencies. Experience with polarized data and polarization properties of radio telescopes is desired. Experience with Python and C++ and in graduate student education would be beneficial. Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree in astronomy or a related field.

A starting date in March 2010, but not later than May 2010 is preferred. The position is initially limited to three years.

The Max Planck Society wants to raise the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore especially encouraged to apply.

Payment and social benefits are based on the regulations of the German TVöD.

The Max Planck Society also wishes to employ more severely challenged persons, whose applications are also encouraged.

Candidates should send their application until 1 Feb 2010 (indicating the number 917/2009) including all usual documents (CV, certificates of Degrees, and further qualifications) and the names of three referees by email to, or by mail to:

Max-Planck-Institut for Radioastronomy
c/o Dr. Rainer Beck
Auf dem Hügel 69
53121 Bonn