Postdoctoral Position in Theoretical Astrophysics

Uppsala University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Postdoctoral position in Theoretical Astrophysics

Published: 2021-03-18

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities. Read more at

Duties/Project description: Evolved stars play a crucial role for the cosmic matter cycle and the origin of life. Critical chemical elements, like carbon, are produced inside luminous cool giant stars, transported to the surface by turbulent gas flows, and ejected into interstellar space by massive outflows of gas and dust. The current knowledge of stellar winds is incomplete, and does not allow us to fully understand their effects on the evolution of stars, and how they enrich their surroundings with newly produced elements and cosmic dust. Project EXWINGS, funded by the European Research Council with an ERC Advanced Grant, aims at a breakthrough in understanding the winds of cool giant and supergiant stars by developing a new type of models: global dynamical star-and-wind-in-a-box simulations, in full 3D geometry. Astronomical instruments with high spatial resolution, which give images of the stellar atmospheres where the winds originate, will allow us to test the new models.

The post-doctoral researcher will work together with Susanne Höfner, Bernd Freytag, and other EXWINGS team members on studying the interplay of dynamical processes in the stellar interior (convection, pulsation) with physical phenomena (shocks, dust formation, emergence of complex structures) in the extended atmosphere, where the stellar wind has its origin. Comparing a new generation of dynamic models for Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) and red supergiant (RSG) stars to state-of-the-art observations, the mechanisms which drive their winds will be explored. More information on project EXWINGS and the stellar winds research group can be found at and

Requirements: To qualify for an employment as a postdoctor you must have a PhD degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in Astronomy or Physics. The PhD degree must have been obtained no more than three years prior to the application deadline. The three year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc. Furthermore, candidates should be fluent in English and have the capacity to work both independently and in collaboration with the team. Applications should include a brief description of research interests and relevant experience, CV, copies of university grades, certificates and diplomas, and contact details for at least one reference person.

Additional qualifications: Practical experience with relevant numerical simulations (gas dynamics, radiative transfer), or with observational techniques (e.g. spectroscopy, interferometry) applied to AGB and RSG stars, will be considered a merit.

Salary: Individual salary.

Starting date: 01-09-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary 2 year position according to central collective agreement.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Susanne Höfner (, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics.

Please submit your application by 17 May 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1015.

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Placement: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/1015

Last application date: 2021-05-17