We want you to join the team!

NCN Since May 2022, we implement the research programme

Duality Symmetries as Key to Quantum Spacetime

funded by the SONATA BIS grant 2021/42/E/ST2/00304 awarded by the National Science Centre (the largest grant-making agency in Poland for fundamental research and basic science). With these funds from the NCN, we establish a new research, independent research team at the University of Wrocław. We are always looking for new team members! For details please check the vacancies below.


The Einstein Hilbert action is not renormalisable in more than two dimensions. Thus, it can only represent the leading contribution to an effective action that receives higher-order (curvature/derivative) corrections. These corrections are vital when gravity dominates the other three fundamental forces, i.e. close to the singularity of a black hole or at the beginning of our universe. They eradicate the standard geometric notion of space and time, which must be replaced by the more elaborate concept of quantum spacetime. One of the big puzzles of modern theoretical physics therefore is:

  • What are the fundamental properties of quantum spacetime?
  • What is the appropriate mathematical framework to describe it?

We address both systematically.

Interactions with matter and energy dynamically shape spacetime, but currently, progress is only possible for a particular subclass of spacetimes governed by powerful symmetries. They provide the computational control inevitable to approach the questions above but can be very restrictive at the same time and kill all non-trivial phenomena. We manage the balancing act by introducing the quantum version of Poisson-Lie symmetry inspired by the closed string σ\sigma-model and its tight connection to gravity. Thereby, we obtain consistent quantum spacetimes, which are crucial in understanding central quantum gravity phenomena, like the resolution of singularities, holography, and flux vacua in string theory.

We study quantum corrections for the large class of Poisson-Lie symmetric closed string σ\sigma-models. The relevant computations are infamous for their complexity, and despite significant effort, only results for the first subleading order are known. We make progress by employing the working hypothesis: "Poisson-Lie symmetry and T-duality can be defined beyond the classical limit." for which considerable evidence piled up during the last two years. All relevant spacetimes will be embedded in an appropriately extended version of double field theory to make their hidden Poisson-Lie symmetry manifest. Once manifest, this symmetry is so powerful that it facilitates explicit loop calculations up to high orders in perturbation theory. It can appear in combination with the integrability of the σ-model or supersymmetry. We will determine how these symmetries constrain higher derivative corrections of the effective action and ultimately induce the transition from spacetime to quantum spacetime. To achieve these objectives, we pursue three main research tasks:

  1. Develop quantum, α\alpha'-corrected, Poisson-Lie symmetry and T-duality
  2. Understand implications of 1. for integrable σ\sigma-models and holography
  3. Formulate resulting target space structures in terms of non-commutative geometry


  • Falk Hassler, group leader


NCN It would be great if you could join our team at the University of Wrocław (UWr)! The UWr is one of the leading universities in Poland, currently teaching over 26,000 students and around 1,300 doctoral students across ten faculties. It is situated on the banks of the Oder River in the city of Wrocław. With more than 130,000 students, Wrocław is one of the most youth-oriented cities in the heart of Europe. Our department offers a specialised master's course in theoretical physics with a large variety of advanced lectures (also available to PhD students) that prepare our students ideally to contribute to cutting edge research.

Please find below all our vacancies and do not hesitate to contact me in case of any questions.

Master students

If you are interested in mathematical physic and want to apply it to actual research problems, you might consider writing your master thesis in our group. A solid background in Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity is an advantage, but even more important is that you are motivated and excited about the questions we approach in our group. If this is the case, please reach out to me, and I am sure we will find a project well suited to your interests and abilities.

PhD students

We have currently two openings for a fully-funded PhD student positions (poster). One more PhD students will be most likely hired next year.

Wroclaw U. • Europe
Deadline on Jun 5, 2022

Job description:

The Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Wrocław, Poland, invites applications for two 4-year PhD scholarship in String Theory and Quantum Gravity within the project "Duality Symmetries as Key to Quantum Spacetime" funded by the National Science Centre Poland.

Research Tasks: Besides training in advanced theoretical physics and mathematics, you will be immersed in the group's research efforts from the first day. You will contribute to calculations, discussions and publications. Generous travel funds will allow you to attend schools and workshops/conferences to present your results. Topics you will be working on include:

  • quantum corrections to non-linear σ-models
  • generalised geometry
  • supergravity and supergroups
  • conformal field theories
  • computer algebra systems


  • master's or equivalent degree in physics or a closely related field
  • fluent English in writing and speaking
  • working knowledge of general relativity and quantum field theory
  • previous exposure to string theory would be an advantage
  • a highly motivated team player

Terms of Employment: You can only receive this scholarship after being admitted to the Doctoral School of the University of Wrocław. We will help the successful candidate with the required application. For more details, please get in touch.

Starting Date: 1st October 2022 (negotiable)

Salary: The scholarship is at least 2500 PLN (tax-free) per month. It is supplemented by the regular scholarship for PhD students at the University of Wrocław of approximately 2100 PLN per month net. Therefore, you can expect around 4600 PLN net salary per month. PhD students qualify for housing in the university's residential halls, which costs between 850 and 1150 PLN/month (single room).

How to apply: Please send the following application documents via email to the principal investigator Falk Hassler (), with the subject "PhD Student":

  1. curriculum vitae
  2. transcript of grades and diplomas
  3. reference letters (at least two), sent directly by the references
  4. include at the end of your email the following clause regarding the personal data protection laws in the EU: "I hereby authorise you to process my personal data included in my job application solely for the purpose of the selection process in accordance with the article 7 of the Regulation of the European Parliament and Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) [OJ EU L. 2016.119.1 of 4 May 2016]."

The revision of applications starts now and continues until a suitable candidate is found, but no longer than 5 June 2022.

The University of Wrocław is one of the leading universities in Poland, currently teaching over 26,000 students and around 1,300 doctoral students. It is situated on the banks of the Oder River in the city of Wrocław. With more than 130,000 students, Wrocław is one of the most youth-oriented cities in the heart of Europe.

For more details contact Falk Hassler at .

Contact: Hassler, Falk ()
Letters of Reference should be sent to:


We plan to fill at least one three-year postdoc position in 2023 (starting date September/October 2023). The official announcements for this position will be posted by the end of this year. We will keep you posted.


If you want to join our group as a postdoc, you might also consider applying for an individual fellowship:

  • The POLONEZ BIS programme is co-funded by the European Commission and the Polish NCN under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND grant. Three calls, announced in 2021 and 2022, will recruit 120 experienced researchers worldwide who move to Poland for 24 months to conduct their basic research in public or private institutions of their choice. This grant is a great opportunity to develop your profile as an independent researcher. We would be happy to support you with your application and act as the host. If you are interested, please let me know. The calls this year are:
    • 2nd call closes on 15 June 2022 (4:00 p.m. CEST)
    • 3rd call opens on 15 September 2022 and closes on 15 December 2022
  • Marie-Curie European Postdoctoral Fellowships also provide ideal working conditions. Moreover, even if your proposal is not funded, you can still obtain a seal of excellence that helps you get funding from other sources. The call usually opens in June and closes in October.
Last modified on 2022-06-14 10:33:04 +0200 by Falk Hassler | Build 200 on 2022-06-29T20:39:56.000Z | Contact