Department of Earth Science – Institute of Geological Sciences

Research assistant (Postdoc) (m/f/d)

full-time job, limited to 18 months
pay group: 13 TV-L FU
reference code: SPP1992-NO2022

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has established the Priority Programme “Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets” (SPP 1992).

To understand the diversity and complexity of exoplanets requires combined efforts across disciplines, linking observational planet detection and characterization to theory. Science areas addressed in this SPP therefore include:

  • the detection of exoplanets and observational characterization of their properties (e. g. orbit, mass, radius, atmosphere); and
  • the understanding of exoplanet properties and diversity in terms of atmospheres, planetary interiors, habitability, formation and evolution processes.

The planned position is offered at the Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Geological Sciences, in Berlin, Germany.

Job description:

We are seeking applicants at post-doc level for a position in project “EXO-HEAT – Interior Heating of Exoplanets“ (led by Prof. Dr. Lena Noack). The project will provide the knowledge to statistically assess the geophysical and astrophysical factors for a rocky planet’s interior thermal evolution based on the combination of currently available observable parameters. Such constraints include the chemistry of the star (hinting at possible exoplanets compositions incl. radiogenic heat sources), orbital interactions with the star and other bodies in the system leading to tidal heating, magnetic induction heating from the star, and geophysical properties such as planet mass and density. Specifically, the applicant will enhance an already existing 2D thermal evolution code for silicate mantles to include treatment of local magma ponds or magma oceans of strongly heated rocky exoplanets, and investigate how different heating sources dampen or amplify each other.


Completed doctoral degree in Geosciences or a related discipline by the time of employment


  • Excellent academic record and doctorate / PhD thesis
  • Good programming skills (ideally in Python and Fortran)
  • Experience in geophysical or geodynamical modelling, especially with mantle convection codes
  • Very good English language skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • Interest in (co-)supervising students

Ms. Prof. Dr. Lena Noack ( / +49 30 838 636 94).

Applications should be sent by e-mail, together with significant documents, indicating the reference code, in PDF format (preferably as one document) no later than September 5th, 2022 toMs. Prof. Dr. Lena Noack:

Freie Universität Berlin
Department of Earth Science 
Institute of Geological Sciences
Ms. Prof. Dr. Lena Noack
Malteserstr. 74-100
House D, 12249 Berlin (Lankwitz)

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Freie Universität Berlin is an equal opportunity employer.

Freie Universität Berlin is an equal opportunity employer.