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7 open positions in Active Metasurface Research

Secure your academic ticket to the land down under!
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Image: Meta-Active

The International Research Training Group Meta-Active invites applications for seven dual PhD positions starting January 2025. Supported by DFG, this program offers a unique double-PhD experience with joint supervision from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and Australian National University in Canberra. In this program, you will:

  • Access top-notch training at both universities, dedicating a minimum of 12 months to a research stay in Canberra.
  • Enhance your research skills through global collaboration.
  • Cultivate international connections and a global outlook.
  • Immerse yourself in two distinct research atmospheres and cultural contexts.
  • Receive dual recognition for your PhD from both partner universities.

Scientific Vision

In Meta-Active, we explore active metasurfaces leveraging resonant meta-atoms to enhance light interaction with nanoscale matter. Combining nanoantenna effects of the individual atoms with the additional degrees of freedom offered by the arrangement, metasurfaces provide opportunities for tailoring light-matter interactions far exceeding the respective capabilities of individual nanoantennas. This vision establishes foundations for innovative (quantum) light sources, programmable optical systems, and enhanced detectors.

Research Program Structure

The research program is structured into three main pillars with several research projects in each one. Each project will be led by two project investigators (PIs) with complementary expertise, one from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and one from Australian National University Canberra (ANU) to define new and innovative research approaches.

  • Pillar A: Investigate light-emission processes of metasurfaces with dedicated architectures.
  • Pillar B: Explore implementations of responsive metasurfaces with dynamically tuneable optical properties.
  • Pillar C: Tailor light absorption and scattering processes for enhanced detection.
Meta-Active researchers at the TMOS meeting in Australia.
Meta-Active researchers at the TMOS meeting in Australia.
Image: Marijn Rikers

Global Collaboration

Join an international community, fostering cross-cultural perspectives and enriching your research experience. Together with our partners at the ANU, we are a team of over 60 researchers. Currently, in Jena we are 13 senior scientists, 4 postdocs, and 16 doctoral candidates who investigate active metasurfaces.

 This unique program offers practical exploration of international collaboration, shaping researchers with a global perspective and a broad network.

Application Details

  • PhD candidate profile: Master’s degree in Physics, Photonics or related disciplines is an asset.
  • We seek to increase the number of female scientists and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply. TheFriedrich Schiller University Jena is committed to providing a family-friendly workplace and is equipped with special means within Meta-Active.
  • PhD positions will be funded for 3 years with remuneration of 75% in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Sector of the Federal States (TV-L) depending on the personal qualifications up to salary scale 13 
  • Timeline: Rolling admissions for 7 positions starting January 2025 with some flexibility to start earlier. Apply early and join our team!

Applications can be done using the doctoral (PhD) positions branch within the Abbe School of Photonics' Online Application SystemExternal link. During the application, the following documents and proofs will be requested for upload:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), or Diploma degree with significant exposure to physics, photonics, chemistry, engineering or a related subject. If you have not yet finished your Master's degree, you may apply likewise with a preliminary Transcript of Records (ToR) including the marks of all completed courses thus far.
  • Transcripts of Records (ToRs) displaying the explicit marks of all completed courses within your Bachelor and Master studies. If available, a description with the explicit content of the courses will support your application.
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV). Please list all stages of your education in chronological order. The CV must contain a clear statement about your current status and/or occupation including information on current employments, unemployment, or parental leave. Any prizes, scholarship, extraordinary social, cultural or sportive activities may also be part of your CV.
  • A letter of motivation of 1...2 pages. It should describe your personal background, interests and reasons for applying to Meta-Active. In there, please include a clear statement on your preference(s) concerning projects and/or your preferred supervisor(s) within Meta-Active.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • One or two letters of recommendation from academic referees (optional)A template is available for downloaddoc, 80 kb · de; however, is not mandatory to be used by the referees. If one or both referees rather prefer personalized, free-style recommendation letters, they may contain a date and an official headline/stamp from the higher education institution the referee is affiliated with.
  • proof of English proficiency by
    • TOEFL, or an equivalent English test (minimum points/grades): TOEFL PBT (550), TOEFL CBT (215), TOEFL IBT (85), IELTS (6.5), or
    • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) exam or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) exam, or
    • German "Abitur" with comprehensive coverage of the English language.
    • Language exemptions: The following students are exempted from providing the proof of English proficiency: nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada; or B.Sc. or M.Sc. graduates who obtained their major academic qualification in one of these countries