KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Job description

Stellar-mass black holes and neutron stars provide a means to study extreme physical environments. Since they are too small and distant to be directly imaged, our knowledge stems from studying the highenergy (e.g. X-ray) radiation which they emit, and inferring physical attributes from spectral and timing measurements. Interpretations are often model-dependent which, ultimately, limits our knowledge. A
new approach is to measure the polarisation of the X-ray radiation. Observations are systematically different from those conducted today and can be used to break model degeneracies.

One of the highlights of astrophysics during this decade will be establishing X-ray polarimetry as a new window on the high-energy universe. Our group at KTH develops X-ray polarimeters for astrophysics, and has made pioneering observations of celestial objects from a balloon-borne platform in the stratosphere. We are now preparing to further develop instrumentation to allow observations from a satellite which will orbit the earth.

A number of optimisations and trade-offs are needed to go from a balloon-based mission to a spacebased mission. An important aspect is to understand and characterise how the background radiation which is present in space will affect the mission. The project will involve performing computer simulation studies of the proposed space mission using Geant4 – a software framework to describe the interactions of particles and radiation with matter. The results of this study will be fed into the mission design, in order to mitigate background radiation effects and achieve a high measurement sensitivity.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future.
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment



You should be admitted to education at the basic or advanced level at KTH.

• have excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English
• have good grades from degree-level studies

Preferred qualifications

We would like to recruit an enthusiastic student who is highly motivated to make important contributions to the definition of a future space mission. Candidates with an inclination to work with computer programmes and scientific data analysis will be given preference.

The student will need to work with the C/C++ programming language, Linux computing environment, Git-based software repositories and Monte Carlo simulations. Any experience in working with these tools is preferred but not mandatory.

Applicants must be strongly motivated for research and have an ability to work independently

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competency. 

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH’s webbpage.


Log into KTH’s recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the instructions in the ad.

Your complete application must be received by KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

Temporary employment for up to 6 months, or by agreement.


Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence

Type of employmentTemporary position 3-6 months
Employment expires
Contract typePart-time
First day of employmentAccording to agreement
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours20% or according to agreement
CountyStockholms län
Reference numberS-2020-1762
ContactNirmal Kumar Lyer, nkiyer@kth.se
Last application date01.Feb.2021 11:59 PM CET

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