Background Image

PhD Fellowship in Modeling gravitational waves for the future generations

Institute of Cosmos Sciences
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Mar, 01/11/2022
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Mié, 25/01/2023


The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT ”la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers—of any nationality—who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Spanish or Portuguese territory. Sponsored by ”la Caixa” Foundation, it is aimed at supporting the best scientific talent and fostering innovative and high-quality research in Spain and Portugal by recruiting outstanding international students and offering them an attractive and competitive environment for conducting research of excellence.

The Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona is a research centre accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence María de Maeztu in 2020, the perfect place to carry out your PhD project through an INPhINIT Incoming fellowship.


Research Project:

Our ability to detect gravitational waves (GW) is reshaping the way we perceive the Universe. This was made possible by a planet-scale multidisciplinary effort, combining experimental devices of unprecedented precision, and state of the art modeling and data analysis techniques.

 On the modeling front, a crucial aspect is the fast generation of accurate enough templates for the expected signals. In turn, this relies on the calibration provided by Numerical Relativity, i.e. the fully fledged simulation of Einstein's equations.

 While the current modeling techniques are to some extent sufficient for the current detectors, the third generation of detectors (LISA, Einstein Telescope) increased sensitivity will pose much stronger accuracy requirements on the approximate models used for data analysis.

 The ICCUB is a full member of the Virgo and soon to join the Einstein Telescope collaboration, so you will work on the forefront of GW research. You will join the enthusiastic Virgo and Einstein Telescope research groups of the ICCUB who organize weekly science meetings, journal clubs and seminars. You will also benefit from scientific interactions with various ICCUB staff in the areas of Cosmology (Licia Verde, Jordi Miralda), Black Holes (Cristiano Germani, Jaume Garriga) and High Energy Physics (Roberto Emparan, David Mateos, Tomeu Fiol), star formation (Paolo Padoan), and galaxy formation (Chervin Laporte, Teresa Antoja). Finally, you will also be involved in international collaborations with groups in Italy, Germany and the UK.


Job position description

This project seeks to upgrade the accuracy and generality of the current state of the art analytic models for waveform generation. To this end, the student will perform Numerical Relativity simulations of black hole binaries, focusing on precessing, eccentric binaries, which are currently poorly described by analytic models. Moreover, as a member of the Virgo and Einstein Telescope collaborations, the student will liaise with data analysts across the board, in order to understand the current capabilities of the models and future requirements. 

The desired outcome of the project is the improvement of one or more approximate models of black hole binary coalescence in a way compatible with the new generation detectors expected sensitivity.

Essential skills: basic theoretical aspects of General Relativity, such as black hole geometries, physics of gravitational waves; basic programming: Python

Desirable skills: advanced theoretical aspects of General Relativity, such as ADM decomposition, conserved quantities in gravity; Machine Learning; advanced programming: Python, C


More information:

Group leader 

Dr. Tomás Andrade 

Research product / Research group 

Website of Tomas Andrade

website of the Virgo interferometer 

Website of the Einstein Telescope project

ICCUB participation in Virgo


Employment conditions 

The maximum total payment amount will be €122,592, as broken down below: 

- An annual payment of €35,800 to the institution to cover the Fellow’s contract, who will receive a gross annual income around €28.000. This amount might vary if there are modifications in the legal framework.

- €3,500 per year, as an additional amount for conferences, courses, research stays, consumables, equipment, charges for the use of intellectual property, etc. 

The ”la Caixa” Foundation will award a prize of €7,500 (subject to taxes), which will be paid to the  fellows who deposit their thesis within 6 months after the third year of their fellowship has ended.

  • The tuition fees to the official doctoral programme 

In addition to financial support, the fellowship includes a training programme on transversal skills, which has been specially designed by leading international institutions in the sector. 

For more information on the employment conditions, please refer to this document.


Working at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences

The Institute of Cosmos Sciences is a research institute of the University of Barcelona. It is an interdisciplinary centre dedicated to fundamental research in the fields of cosmology, astrophysics, and particle physics. In addition, the institute has a strong technology program through its participation in international collaborations in observational astronomy and experimental particle physics.

Moreover, the ICCUB participates in many key international scientific consortia and projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the Gaia astrometric space mission, the MAGIC / CTA high-energy astrophysics telescopes, and the Virgo gravitational wave detector, among others. Additional information about the Institute and the University of Barcelona can be found here.

You will be encouraged to contribute and interact with other researchers in the vibrant and international research environment as well as to participate in our outreach initiatives, more information at serviAstro and serviParticules.

As part of the University of Barcelona, the ICCUB is a recipient of the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) Award, which recognises, among other achievements, respect for equal opportunities and the capacity to attract talent in a positive working environment that promotes the pursuit of successful research careers. The ICCUB respects the principles of open, transparent, merit-based selection. We strongly encourage women and underrepresented minorities in physical sciences to apply. For additional information please see the Diversity, equity and inclusion Commission.

The ICCUB is located in Barcelona, considered the 8th World's Best Cities 2021: one with near-perfect weather year-round, miles and miles of beaches, iconic parks, striking architecture and colourful neighbourhoods that march to their own beat—artistic, sophisticated, bohemian. Moreover, it is a pole of attraction for the technology sector, a top choice to establish a company in this sector, and it hosts some of the world's major technological events, such as the Mobile World Congress and the Smart City Expo. In addition, Barcelona and its metropolitan area is a leading destination on the map of global technological ecosystems and has infrastructures such as science parks, universities and the 22@ district.



In order to be accepted, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Experience: At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree or be in a position to apply for one. 
  • Studies pursued: Applicants must hold a higher education degree that makes them eligible to enrol in a doctoral programme before starting at their host institutions.

The host university will verify, upon starting the admission process to the doctoral programme, that the studies taken up by the selected candidates make them eligible to enrol in an official doctoral programme in accordance with the regulations in force in Spain or Portugal. Should they be found not eligible after verification, the fellowship will be withdrawn. 

Under no circumstances may candidates have previously enrolled in the same doctoral studies for which they are applying for the fellowship.

  • Geographic mobility: Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.
  • Level of English: Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

For more information on the candidates requirements, please refer to this document.


Application Procedure

All applications must be submitted online through the following link in English. For more information on the application procedure, please refer to this document.

Inquiries about the application submission can be directed to


Deadline: Please submit your applications by January 25th 2023 at 2pm. 


Selection process:

The process is comprised of three phases:

  • Eligibility screening: all applications received are reviewed to check the accomplishment of the eligibility criteria published in the rules for participation
  • Remote evaluation (shortlisting): an evaluation panel will revieww the applications and those that receive the highest scores will pass to the next stage.
  • Personal interviews: shortlisted candidates are invited to a remotely interview before a multidisciplinary committee on May 23, 35 and 25 2023.

The rating criteria that govern the selection process can be found in the Evaluation of applications section of the ”la Caixa” Fellowship Programme website.

For more information on the selection process, please refer to this document.




Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No713673.

The co-funded part of the programme runs from 01/10/2016 to 30/09/2021 and finances the researchers recruited under Call 2017 and 2018.