PhD position

Experiments Simulating Volatile Related Regolith Properties

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


according to German TVöD 13

Type of employment


Your mission:

A PhD position is available within the framework of the DLR junior research group in the Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof.

The DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof explores the origin, evolution and development of planets, their moons, asteroids and comets of our Solar System and other planetary systems. Using spacecraft and earth-based remote sensing techniques, laboratory experiments, in-situ investigations and numerical modelling, the institute is well established within the national and international research community and industry.

Recent space missions including the Rosetta and Dawn missions gathered abundant high resolution image and spectral data of asteroids and comets. These data provide valuable information on the morphologies and composition related to sublimation and out-gassing of volatiles. The active processes and distribution of ices on asteroids and comets are of particular interest to understand the distribution of water and other volatiles in our Solar System.

The DLR junior research group conducts an interdisciplinary approach including cartographic preparations, geologic analysis of remote sensing data of space missions as well as experimental and numerical simulations to analyse various surface features related to volatile content on asteroids and comets.

We are looking for a highly motivated student to work on the implementation and interpretation of experiments simulating volatile related regolith properties and processes on asteroids and comets. The experimental results will be correlated with image/spectral data of space missions including the Rosetta and Dawn missions. The laboratory work will be done in close collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Bern and at other laboratories and may include short research stays.

Interested candidates should send a letter of motivation summarizing their qualifications, research interests and objectives, a complete CV, grade transcripts/diplomas, and 1-2 letters of recommendation.

Your weekly working time is 19,25 hours

Your qualifications:

  • Master/diploma or equivalent degree in experimental physics, geoscience or closely related field
  • strong interest in planetary science, space mission remote sensing data, experimental physics and geoscience
  • ideally profound scientific knowledge of asteroids and comets
  • experience with experimental vacuum techniques is desirable
  • ideally experience with spectral and image data analysis of space missions
  • excellent analytical skills
  • good programming skills, preferably with experience in image processing
  • ability to work in a structured way both, independently and as part of a team
  • very good communication skills in English

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Reconciling family and working life as well as equal opportunities for women and men are an integral part of our HR policy. We therefore strongly encourage applications from women. Disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

Technical contact

PhD Katharina Otto
Planetary Research

Phone: +49 30 67055-587

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Vacancy 07466

HR department Berlin

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DLR site Berlin

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DLR Institute of Planetary Research

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