Mini research projects

Undergraduate students interested in writing a Masters or PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at a later date are encouraged to apply for a mini research project at the institute.

  • The offer is aimed at students in physics, mathematics, computer science and related scientific areas. The topics offered here are also suitable for a summer internship at MPIA, details of which can be found here:
  • Summer internship at MPIA

Miniforschung projects typically take between 6 and 8 weeks to complete and should be undertaken when classes are not in session. Subject areas include astronomical data analysis, numerical simulations, and work connected with the design and construction of new astronomical instruments.

If you're an undergraduate with one of the above-mentioned majors, you should also feel free to apply for internships outside of the Miniforschung framework. Just ask!


Students interested in a Mini research project should send their application including a CV to the contact person stated in the project. Mini research projects can also be converted in a bachelor project.

For students from Univ. Heidelberg our Mini research counts as Module "Projektpraktikum Code WPProj" and will lead to the appropriate number of Credit Points. For details see the Module-Handbuch Bachelor of Science Physik:

High Contrast Imaging Algorithm Project

The detection and characterization of directly-imaged exoplanets requires the development of advanced algorithms in order to separate the faint planetary signal from the overwhelming light of the host star. For this project, the student will work to incorporate the PACO algorithm into the vip_hci python library, an open source library for high contrast imaging tools. In addition, the student will implement the PACO ASDI algorithm, which uses spectral information to better identify the presence of a planet and increases the precision with which the spectrum can be extracted.
The student should be familiar with python, have a strong background in statistics and an interest in developing publicly available tools for use by the exoplanet community.

Kontaktperson: Evert Nasedkin (

Infrared Space Astronomy

The IR Space Astronomy Group at MPIA offers a variety of projects in the field of astronomy and instrumentation. More information about the group can be found on

Numerical Experiments in Planet and Star Formation

  1. Turbulence in protoplanetary accretion disks
  2. Super computing on Massive Compute Clusters
  3. Grid and non-Grid Methods for Hydro Dynamics
  4. 3D visualization of simulated data
  5. Analysis of Big Data Sets

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