University of Geneva, Theory Group for Active and Living Matter

Position ID:University of Geneva-Theory Group for Active and Living Matter-PHD [#24291]
Position Title: PhD positions in Active Matter
Position Type:Student programs
Position Location:Geneva, Geneva 1205, Switzerland [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Physics / Theoretical Soft Matter Physics
Theoretical Physics / Complex systems including applications to biology
Salary Range:CHF 53,000 (equiv. $57,000)
Appl Deadline:2023/11/31 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2023/02/08, listed until 2023/11/31)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed. ***

PhD positions in theoretical active matter at the University of Geneva, Switzerland

The Theory Group for Active and Living Matter at the University of Geneva invites applicants for two PhD positions within the dept. of Theoretical Physics. The positions will work as part of a project titled “Controlling active matter with topology and geometry”. The intended start date is September 2023. 

Active matter is the study of out of equilibrium systems that are able to internally generate mechanical stress, resulting in materials that are able to move themselves. There are many examples of active materials, in particular in the life sciences. My group studies a range of active systems often in relation to biological systems. More information is available on my website .

In particular, these projects will look at the interactions between topological defects in active nematic materials and how they respond to and influence the geometry and topology of the material. This project will be carried out in close collaboration with experimental researchers and the results will be applied to understand living systems and design new functional materials. 

The candidates should have:

  • MSc (or an equivalent degree) in Theoretical Physics or a related discipline
  • Experience or willingness to learn computational methods
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Curiosity and an eagerness to learn

The PhD students will work in the Theory Group for Active and Living Matter under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Pearce within the department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Geneva. The University of Geneva has a strong community of experimental and theoretical researchers working in the fields of Active Matter and the Physics of Life. The students will have many opportunities to interact with a range of researchers across different departments. 

Geneva is a beautiful city located next to Lake Geneva and close to the Swiss Alps. The position of PhD student in Geneva is a salaried position for four years. The starting salary is CHF 53,646.70 per year before tax. The University of Geneva offers flexible working hours, six weeks of annual leave, and family-friendly working conditions including parental leave. PhD students are expected to participate in teaching activities.

Applications should be written in English and contain:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Details of at least one senior scientist that can act as a reference
Applications should be emailed directly to me at with the subject line "PhD application " followed by your name. 

Applicants will be considered continuously until the positions are filled. 

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Contact: Daniel Pearce
Email: email address
Postal Mail:
Ecole de Physique
University of Geneva
24, Quai Ernest-Ansermet
CH – 1211 Geneva 4
Web Page: