University of California, Santa Barbara, Physics

Position ID:UCSB-Physics-HSFPDOC [#19843]
Position Title: Heising-Simons Fellows in Quantum Gravity
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Santa Barbara, California 93106, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Physics / astrophysics, Gravitational Waves, Particle Theory, quantum gravity, String Theory
Appl Deadline:2021/12/01 11:59PMhelp popup* finished (2021/09/29, finished 2022/06/04, listed until 2022/01/12)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** The account for Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara has expired and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

The Heising-Simons Collaboration on "Observational Signatures of Quantum Gravity" invites postdoctoral applications for up to five Heising-Simons Fellows in Quantum Gravity, to begin around September 1, 2022.

The goal of this collaboration is to bring together theorists from diverse backgrounds to develop theoretically well-founded proposals of quantum gravity and explore their possible observational signatures. We believe that connecting formal advances in quantum gravity to the natural world we live in could result in a true breakthrough. We therefore seek a paradigm shift that brings theory and observation together, helping to close the chasm between quantum mechanics and gravity. We will tackle foundational issues, effective descriptions, and observational tests of those effective descriptions. We are committed to inclusive excellence and innovation and thus hope to develop a diverse and thriving collaborative community.

This Collaboration uniquely brings together diverse faculty at four Hub institutions:

Yanbei Chen (Caltech) Ben Freivogel (University of Amsterdam) Steve Giddings (University of California, Santa Barbara) Cynthia Keeler (Arizona State University) Maulik Parikh (Arizona State University) Erik Verlinde (University of Amsterdam) Kathryn Zurek (Caltech).

Our research interests span quantum gravity, particle theory, string theory, gravitational waves, and astrophysics. The collaboration will feature extended visits between the collaboration hubs, and yearly workshops of all collaboration members to discuss open research questions and progress. To learn more about the collaboration visit

The ideal candidate will have technical skills to work in gravity and will be interested in exploring new questions related to possible observability of quantum effects in gravity, manifested in laboratory experiments such as interferometers, cosmological observation, or observation of astrophysical objects such as black holes e.g. via gravitational waves. The appointment requires completion of a PhD and is expected to start as early as September 2022 with competitive compensation and significant research travel support. The initial appointment will be for two years with expected renewal for one additional year; in rare cases the appointment might be extended to a fourth year.

At UCSB Fellows will benefit from interactions with a broader group in quantum gravity and high energy theory at the Physics Department and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), and will have the opportunity to interact with KITP activities and visitors.

Application Process

We invite interested researchers to submit separate applications via AJO to each individual Collaboration Hub institution (Amsterdam, Arizona State, Caltech, UC Santa Barbara) by December 1, 2021 for full consideration. Links to all advertisements at hub institutions can be found at A complete application includes a cover letter, CV, publication list, short statement of past and future research and three letters of reference. Ideally the cover letter (maximum one page) will address the candidate’s creative problem- solving ability, technical background, interest in exploring new directions, and collaborative skills. Hiring decisions will be coordinated by the Collaboration, though offers will be extended from individual institutions. Fellows may also specify their preferences of institutions in the cover letter, and some Fellows will have the opportunity to be jointly appointed at more than one institution over the period of the Fellowship.

Please address any science questions to Dr. Steve Giddings (, or other collaboration members, and any administrative questions to Heidi Bratt ( or Brittany Boxley (

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:

Further Info:
email address
UCSB Dept. of Physics
Santa Barbara CA 93106-9530