Research Groups

Planetary Imaging Group (PIG)

Open Positions

Call for 1 PhD position: Instrumentation for future Mars surface imaging

The position is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for a 4-year duration, in the frame of the national research center (NCCR) PlanetS. The successful candidate will conduct the research work under the supervision of Dr. Antoine Pommerol, at the Physics Institute, University of Bern (Switzerland).

The project aims at investigating future instrumentation for the imaging of the Martian surface, focusing on the detection and characterization of volatiles, in particular water in all its physical states. The study will combine laboratory measurements on laboratory analogues using different types of imaging techniques, analyses of datasets collected by previous Mars missions and close interactions with the engineering teams operating current cameras and developing the future generation of remote-sensing instruments. While our previous instrumentation developments focused essentially on the visible spectral range, we plan to investigate here the near- and mid- infrared range as well as the prospects of polarization imaging. The work will be conducted in close cooperation with international partners (Open University, Milton Keynes, University of Arizona, Tucson).

Salary (per year): ~ 47,040 CHF (51,400 USD; 43,700€).

Additional budget for travels and conferences is available.

Required skills: The successful candidate will have a background in natural science (physics, geophysics) and a research interest in Solar System science. Experience in optics or photonics is highly desirable. An M.Sc. level degree or equivalent is required at the time of employment. Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of German would be helpful.

How to apply: The application shall be sent to Dr. Antoine Pommerol ( Please include the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Details of BSc and MSc, including copies of transcripts showing lists of courses with grades.
  • A brief statement about research interests, motivation and skills (max 1 page).
  • Names, addresses and emails of two references that may be contacted for a recommendation letter

Start date: To be agreed with applicant (June 2022 – Sept 2022)

Deadline: Complete applications received by April 1st, 2022 will receive full consideration. After this date, applications will be considered depending on availability.