Currently open PhD projects

The research in the VDSP covers a wide range of topical experimental, theoretical and computational projects. Explore your options in the list of current open positions.


  • Tailored Hybrid Structures - Paola Ayala

    The team Tailored Hybrid Structures (THS) lead by Prof. Paola Ayala has traditionally had a strong focus on the production and spectroscopy of filled and substitutionally modified heteronanotubes of carbon (and related materials). We are part of a group with high international recognition on the research of low-dimensional carbon solids from the spectroscopy point of view.  We are currently broadening our research to advance fields that derive wider positive effects from nanoresearch such as biological systems and the environment. You will be part of our team and your creativity, experience and capabilities will be really welcome. 


    Job Description:

    Prof. Ayala´s research Team, Tailored Hybrid Structures, part of the group Electronic Properties of Materials, invites applicants for a PhD Candidate Position to join us as assistant-praedoctoral researcher.


    We are looking for a new team member with a background in physics, materials science or nanotechnology engineering, who shares our passion to understand the properties of nanostructured materials from the physics point of view and how they can positively impact the world.


    The THS team currently gathers 6 members (PhD, MSc students) connected to an international collaboration network that fosters a supportive environment where we work closely together and share our expertise. This interaction within our close colleagues at the university as well as international cooperation ensure a continuous exchange of knowledge and expertise.  Joining us, you will also have the opportunity to become a fellow of the Vienna Doctoral School in Physics (VDSP), which connects PhD students at the Faculty of Physics from all disciplines.  Therefore, within your daily attitudes, independence, curiosity and determination will be highly valued.



    Your personal sphere of Influence:

    You will be part of the group lead by Prof. Paola Ayala and will actively participate in research working on a leading research field of materials science.  You will have the opportunity to improve your skills on teaching & administration as well. Therefore, your activities can be summarized (but not limited) to the following:


    ·        You are involved in research projects and scientific studies in the area of spectroscopy techniques for the characterization of the physical properties of nanostructured materials. You will be able to apply your previous knowledge as your key creativity ingredient. 

    ·        You will carry out independent experimental work on the synthesis of materials, spectroscopy characterization (with optical absorption, Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy) and, observation and fabrication with microscopy related tools (Scanning Probe, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam). 

    ·        You will present your research plan to the faculty and complete a dissertation agreement within 12-18 months.

    ·        You work on your dissertation and its completion.

    ·        You engage in team/individual teaching within the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

    ·        You might be involved in the organization of scientific meetings, conferences, symposia or similar events.


    Your Qualifications:

    ·        Master's degree or Diploma in physics, physical chemistry, materials science or a related field (To start your contract). 

    ·        Basic experience in academic writing,

    ·        We welcome hands on Experience with Raman Spectroscopy,

    ·        Experience with Scanning Electron Microscopy and/or Focused Ion Beam is highly desirable (not compulsory),

    ·        Excellent command of written and spoken English,

    ·        Basic use of German would be useful but not compulsory,

    ·        You are a team player,

    ·        You have didactic competences.


    What we offer:

    A PhD Project: A project related to cutting-edge research in the fields of materials science and physical properties of new materials.


    ·        The basic salary of 2457,00 (30h, 14x p.a.) increases if we can credit professional experience.

    ·        The employment duration is 4 years. Initially limited to 1.5 years, the employment relationship is automatically extended to 4 years if the employer does not terminate it within the first 12 months by submitting a non-extension declaration.

    ·        Work-life balance: Our employees enjoy flexible, family-friendly working hours

    ·        Inspiring working atmosphere: You are a part of an international academic team in a healthy and fair working environment.

    ·        A city with an outstanding life quality: Vienna has been chosen several times as the most livable city word-wide, with a rich culture, numerous recreational opportunities and beautiful nature surroundings.

    ·        Good public transport connections: Your workplace in the center of Vienna, which is easily accessible by public transport.

    ·        Internal further training & Coaching: Opportunity to deepen your skills on an ongoing basis offered for university employees.

    ·        Equal opportunities for everyone: We look forward to diverse personalities in the team!


    How to Apply:

    Please apply here: and submit the following documents:


    ·        Academic Curriculum Vitae

    ·        Letter of Motivation summarizing your research interests (1 page max.)

    ·        Degree Certificates

    ·        At least one reference letter (from your supervisors)


    If you have any questions, please contact: Paola Ayala


    We look forward to new personalities in our team!


    The University of Vienna has an anti-discriminatory employment policy and attaches great importance to equal opportunities, the advancement of women and diversity. We lay special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions among the academic and general university staff and therefore expressly encourage qualified women to apply. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female candidates.

  • Quantum Nanophysics Group - Markus Arndt

    We want you in our team !

    • Are you driven by curiosity and by the ambition to tackle experimental challenges?
    • Are you proud of your study grades?
    • Do you have a background in quantum physics, atomic or molecular beam science or physical chemistry?
    • Do you like to be part of a diverse, interdisciplinary and international team?

    If the answer to all these questions is yes, please apply for 


    Cold Clusters in Deep UV Light Fields for Quantum Interferometry

    We are setting up a new beam line for cold metal clusters, aiming at quantum states of particles the mass range up to 1 MDa. This combines the latest advances in cluster science, deep ultra-violet laser physics, mass spectroscopy, matter-wave technologies and quantum optics.

    LUMI Cluster Interferometry

    Quantum interferometry with large metal clusters promises to push the boundaries between quantum experiments and classical phenomena. Long coherence times, large beam separations and high masses will provide an unprecedented sensitivity to still hypothetical non-standard phenomena in physics, while at the same time offering a specific and highly sensitive tool to measure tiny forces.    

    Slow Proteins

    Advances in biomolecular quantum optics and analysis will profit from slow and cold proteins. If you are interested in working at the interface between the life sciences, laser physics, quantum optics and mass spectrometry, please contact us for more details.  

    Tools for Protein Interferometry

    Our group has pioneered universal interferometry, from atoms over fullerenes and hydrocarbons to vitamins, polypeptides and tailored macromolecules. We are advancing on this path to develop tools for the coherent manipulation of genuine biomolecules in the gas phase, aiming here at quantum interference of proteins.  

    Cooling of Non-Spherical Nanoparticles

    We are preparing, exploring and utilizing rotational quantum states of trapped dielectric nanorods. This work at the interface between optomechanics and quantum interferometry shall enable new tests of quantum linearity and advanced quantum sensing applications.

  • Pushing Microscopy - Thomas Juffmann

    Richard Feynman once asked for better microscopes to watch biology at work. Our Quantum Imaging and Biophysics group is working at the interface of microscopy, quantum physics and electron optics to develop new imaging techniques that offer increased sensitivity and resolution. We invite you to become an integral part of our team, working on one of the following PhD projects:


     Project 1: Interferometric scattering microscopy

    As part of our team, you will develop and operate an iScat setup that pushes the limits in spatial resolution and sensitivity. You will analyse your results and compare them to predictions from quantum theory. In a later stage of the project you will combine iScat with a unique setup for fast fluorescence lifetime microscopy, unlocking new capabilities for research in the life sciences.


     Project 2: Electrons and light

    We recently developed a method for the manipulation of electrons using ponderomotive potentials created by shaped intense laser light. As part of our team, you will explore the capabilities of this novel technique for aberration correction, imaging, and probe engineering.


    In both projects, you will develop new hardware and learn about experiment design, instrument control, instrument calibration, and data acquisition. You will compare your experimental results to simulations that you perform with both your own, and with commercial software. You will collaborate with national and international partners.


    Employment Conditions

    To our PhD students, we offer:

    • Interdisciplinary environment: While we are located at the Vienna biocentre, we are also affiliated to the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology. You will thus be exposed to both cutting-edge quantum technology and the most pressing questions in the life sciences.
    • The basic salary of EUR 2.457,00 (30h, 14x p.a.) increases if we can credit professional experience. The employment duration is 4 years. Initially limited to 1.5 years, the employment relationship is automatically extended to 4 years if the employer does not terminate it within the first 12 months by submitting a non-extension declaration.
    • A comprehensive benefits package that includes medical and social insurance.
    • A life in the city of Vienna, one of the cities with the best quality of living worldwide.
    • Membership in the Vienna Doctoral School in Physics, including many activities and benefits (
    • Internal further training & coaching: The Vienna Doctoral School as well as the department of human resources offer plenty of opportunities to grow your skills in over 600 courses to choose from – free of charge.


    What we are looking for

    We are looking for a curious and ambitious colleague, who wishes to learn about precision measurement, and who has a hands-on attitude towards implementing new ideas in the lab.

    Ideally, you have some experience in one of the following fields: Optics, Microscopy, Quantum Optics, Electron Microscopy, Instrument Control and Development, and/or Information Science. Experience in coding, and an excellent command of written and spoken English are beneficial.

    We foster a collaborative and curiosity-driven approach to research. We are looking forward to you joining our team!



Details on the specifics of the project conditions can be explored with your potential supervisor in personal exchange.

As incomplete applications cannot be considered, please make sure that your application complies with the guidelines stated in the application procedure

If you have not received a confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting your application please do let us know at