2 Postdoctoral positions Theory of massive star formation and evolution


Offered by:

University of Amsterdam

Research / Academic


The Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) at the University of Amsterdam advertises two 3-year postdoctoral fellowships on the theory of massive star formation, evolution and fate. The candidates will be part of the research group of Prof. Alex de Koter.

One researcher should be experienced in radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of massive star formation. The goal is to model aspects of the assembly of massive stars and the evolution of their disks. Such disks are expected to be massive and are likely prone to instabilities that may lead to the formation of companions. Feedback effects from the forming central object (and possibly from companions) will be studied as they may have an impact on the final accumulated masses of the system components, and disk structure and evolution. Ultimately, we aim to confront such simulations to observational constraints on the outcome of massive star formation (such as multiplicity properties) and signatures of remnant disks around young massive objects – topics in which our groups at API are specialized. This project will be executed in close collaboration with Dr Rolf Kuiper (University of Tübingen), a leading expert in radiation hydrodynamics.

The other researcher should have experience in performing simulations of massive star evolution with MESA or other similar codes. The goal is to model the evolution of massive stars in low-metallicity environments, up to core collapse. These predictions will be confronted to ongoing and planned projects studying the massive star populations in Local Group dwarf galaxies. Specifically, we want to scrutinize the evolution of such populations in the central cluster of the 30 Doradus region in the LMC, R136a, which hosts the most massive stars known, and in the relatively unexplored dwarf galaxy Sextans A of which the metallicity is only ~ 1/15th of solar. Among others, this will constrain the evolutionary state of these stars, may reveal sources that are on track to becoming Ibc and pair-instability supernovae and answer the question whether chemically homogeneous evolution occurs in nature.  A candidate that is also experienced in simulations of binary evolution would be valued.


  • PhD degree in astronomy (or equivalent)

Salary Benefits:

The appointment is intended for an initial period of 2 years, with renewal for a 3rd year contingent upon satisfactory progress.

The salary will be in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel, and will range from €2,640 to €4,166 (salary scale 10) gross per month. This is excl. 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The  Collective Labour Agreement (cao) for Dutch universities is applicable and includes full social benefits.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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