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CSC-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 19/2020:
Probing the space-time around black holes

Topic Description:The conditions of extreme gravity in X-ray binaries — systems where a black hole accretes matter from a star — imprint unique variability signatures onto the radiation observed from these objects. The aim of the project is to use these spectro-timing variability features to probe the structure of space-time around black holes. To do so, the PhD student will work with state-of-the-art computational tools to analyse observations from international space-based X-ray telescopes (NICER, NuSTAR, Insight-HXMT). This work will be a stepping stone towards future X-ray timing and polarization telescopes such as eXTP.

Faculty: Faculty of Science
Institute/Section/Subject:Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysics

Supervising Professors:Dr. V. Grinberg

About the Supervisors:Dr. V. Grinberg is a Margarete von Wrangell habilitation fellow at the university of Tübingen. After completing her PhD at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2013, she held a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA and a research fellowship with the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. She works in observational X-ray astrophysics, with a special focus on accreting black holes and winds from the most massive stars.

Requirements for the application:Required Degrees: A master’s degree or equivalent in physics, astronomy or astrophysics.
Language Requirements: Basic working knowledge of English.
Notes: Basic knowledge of programming (any language) and previous experience in observational (high energy) astrophysics or time-series analysis are an asset, but not a requirement. The project will be conducted in the context of the high energy astrophysics group in Tübingen, especially in collaboration with Dr. Ji Long and Dr. Qingcui Bu.

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.


CSC-Tübingen PhD Program
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) and the University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Chinese nationals inside and outside of China wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.


  • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Chinese universities
  • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Chinese universities and research institutions

Target group:
Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from Chinese universities who are citizens and permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application

Details: Full time fellowship:
  • postgraduate students who want to carry out their complete doctoral studies at the University of Tübingen
  • up to 48 months
  • degree conferred by the University of Tübingen

  • Annual living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes Overseas Student Health Cover)
  • Return airfare to Germany
  • Visa application fees
  • Support for the attendance of international conferences during the second and third year (up to 1000€ granted to successful applicants)

  • Tuition waiver
  • Option to take German language classes provided by the University of Tübingen during the first year
  • Accommodation offered in Tübingen student dormitories depending on availability
  • Opportunities to gain additional teaching and research experience as well as economic benefits from the University of Tübingen from the second year onward (depending on the ability of the applicant and the situation of the respective institute)

Application Process:
  • Jan 15: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
  • by March 1: Successful applicants will be officially informed
  • by April 5: Invited applicants have to register with the CSC according to the regulations of the CSC.
  • by May 31: Final decisions about the allocation of scholarships will be made by the CSC
  • June: Program participants will be invited for a welcome seminar in Beijing
  • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen
  • Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their studies.

How to Apply:
In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
  • Cover/Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Research proposal
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of proficient skills in the required languages (if possible certificates, proficiency=comprehension of a wide range of demanding, longer texts as well as fluent and spontaneous expression allowing a flexible and effective language use for social, academic and professional purposes.)

For questions please contact the representation of the University of Tübingen in Beijing:
European Centre for Chinese Studies (ECCS)
Mr. Christian Buskühl
Peking University Pacific Science and Technology Development Center
52, Haidian Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100080 / Room 708
北京大学太平洋科技发展中心, 北京市 海淀区 海淀路52号 708室 / 邮编: 100080

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