Deadline to apply: 21st September 2020

The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, Spain), invites applications for ONE PhD candidate to work on topics within the “Illuminating the dark sector of the Universe” ATCAM project (2019-T1/TIC-12702), led by Dr. Violeta Gonzalez-Perez.

The PhD will be developed within the Department of Theoretical Physics at UAM. This department – in which the computational astrophysics and cosmology group is embedded – provides a highly vibrant research environment ranging from particle physics, both theoretical and experimental, nuclear physics, galactic & extra-galactic astrophysics and cosmology. More than 50 scientists work on a variety of topics (in addition to about 30 PhD students).

In this framework, we offer a Ph.D. project to study theoretically how galaxies trace the dark sector within the standard cosmological model. Future cosmological surveys target different types of galaxies that are visible for a large time span, from about a tenth up to half of the age of the Universe (eBOSS, Euclid, DESI). Most of the galaxies targeted by current and future cosmological surveys are either forming stars at a high rate or they harbour a very active black hole. This project will explore how these different types of galaxies trace dark matter and how their evolution can harness the properties of dark energy. This is a very timely subject. The results from this work will support the success of space missions, such as Euclid (to be launch in 2021), and ground telescopes, such as the DESI (to start operating in 2021). Investments of millions of pounds have been made in these and other surveys and missions, such eBOSS, WFIRST, LSST, etc.

This project will involve the development of galaxy models and the analysis of very large data sets, produced in super computing facilities. The Ph.D. candidate is expected to study the properties of those galaxies targeted by cosmological studies with semi-analytical and hydro-dynamical simulations and to quantify the impact that the physics of galaxy formation and evolution has on cosmological probes. Dark matter only N-body simulations will be provided and the PhD candidate will work first on coupling these simulations with a semi-analytical model of galaxy formation and evolution.

The position is essentially theoretical with a strong focus on simulations and models. During the second half of the Ph.D., the candidate is expected to explore the usage of machine learning techniques to produce fast model catalogues of galaxies used as cosmological probes.

The selected Ph.D. candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Violeta Gonzalez-Perez, who has done extensive research on galaxy formation and evolution in a cosmological context. The appointment will be for a period of 3 years and 7 months with a fixed starting date of 1st February 2021.

The gross annual salary is 16147Euros, subject to up to 20% tax and Social Security deductions (depending on the personal situation of the candidate). Medical insurance under the Spanish National Health Service will be provided for the candidate and, if relevant, will also cover spouse or registered partner and children.

Applicants who are not citizens of a country belonging to the European Union are invited to apply for this position, however, if selected, will only be allowed to sign the contract with the UAM after obtaining the compulsory documentation required to live and work in Spain.

Applicants should submit to the attention of Dr. Violeta Gonzalez-Perez ( a single pdf document with a cover letter, a CV, the names of two people that could provide references when requested and a full transcript and completion certificates including grading scale of your undergraduate (Bachelor or equivalent degree) and graduated (Master) studies. Your cover letter should briefly describe your past and current research interests and why you are interested in joining our group. Your CV should include the experience and skills relevant to this position and the overall marks of your studies.

A Master degree in Physics or related area, such as Maths, Computational Science, etc., is required to be considered for this Ph.D. offer.

Applications received before September 21st, 2020 will be given full consideration.

For further information please contact Dr. Violeta Gonzalez-Perez (

We are committed to increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups in our workforce and therefore we encourage applications from such qualified individuals.