PhD position on The cosmic evolution of Lithium

The cosmic evolution of Lithium – A consistent study of the cosmological, solar, galactic, and globular cluster Lithium enigmas

We invite applications for a PhD position at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva (UniGe, Switzerland). The study will be supervised by Prof. Corinne Charbonnel (UniGe) and Dr Nikos Prantzos (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, France).

The project is funded by the Swiss National Foundation (grant 200020_192039, PI C.Charbonnel). In addition to salary, the PhD position includes a budget for travel expenses to attend conferences and make research visits.

The project aims at understanding the cosmic evolution of Lithium-7 (Li) from the Big Bang to the present day, by addressing in a consistent way the four main “Li enigma”: 1) the cosmological Li problem, 2) the solar Li depletion, 3) the presence of Li in multiple stellar populations in globular clusters, 4) the puzzling Li behaviour observed in the Milky Way (thin and thick disk, bulge, halo). The successful candidate will first compute state-of-the-art stellar models accounting for sophisticated magneto-hydrodynamical processes already included in our stellar evolution code to explain the Li behavior in stars of various ages, masses, and metallicities, and to trace back the original Li content of the different Galactic populations, including star clusters. She/he will then use the derived constraints to determine the actual contribution of different Li sources in the Galaxy and in massive star clusters using a state-of-the-art chemical evolution model of the Milky Way. The project is particularly timely as it will fully exploit the many large spectroscopic surveys (e.g. Gaia-ESO, GALAH, AMBRE) that start providing accurate Li abundances for tens of thousands of stars with precise distances and kinematics provided by the Gaia satellite.

Starting date: September 1st, 2020 – Application deadline: June 1st, 2020

Suitable candidates must hold a Master degree or equivalent in Astrophysics or Theoretical Physics. Applicants that do not yet have the degree but are expected to get it by the Summer of 2020 will be considered for the position, on the condition that proof of the degree is provided in due time.

UniGe is an equal opportunity employer which values diversity and particularly encourages women and other under represented groups to apply. The Department of Astronomy of UniGe provides an active and vibrant research environment in all fields of astrophysics (exoplanets, stars, galaxies, cosmology). Normal duration of a PhD thesis at UniGe is 4 years.

A complete application package must be send as a single pdf file to and includes:

  • a CV (not exceeding 2 pages),
  • certificates of education including grades and lecture program,
  • a description of the applicant’s interests in the project and previous research experience (not exceeding 3 pages).

Additionally, two reference letters must be send directly to

Further inquiries about the position are welcome.

posted: 17 April 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.