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Tenure-Track or postdoctoral Scientist in Solar Instrumentation

The Leibniz-Institute for Solar Physics (KIS), Freiburg, Germany, invites applications for a full-time position of a tenure-track or postdoc scientist in solar instrumentation within the department “Observatory and Instrumentation”.

KIS is a foundation under public law of the state of Baden-Württemberg and a member of the Leibniz Association. Its mission is to conduct fundamental astrophysical research with a focus on solar physics. Current research foci are 1) Dynamic solar atmosphere, 2) The Sun among stars, and 3) Instruments, techniques, and data. KIS operates the German solar telescopes at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife (OT), Spain, and the Science Data Center (SDC) in Freiburg, Germany. KIS leads and participates in several EU cooperation projects and contributes advanced instrumentation to the world's largest solar telescope (DKIST, 4m) on Maui, USA.

We are looking for a

tenure-track or postdoc scientist in solar instrumentation (m/f/d)

to work full-time within the department “Observatory and Instrumentation”.

The scientist in solar instrumentation will work in the group “Solar Telescopes” within the department “Observatory and Instrumentation”. The group consists of several (astro)physicists and engineers, working in Freiburg and on Tenerife, on scientific projects as well as the operation, maintenance, and further development of the telescopes and instrumentation.

Tasks of the scientist include:

  • Developing KIS instrumentation (e.g., an imaging spectro-polarimeter with etalons) for the German solar telescopes or other facilities according to KIS cooperation agreements. This includes the specification, design, management and supervision of the manufacturing, testing and commissioning, documentation, etc.
  • Supporting and maintaining the instruments at the German solar telescopes.
  • Carrying out scientific research and publishing results in peer-reviewed papers.
  • Acquiring external funding for supporting research, future projects, and education.
  • Contributing to the training of young scientists and engineers at the institute.
  • Enhancing the scientific exchange by collaborating with peers.
  • Enhancing the public image of the institute by contributing to various outreach activities.


Applicants should have a PhD in physics or astrophysics and at least 2 years of post-doctoral research in solar instrumentation. The required qualifications include: knowledge and experience in optical design (Zemax), knowledge of either etalon-based instruments or spectrographs, experience in scientific data analysis. The desired qualifications include: knowledge of polarimetry, management and organisational skills, constructive team player, experience and training in human resource management. Knowledge in mechanical, electronics or software development would be an asset.

Our offer:

The position is located in Freiburg, Germany. The appointment will be either a full-time postdoc position (3 years) with a possible extension to a tenure track or a tenure track position (5 years) with a possibility for an unlimited contract, depending on qualifications and performance during the initial contract. The salary and benefits are according to the rules for government employees of the State of Baden-Württemberg (TV-L) and German law.

You can expect a challenging and future-oriented field of activity with opportunities for creativity at an innovative and successful research institute. We offer a wide range of development and training opportunities, an open and constructive working atmosphere, and commensurate remuneration including the social benefits customary in the public sector. The KIS strives to promote the compatibility of work and family, flexible, family-friendly working hours, and contributes to the costs of childcare.

Equal opportunity environment is important to us, and we welcome applicants from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in astronomy. We will be particularly pleased to receive applications from women.

The application should include a motivation letter, CV, list of publications, research statement (maximum 4 pages) and names and contact details for 3 references. Please state the earliest possible starting date.

The position is available immediately. Applications will be considered from January 23, 2023, until the position is filled

Applications using the reference “Solar Instrumentation” should be sent as a single pdf file to email: hr@~@leibniz-kis.de

Or in written form to: 

    Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS)
    Schöneckstraße 6
    D-79104 Freiburg
    Keyword: Solar Instrumentation

For questions please contact

Prof. Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, KIS Executive Director, Email: svetlana.berdyugina@~@leibniz-kis.de

Dr. Reiner Volkmer, group “Solar Telescopes”, Email: reiner.volkmer@~@leibniz-kis.de

Dr. Sergio González Manrique, group “Solar Telescopes”, Email: sergio.manrique@~@leibniz-kis.de

General remarks

Full-time positions may generally be split up into two or more part-time positions, provided that there are no formal or legal barriers. Candidates will be selected in accordance with the provisions of the AGG (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - German General Equal Treatment Act).

Applicants with disabilities will be given preferential consideration if they have equal qualifications.