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 currently open positions.


  • Nils CARQUEVILLE - Higher defect state sum models

    There is a 3-year PhD position available in the mathematical physics group, with a flexible start date between April 2024 and April 2025. This is part of a project on "Higher defect state sum models" that involves both conceptual aspects of topological quantum field theories in general, and also applications in dimensions 2, 3 and 4. A key method is the orbifold construction summarised e.g. in arXiv:2307.16674 [math-ph].   


    To apply for the position, the following documents should be submitted:


    • CV
    • list of university courses taken and grades obtained
    • cover letter with preferred start date, and a brief summary of previous contact with TQFT and higher categories
    • (draft of) Master thesis and/or research statement
    • two recommendation letters


    The initial application deadline is March 26, but applications are welcome until the position is filled. 


  • Oliver HECKL - OAM-enabled transitions in certain molecules

    The project is based on advanced spectroscopic techniques with precision measurement capabilities to explore the potential of vortex beams for enhancing molecular spectroscopy in the mid-IR region. A commercially available mid-IR optical frequency comb (OFC) will be employed to explore the transfer of OAM to molecular transitions. Important parameters, such as OAM addition to the frequency comb and cavity finesse, will be determined to optimize experimental conditions.


    Who we are

    The Optical Metrology group at the University of Vienna strives to extend frequency comb technology further into the mid-IR spectral region and pursues applications with these in the fields of trace gas detection and precision spectroscopy, to name a few. Working in the group provides the chance to gain high level expertise and practical experience in pushing the limits of Mid-IR spectroscopy and the unique opportunity to work with the most advanced optical components available today. You can find more by clicking on the link


    What you will do

    • Lead pioneering research initiatives to generate, characterize, and manipulate vortex beams in the mid-IR spectral region.
    • Explore innovative experimental setups and cutting-edge spectroscopic equipment to study molecular transitions with unprecedented precision.
    • Investigate the transfer of orbital angular momentum to molecular states and assess its impact on spectroscopic sensitivity and resolution.
    • Collaborate with international partners and industry experts to leverage state-of-the-art technologies and advance the field of molecular spectroscopy.



    • Master's degree in Physics, Chemistry, or a related field, with a strong background in spectroscopy, optics, or experimental physics
    • Demonstrated research experience and a track record of academic excellence.
    • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with a passion for pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge.
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a multidisciplinary research environment.


  • Thomas Pichler - Electronic Properties of Materials

    The group of Thomas Pichler offers up to


    • 3 PhD positions on the topics of inelastic electron and photon scattering and
    • 1 related to photoemission spectroscopy of low dimensional quantum solids including carbon nanotubes, graphene, and (twisted) van der Waals Heterostructures of different transition metal dichalcegonides.


    They will be financed with a 30 h contract for 4 years within the framework of the ERC-Syn Project MORE-TEM (Momentum resolved Electron energy loss transmission electron microscope) and by 2 praedoc positions.


    All candidates of this up to 4 positions are expected to have a strong experimental background in solid state spectroscopy complemented with some theoretical and computational physics knowledge. Selected candidates are expected to also focus on the development of cutting-edge research instrumentation (MORE-TEM, Raman, Photoemission).


    More details about the research topic project can be found at the webpage of and in the MORE-TEM project page


    Starting date: successful applicants can start at their earliest convenience.


    Website reserach group >>


  • Philip WALTHER - Advancing quantum optics and quantum information

    We are currently offering a PhD position for an experimental research project situated at the intersection of nonlinear nanophotonics and quantum optics. The project focuses on advancing quantum optics and quantum information by exploring the unique properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials, including graphene, transition-metal dichalcogenides, and atomically-thin crystalline metals. As a PhD candidate in our team, you will conduct experimental research on the development of innovative nanostructures and advanced laser systems to study novel quantum optical phenomena. Specifically, you will investigate the use of plasmonic resonances to enhance nonlinear interactions and explore experiments for spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) without phase matching.

  • Philip WALTHER - GRAVITES: Exploring the interface between gravity and quantum optics

    Our group currently offers a PhD position within the European Reseach Council-project GRAVITES, exploring the interface between gravity and quantum optics. This experimental project focuses on all aspects of large-scale optical fiber interferometry with maximally path-entangled quantum states and is conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Within this collaboration you would be responsible to design and built a very bright source of single photons based on either spontaneous parametric down conversion or single photon quantum dot emitters, required for the generation of path-entangled quantum states of light. The other focus of this PhD position lies in the study and measurment of novel anti-resonant hollow core fibers, that offer lower thermal noise profiles as well as lower attenuation to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of our gravitational measurements.


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