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Ph.D. Program

  • INCT UDA offers a unique opportunity for talented students to carry out research in various fields of astronomy and planetary sciences. The PhD program is a 4 year program fully funded by UDA. The program consist of course work for the first 2 semesters, and thesis work for the following 6 semesters.
  • Successful applicants will have access to the 10% of time guaranteed to Chilean institutions on all observing facilities based in the country (like ESO, ALMA, Gemini, LCO, CTIO, and they will also have access to the AtacamaRS high altitude laboratory to perform research in astrobiology and planetary analogs).
  • INCT provides a stimulating, international environment where English is a common language. The INCT works on various fields from solar system astronomy to cosmology, instrumentations and space missions.


The PhD program in astronomy and planetary science at UDA aims to deliver a doctoral training of excellence that enables its graduates to perform original and independent research.


  • Manuel Abad, PhD Universidad de Huelva, España.
  • Mauro Barbieri, PhD Universitá degli Studi di Padova, Italy, PhD Universite de Paris, France
  • José Antonio Belinchón, PhD Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
  • Enrique Bernardez, PhD Universidad de Oviedo, España.
  • Sergio Flores, PhD Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile.
  • Giovanni Leone, PhD Lancaster University/ PhD Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH
  • Lauri Haikala, PhD Ruprecht-Karls Universitat, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Valery Kravtsov, PhD Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Rusia.
  • Lorenzo Morelli, PhD Universitá degli Studi di Padova, Italy.
  • Mario Soto, PhD Leiden Observatory, Leiden Universiteit, The Netherlands.

Available Research Topics

  • Extrasolar planets
  • Solar System
  • Planetary Geology
  • Star Formation
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Milky Way Structure
  • Stellar Clusters
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
  • Extragalactic astronomy
  • Theoretical Cosmology

Profile of Graduates

The PhD graduates will be capable of conducting original and independent scientific research, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the field of Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences. They will have a deep understanding of the fundamental concepts and physical processes which regulate the formation and evolution of different objects, from planets and stars to galaxies, galaxy clusters and large-scale structures. Furthermore, the PhD graduates will be given ample opportunities thoughout the program to learn how to integrate, work and progress within the highly competitive academic environment. Finally, they will be able to participate in outreach programs and learn how to interact with and disseminate science to the community.

PhD 2019 applications

The Instituto de Astronomía y Ciencias Planetarias de Atacama (INCT) at the Universidad de Atacama (UDA), in Copiapó (Chile) invites applicants for four PhD positions in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences.

The positions are open to candidates from any country. The successful candidates must have a MSc degree (or equivalent) in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, geology or any related topic to planetary science by the PhD starting date, which will be March 2019. Positions will be available across a range of fields of research where the INCT is active, including solar system, exoplanets, planetary geology, astrobiology, star formation, Galactic structure, and theoretical cosmology. Students must speak fluent English and be willing to publish in peer review journals. Students will have access to the Chilean telescope time of ESO, ALMA, Gemini, LCO, CTIO, and they will also have access to the Atacama high altitude laboratory (currently under construction) to perform research in astrobiology and planetary analogs.

University of Atacama PhD students are fully-funded for four years (subject to a 18 month probation period). The salary is in accordance with Chilean CONICYT grants, and is set to 650,000 CLP net per month. Additional grants can be provided for tutoring and teaching duties for undergraduate courses.

INCT provides a stimulating, international environment where English is a common language. The University of Atacama is located in Copiapó, the capital city of the Atacama region. Copiapó is located in the Atacama desert, under the darkest skies of the world. The Atacama region offers a unique variety of natural and wildlife attractions.

Documents for PhD Application 2019

The following documents must be sent by October 31 2018 in a single pdf file to inct @ uda.cl

  • Cover letter
  • CV with current information (2 pages maximum, sample) and publication list.
  • Proof of degree (the legalized copy or original must be presented if accepted).
  • Undergraduate list of courses, including final marks

  • In addition to the above, 2 recomendation letters must be sent directly at inct @ uda.cl

Further Questions?

Program Coordinator: Mario Soto Vicencio
Instituto de Astronomía y Ciencias Planetarias de Atacama
Address: Copayapu 485, Copiapó, Atacama, Chile
Phone: (+56) 52 225 5939
E-mail: inct @ uda.cl



SCT= 1 SCT corresponds to 27 hours of study/work by the student


Copayapu 485 ,Copiapó, Chile


Email: inct@uda.cl           
Phone: +56 52 225 5938