The Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (CAMK PAN), a leading institute of the GeoPlanet Doctoral School, offers the opportunity to carry out graduate studies leading to a PhD degree in astronomy. The PhD studies are related to subjects pursued at CAMK PAN including observational and theoretical astrophysics as well as cosmology. Our senior scientists participate in the H.E.S.S., CTA, and VIRGO/LIGO projects and are involved in instrumental projects concerning the astronomical satellites SPICA, UVSat, and ATHENA. CAMK PAN represents the Polish astronomical community in the SALT consortium which operates an 11-m optical telescope in South Africa. The Center’s scientists are leading participants in the Polish scientific satellite project, BRITE, dedicated to precise stellar brightness measurements, and in the project ARAUCARIA, dedicated to the calibration of the cosmological distance scale. They also operate SOLARIS – a network of southern hemisphere small robotic telescopes committed to stellar astronomy and the search for exoplanets.
Studies last 4 years and begin on October 2, 2023. During the 4-year period, students are required to take specific courses, lectures (including interdisciplinary lectures) and participate in seminars, as well as prepare the doctoral thesis. All seminars and lectures are in English. The regulations of the doctoral school, including the program of the Studies, are posted on the CAMK PAN web page.
Students are based and take their courses in Warsaw or in Toruń according to the location of their supervisors. Students based in Warsaw may apply for accommodation in the hotel run by our Center.
An information about the proposed research topics and their supervisors is attached to this announcement. Candidates can apply for up to two topics, but should indicate the preferred one. Before applying, candidates should contact their potential supervisors to obtain more details on the proposals.
Students in the doctoral school receive a scholarship for the period of 4 years. The amount of scholarship is set in the Law on higher education and science and is 2668 PLN/month, gross, before the mid-term evaluation (years 1–2) and 4110 PLN/month, gross, after the positive mid-term evaluation (years 3–4).
For the application, candidates should provide their complete application documents including:
- The application for admission to the doctoral school together with GDPR statement (following the templates available for download in the online application form; address given below).
- A copy of their master’s/university and bachelor’s degree diplomas. In case master’s degree diploma is not yet available, it must be provided before the candidate is admitted to the school.
- A transcript of grades (Bachelor and Master Courses).
- A Curriculum Vitae including an education and employment records, list of publications, information on involvement in scientific activities – membership in scientific groups/societies, participation in scientific conferences, internships and training, awards and distinctions.
- A letter of motivation containing a short description of the candidate’s interests and scientific achievements, and justification of the intention to undertake education at the Doctoral School.
- English language certificate(s), if available.
All documents should be in the PDF format, including scans, and should be submitted via
by June 2nd, 2023. In the online system, choose “Register” and “Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences”. After giving your consents, you will be able to enter your data and upload your application documents and select a topic. After uploading the documents you should receive an email confirmation.
In addition to application documents given above, at least one recommendation letter should be sent directly by the referee to: firstname.lastname@example.org, before the application deadline (June 2nd).
The Recruitment Board will select candidates for the interview, which will take place on June 12th – June 23rd, 2023 (9 am – 4 pm, CEST). Decisions about admission will be made by the end of mid July 2023 and all the candidates will be notified by e-mail. For additional information contact the coordinator of the doctoral school, Dr. Radosław Smolec (email@example.com) or the Center’s secretary office (Mrs. Katarzyna Morawska, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Warsaw, May 4th, 2023
Attachment: Proposed topics of PhD theses:
Subject: Properties of the densest matter: from microphysical models to multi-messenger observations of neutron stars
Neutron stars are the most compact material objects known. Vast majority of their interior is composed of matter much denser than the one present in atomic nuclei. Conditions, in which this matter exists, are impossible to reproduce and study in terrestrial experiments. Additionally, the dense matter may exhibit exotic properties, i.e. possess exotic particles and/or phases. One of the proposed solutions to this fundamental physics mystery is the deconfinement of quarks, which are constituents of nucleons (protons and neutrons). Each theoretical description of dense matter can be quantified in the form of an equation of state, i.e. the relation between pressure and density of matter, as well as additional parameters. This relation is a starting point to construct macroscopic models of neutron stars. Neutron-star astrophysics aims at recovering the description of the dense matter through the observations of global neutron-star properties, such as stellar masses, radii, tidal deformabilities, moments of inertia etc.
This PhD project aims at studying the behavior of building block of atomic nuclei – nucleons – in order to understand, through theoretical modeling, their properties as objects composed of quarks, specifically to explore their pressure-density properties inside the nuclei, and deconfinement of quarks at high densities present in the cores of neutron stars. These properties will subsequently be used to produce equations of state to predict observable parameters of neutron stars in the multi-messenger perspective: electromagnetic observations, as well as detections of gravitational waves.
Optimal PhD candidates should be familiar with the theoretical methods of constructing dense matter equations of state, and demonstrate knowledge of application of the dense-matter physics in multi-messenger astrophysics of neutron stars.
Subject: Polarized profiles of radio pulsars
Supervisor: Dr hab. Jarosław Dyks (contact: email@example.com)
The radio emission from pulsars is one of the greatest puzzles of contemporaneous astrophysics. The profiles and polarization exhibit striking shapes and mysterious symmetry. We have recently made partial progress in disentangling the enigma: a new model for the apparently-conal profile shape has been formed, cartographic effects in polarization have been recognized, and the coherent transitions between orthogonal polarization modes have been identified. Within the project we will try to interpret the polarized profiles in terms of geometry and physics. The student will perform diverse numerical tests and data modelling. Candidates with good spatial imagination, and keen to learn some plasma physics, are welcome.
Subject: Superfluid neutron stars.
Supervisor: Dr hab. Brynmor Haskell (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Neutron stars are incredibly compact objects, with interior densities that exceed nuclear density, and allow us to study fundamental physics in regimes impossible to achieve in terrestrial experiments. They are also, however, cold objects, and the neutrons in their interior are expected to be superfluid and the protons superconducting. This leads to observable astronomical phenomena, such as glitches in radio pulsars, and may be linked to gravitational wave emission.
This project aims to study superfluid neutron stars numerically by constructing microscopic models of vortex motion in the interior, and using them to derive large scale parameters for hydrodynamical models, that can then be compared to astrophysical observations.
Subject: High energy astrophysics
Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Kluźniak (contact: email@example.com)
Topics in high energy radiation and the astrophysics of compact objects (singularities, black holes, neutron stars), including the structure and emission of accretion disks.