Sujet de thèse :

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD position in the research group of Dr. Melanie Schnell at the Max Planck Insitute for the Structure and Dynamic of Matter in Hamburg, starting this summer.

The goal of the ERC-funded research program, Astrorot, is to significantly advance the knowledge of astrochemistry by exploring the molecular complexity of the interstellar medium. We will do this by discovering new molecules, molecular classes, and key chemical processes in space. So far, mostly physical reasons have been investigated for the observed variations in molecular abundances for different sources, but we propose to study the influence of chemistry on the molecular composition of the universe by combining high-quality laboratory spectroscopy and telescope observations. The abundance of data from array telescopes provides new and complex observations of rotational molecular emission, leading to an urgent need for rotational spectroscopic data of exotic molecules. We will use newly developed broadband rotational spectrometers with the cold conditions of a molecular jet and the higher temperatures of a waveguide to mimic different interstellar conditions. Their key advantages are accurate transition intensities, tremendously reduced measurement times, and unique mixture compatibility.

The ideal candidate will hold (or expect to hold) a good Master’s degree in chemistry or physics and have interest in molecular spectroscopy. A solid background in physical and quantum chemistry or molecular physics is required. Experience in molecular spectroscopy, programming, and/or astophysics/astrochemistry is appreciated.

The successful candidate will join a young, international team working at the interface between chemistry and physics. Prospective candidates should contact Dr. Melanie Schnell for information by email ( with a CV and a cover letter as well as names for referees.

More information on the group activities can be found on the website (which is unfortunately still under construction, my apologies for that):

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Melanie Schnell
Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie;
Center for Free Electron Laser Science;
The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging of the Universität Hamburg

Luruper Chaussee 149
Building 99
D-22761 Hamburg

Tel.: +49-40-8998 6240