One PhD position on the cosmic evolution of Lithium, starting Sep. 1 2020

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 Corinne.Charbonnel(at) and includes:

  1. a CV (not exceeding 2 pages),
  2. certificates of education including grades and lecture program,
  3. 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 Corinne.Charbonnel(at)

Further inquiries about the position are welcome.

Two PhD positions on the STAREX project, starting fall / end 2020

Applications are invited for 2 PhD student positions in theoretical and computational astrophysics at the Department of astronomy of the University of Geneva to start at the latest on 1rst January 2020. The successful candidates will work within the group of Prof. Georges Meynet in the frame of the ERC advanced Grant project 'Stars at the Extreme' (STAREX) whose aim is to study the first generations of stars (radiative, mechanical and chemical feedbacks).

The potential research projects are along two different lines of research. A first line is focused on the physics of massive stars with a strong emphasis on the nature of the core collapse supernova progenitors of Pop III and very metal poor stars, possible outcome of their core collapse and predictions for the associated radiative outputs and nucleosynthesis (if any). A second line of research will aim at studying the evolution of stellar clusters at very low metallicity, studying the radiative, mechanical and chemical feedback.

The Geneva Observatory and the associated Laboratory of Astrophysics of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) carry out observational, interpretative, and theoretical research in the fields of extra-solar planets, stellar physics, high energy astrophysics, galaxy evolution and dynamics, and observational cosmology, providing a rich and vibrant research environment.

Applications are invited from candidates with a solid background in physics or astronomy and should consist of:

  • a cover letter explaining the motivation for seeking a PhD in theoretical and computational astrophysics and especially the aforementioned research fields,
  • a statement outlining any research experience so far (
  • a CV,
  • and a copy of the Bachelor and Master academic record (exams, theses, and grades).

Candidates should also provide names and e-mail addresses of at least two references. Applications should be sent as a single PDF file to georges.meynet(at)

Complete applications received by 31rst May 2020 will receive full consideration, but the call will remain open until the positions are filled. Preliminary inquiries may be addressed via e-mail to georges.meynet(at)

Included Benefits: 

Generous salary (~50’000-60’000 CHF), standard Swiss social security, accident Insurance, pension contributions, maternal leave and access to family support programs (see: