Smart-X is a European training network that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie action (GA No. 860553).
In this call, Smart-X will recruit one

PhD Student (m/f/d)

to work in the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg under the direction of Angel Rubio.

The focus of this project is the development of a first-principles method for the description of spectroscopies that involved electronic excitations of core levels in solid state systems based on TDDFT (time-dependent density functional theory) and requires both conceptual/theoretical and computational developments. On the computational side, you will be involved in the implemention of a method for the description of core-electrons in the real-space code OCTOPUS, which requires an advanced handling of multi-resolution real space grids. On the theoretical side, you will work towards defining a way to compute observables of core-level excitations and involve correlations to valence electrons and how to extract materials properties from it.

Therefore, we are looking for a candidate who is keen to undertake scientific software development as well as having strong background in solid state physics, preferably including many-body perturbation theory and/or theoretical spectroscopy.

We offer
  • Full-time employment contract for a period of 3 years
  • Salary of 3.000 € and additional funding for participation to workshops, conferences etc.
  • Cross-disciplinary thesis research in a vibrant, international scientific environment
  • Supervision and mentorship by a team of internationally renowned experts
  • State-of-the-art research facilities
  • Additional training opportunities in English (also at other European academic partner facilities)
We are looking for highly motivated applicants with an excellent academic background. Applicants will hold an MSc degree or an equivalent degree in Physics, bring excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience. Furthermore, the applicant will be able to work with a measure of autonomy and a willingness to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment
In addition, some prior experience with one or more of the following is beneficial:
    • Computational modeling of materials and good practice in numerical methods
    • Experience in developing scientific software in the area of electronic-structure theory
    • Electronic structure methods and theories in particular with core-valence excitations and ultrafast processes
    • Ability to adapt, refine or innovate computational tools as needed
    EU eligibility criteria for candidates:
    • The applicant shall be at the time of recruitment in the first four years of his/her research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
    • The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.

      The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

      Applications must be submitted via the online application portal:

      Review of applications and scheduling of interviews will begin on June 19, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.

      Detailed information about the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter can be found at


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