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Research Associate/PhD-Student (m/f/x) Cutting Edge Method Developments in Radio Astronomy

Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden)
E 13 TV-L
Closing date
1 Aug 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

The German Center for Astrophysics (DZA) is a new research center in Lusatia, Saxony, that is currently being established. The decision to create the center was made on 29.09.2022 as part of the competition "Science Creating Prospects for the Region!", which was launched by the Federal Government, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Free State of Saxony and the Land of Saxony-Anhalt as part of the Act on Structural Change in Coal Mining Areas (Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen, StStG) to strengthen Germany's position as a leading location for science and innovation as well as the economic development of the regions affected by the coal phase-out. As a globally visible sign of innovation, the DZA will create new opportunities for strategic leadership roles of German astrophysics and have a lasting impact on structural change in Lusatia. A three-year start-up phase began in 2023 with the aim of establishing the DZA as an independent institution in 2025. The start-up phase is being jointly organized by TUD Dresden University of Technology and the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY). There is a unique opportunity to actively contribute to the establishment of a large research center and to become involved in shaping the future structures. For TUD and DZA diversity is an essential feature and a quality criterion of an excellent university. Accordingly, we welcome all applicants who would like to commit themselves, their achievements and productivity to the success of the whole institution.

As part of the development of the DZA, several positions are to be filled in Görlitz and/or Dresden as

Research Associate / PhD-Student (m/f/x)
within Pilot Team for Cutting Edge Method Developments in Radio Astronomy
(subject to personal qualification employees are remunerated according to salary group E 13 TV-L)

starting at the earliest possible date. The positions are limited until December 31, 2025 with the option for extension/permanence. The period of employment is governed by the Fixed Term Research Contracts Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG). Balancing family and career is an important issue. The position is generally suitable for candidates seeking part-time employment. Please indicate the request in your application.

Tasks: Within the project to build up the German Centre for Astrophysics (DZA) in Görlitz we are seeking several software developers, radio astronomers with an interest in algorithms, data scientists and mathematically oriented method developers with an interest in radio astronomy, and a project manager with a radio astronomical background. These will form a development team for radio astronomical data processing for the next generation of radio interferometric telescopes that are planned or are under construction at various locations on this planet. The pilot team is envisaged to consist of about ten astronomers, data scientists, mathematicians, software engineers, and project coordinators at various early career stages (PhD students, initial and advanced postdoctoral researchers) and will be embedded in a vibrant national and international community including collaboration work and conference visits. The pilot team will develop:

  1. infrastructure for the handling of large radio astronomical data sets in various supercomputer environments (CPU/GPU clusters, in-memory-computing) and user interfaces for the astronomers to interact with this (Please address any technical queries to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nagel,
  2. fast, FPGA based methods to detect transient astrophysical signals and trigger their subsequent analysis (Please address any technical queries to Prof. Dr. Diana Goehringer,
  3. a radio camera, an integrated software that performs radio interferometric correlations, detects and separates transient signals, calibrates and self-calibrates the instrument and ionosphere, and is interfaced to traditional and Bayesian imaging methods (Please address any technical queries to PD Dr. Torsten Enßlin,

Team members should ideally have several of the following qualifications:

  • knowledge of radio interferometry, its measurement equation, the available software packages, and/or its technical challenges
  • ability to process interferometer data (calibrating, imaging, pipelining)
  • good command of Bayesian probability theory, signal processing, information field theory, machine learning, and/or excellent mathematical skills
  • good command of informatics and/or programming, in particular in C, C++, Python, JAX, CUDA, hardware description languages (e. g. VHDL), high performance computing, for GPUs and/or FPGAs
  • professional experience in operating computer cluster or HPC facility
  • ability to work and take responsibilities in local, national, and international teams.


  • completed university degree (e. g. Master or equivalent) in physics, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering or related subjects
  • relevant experience or profound knowledge in the areas of radio astronomy, data science, computer science, programming, mathematics, machine learning, or project coordination
  • resilience, flexibility and adaptability in an evolving organization
  • willing to travel for business purposes
  • business fluent in English.
  • Desirable are several of the qualifications mentioned above.

What we offer you:

  • the chance to contribute to the development of the largest research center for astrophysics in Germany
  • the opportunity to play an active role in shaping structural change in Upper Lusatia
  • the opportunity to establish the personnel requirements to support the discovery of groundbreaking research results and to contribute to the realization of research projects
  • a dynamic, committed, international and interdisciplinary environment with renowned experts from science and industry
  • remuneration according to TV-L, as well as conditions and social benefits of the public sector
  • compatibility of family and career
  • the possibility of a permanent employment contract after the start-up phase.

The positions are aimed to be filled starting October 2024, but other starting dates are possible. As the DZA is currently in a preparation phase and therefore has only project status, the initial contracts will only be until the end 2025. A prolongation of the contracts is envisioned, but has to wait for the DZA to be formally funded.

TUD and DZA strive to employ more women in academia and research. We therefore expressly encourage women to apply. The University is a certified family-friendly university and offers a Dual Career Service. We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities. If multiple candidates prove to be equally qualified, those with disabilities or with equivalent status pursuant to the German Social Code IX (SGB IX) will receive priority for employment.

Please submit your detailed application with the usual documents quoting the job reference
by August 1, 2024 (stamped arrival date or the time stamp on the email server of TUD applies), preferably via the TUD SecureMail Portal by sending it as a single pdf file to or to: Deutsches Zentrum für Astrophysik (DZA), Frau Maria Haupt, Postplatz 1, 02826 Görlitz, Germany. Please submit copies only, as your application will not be returned to you. Expenses incurred in attending interviews cannot be reimbursed.


Reference to data protection: Your data protection rights, the purpose for which your data will be processed, as well as further information about data protection is available to you on the website:


TU Dresden

Excellence – A matter close to our hearts

Excellence? Elitism? Opportunity or risk? The Excellence Programme, initially launched in 2005 by the German government has aroused passionate debate right from the start and still has the potential to polarise opinion.

TU Dresden (TUD) looks at it this way: excellence is all about performance and having the right attitude. For everyone here at TU Dresden – one of eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany since 2012 – it is also a matter very close to our hearts. Firstly because of the extra motivation and impetus generated, and secondly, because of the way we handle this role.

Our vision for the future can be summed up as follows: “Let us become one of the leading centres for research and teaching, with our own individual character and a special talent for networking, able to attract the best minds in Germany and from further afield.” After all, it is a well-known fact that excellence in research and teaching presupposes excellent conditions. Or, to put it figuratively, for excellent crop yields, you need the right soil and weather.

TU Dresden is a comprehensive university with 18 faculties and works in close collaboration with its top performers: three Clusters of Excellence, including the “Centre for Tactile Internet” (CeTI), the Cluster “Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter” (ct.qmat) and the Cluster “Physics of Life” (PoL). The guiding principle here is that strong individual elements become even stronger when they work together.

The vision for the future takes this principle beyond the confines of the university: with the research network DRESDEN-concept (Dresden Research and Education Synergies for the Development of Excellence and Novelty), TU Dresden has been creating an alliance of research and cultural facilities in the city, an “excellent playground for excellent people”. This bond is unique in Germany and has evolved over many years. It is not necessary to create anything new here, as it is simply a matter of building further storeys on top of an already solid structure. The measures envisaged as part of the DRESDEN-concept contribute to the overall development of TU Dresden and form an integral part of the university strategy.

Excellence is understood and practised in Dresden as an opportunity for the entire university, and in this spirit, TU Dresden takes those measures that lead to excellence – by the university, for the university – in cooperation with colleagues here and all over the world. But at the same time neither elitist nor exclusive. TUD’s excellence comes from the heart – from and for our about 32,400 students, 600 professors and about 8,400 members of staff. In this way, excellence becomes the basis, the objective, the approach and the driving force. And that’s why being a top performer can also be so rewarding and enjoyable.

Campus Image © Nils Eisfeld

Company info
01069 Dresden

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