Job Openings

This page lists the current PhD or PostDoc openings in our group. If you are interested in working with us, but no openings matching your profile, you are still welcome to submit a general inquiry.

In any case, please consider application guidelines before you contact us.

Application guidelines

In the Mathematics for Materials modelling (MatMat) group we have a highly interdisciplinary research programme including numerical, statistical and physical questions related to materials modelling. We work on understanding the mathematical properties of materials simulations, developing new physical models, techniques for understanding simulation error, reliable algorithms as well as modern software design and implementation strategies for simulation codes.

For this work ideal candidates should have a solid knowledge of linear algebra and numerics, experience in programming and scientific computing as well as the application of these methods to chemistry, materials science and physics. But what is most important is that the applicant demonstrates broad interests as well as a curiosity to learn from the disciplines they might not be familiar with. On top of that we seek a good portion of critical thinking and creativity to come up with the unusual solutions we often require. In particular at the PhD level we are open to candidates from many backgrounds and study programmes while at the PostDoc level we often seek applicants whose expertise is more focused and topic-specific.

Before you apply please take your time to familiarise yourself with the ongoing research in our group. If you apply to one of the specific job openings below, please also read the project-specific information carefully. In your application we encourage you to make reference to the research programme of our group and discuss how your background and interests fit in.

Your application should contain:

Please send your files to this email address, making sure to include the text [APPLICATION] at the start of the subject. We may silently ignore your application if you do not comply with these instructions.

A note for PhD applicants: Before you can start in our group you need to get additionally admitted into an EPFL doctoral school. In our group both the doctoral school in mathematics (EDMA) as well as the doctoral school in materials (EDMX) are suitable. You can use these links to find further information about the schools and their respective application process (including the respective deadlines).

We strongly recommend you to apply to one of these doctoral schools in parallel, since the required information is very similar (so you only need to collect it once). Moreover admission to a doctoral school gives you a chance to obtain a PhD position in other groups at EPFL as well. If your desired project topic is more closely related to numerics / analysis, you should probably apply to EDMA, whereas if the project will be more on the side of physical models / materials applications, you should apply to EDMX.

PhD position: Self-adapting numerical methods for high-throughput DFT simulations


Density-functional theory (DFT) is one of the most widely employed simulation methods to predict the properties of materials from first principles. An important application is the computational discovery of novel materials, where many thousands of systematic simulations may be performed. At this level a limiting factor remains the robustness of numerical schemes for DFT simulations.

Project goals

In this project you will obtain and combine physical and mathematical insights in order to develop algorithmic techniques, which robustly adapt to the simulated material on the fly. You will apply and extend existing results in numerical analysis to obtain novel preconditioners (building upon previous work) as well as adaptive basis selection techniques. Your methods will be implemented into codes such as the density-functional toolkit (DFTK) as well as the SIRIUS electronic structure library, such that they can be tested in the high-throughput context. You will be integrated into the materials simulation activities at EPFL, e.g. within the NCCR MARVEL, and collaborate with physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists from EPFL, Switzerland and abroad.

Candidate profile

What is offered

The activities of the MatMat group revolve around understanding modern materials simulations from a mathematical point of view – and to develop algorithms to make such simulations faster, quantify their errors or make them more reliable. You will become part of a young and energetic team, fully integrated with both the mathematics and the materials institutes as well as multiple cross-disciplinary initiatives, such as the NCCR MARVEL. Guided by your research topic you have the opportunity to grow substantially your background and obtain expertise in theory as well as applications. For this you have access to a stimulating community of researchers at EPFL's main campus beautifully located at the lake Geneva shore. For disseminating your work funds to attend suitable conferences and workshops as well as potential visits to our collaboration partners all over the world are provided.

The current regulations regarding salary and working conditions of PhD students at EPFL can be found on the detailed websites on salary, employment conditions and PhD admission criteria.

Deadline and starting date

Continuous until a suitable candidate has been found. Note, that the chosen candidate will have to be accepted into one of the aforementioned doctoral schools before the contract can start.

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