PhD sudent

We are looking for a PhD student to join our new research group "Exploring the Landscape of String Theory Flux Vacua using Exceptional Field Theory" in autumn 2020. The research project will investigate string compactifications containing fluxes and the role they play in string phenomenology and the AdS/CFT correspondence. This research sits at the intersection of physics and mathematics and combines various topics from string theory, supergravity and mathematical physics. Our independent research group is embedded in Prof. Plefka's group "Quantum Field Theory and String Theory", which also contains Dr. Hohm's group "Symmetries and Cosmology" and Dr. Forini's group "Quantum Strings and Gauge Fields at arbitrary coupling". Moreover, we have close ties to Prof. Staudacher's group "Mathematical Physics of Space, Time and Matter" and Dr. van Tongeren's group "Exact Results in Extended Holography" at Humboldt University, as well as Prof. Nicolai's group "Exceptional Quantum Gravity" at the nearby Albert Einstein Institute Potsdam. You will thus be joining a lively research community of experts working on related topics.

As part of the research project, you will be working closely with the group leader, Emanuel Malek. A postdoc and another PhD student, working on closely related projects, are expected to join our research group in 2021. Depending on funding outcomes, a second postdoc may join the group during your PhD studies.

The PhD position is for three years, with a salary based on a 65% position on the TV-L E13 scale. The PhD student will be a member of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) run jointly by the Albert Einstein Institute Potsdam, Humboldt University Berlin and University of Potsdam, which includes advanced lecture courses and transferable skills seminars. There are no fixed teaching duties, but arrangements can be made in case of interest.

We are looking for a motivated candidate with:

  • a master's degree or equivalent in physics, obtained before the start date of the PhD position,
  • a good grasp of general relativity and group theory,
  • ideally, knowledge of string theory and/or supergravity, quantum field theory, and group theory,
  • the ability to communicate clearly, both written and verbally, in English.

The application process will involve screening of initial applications, possibly followed by online interviews. The application deadline is 8th May.

To apply for this position please send the following in an e-mail with subject "Application PhD position 2020 - [your name]" to :

  • a brief cover letter indicating your research interests and how you match the requirements set out above,
  • your CV,
  • grade transcript(s),
  • if possible, a copy of your master’s thesis.

Please arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent separately to , with subject line "Recommendation Letter PhD position 2020 - [your name]".

If you have any questions, please contact the research group leader, Emanuel Malek, at .


There are also a number of prestigious postdoctoral fellowships which you can apply for to work in our research group, such as:

If you are interested, please contact the research group leader, Emanuel Malek, at who is able to help with the application process.