Ass.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr.

Josef Pradler

Group Leader Theory New Physics

Theory New Physics

Theory New Physics


Telephone: +43 (1) 51581 - 2811

Location: currently at CERN

Room: 53/01-38

Biographical sketch




Grants and Scholarships

  • since May 2020 Coordinator and Principal Investigator FWF Research Group "STRONG-DM"
  • since Jan 2018 Faculty at the Doctoral College "Particles and Interactions" DKPI
  • since June 2014 New Frontiers Group Grant by the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 2016 - 2019 EU COST action "Connecting Insights in Fundamental Physics" member
  • 2006 - 2009 International Max Planck Research School on Elementary Particle Physics
  • 2002 & 2003 Scholarship for distinguished achievements by the University of Vienna


  • 2016 Hans und Walter Thirring Prize by the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 2015 AScINA Young Principal Investigators Award
  • 2015 Ludwig Boltzmann Award by the Austrian Physical Society 
  • 2007 Helmholtz Young Researcher Prize for Astroparticle Physics

    Professional Service


    PhD Students

    • Marco Nikolic
    • Jui-Lin Kuo  (graduation 2021, now postdoc at UC Irvine, USA)
    • Lukas Semmelrock (graduation 2020, now staff at Austrian Institute of Technology)

    Master Students

    • Lukas Matzi (graduation 2020)
    • Marco Nikolic (graduation 2019)
    • Christina Xeni  (graduation 2018)
    • Lukas Semmelrock (graduation 2016)


    Courses at the University of Vienna

    Lecturer at international schools

    • International school on muon g-2 and hadronic effects 2018; Novosibirsk State University, Russia; Lectures on light dark sectors
    • DK Indian-Summer School 2015, Internationale Academy Traunkirchen; Lectures on Dark Matter and Cosmology

    Selected presentations

    New Pathways for Physics Beyond the Standard Model, University of California Berkeley, USA

    How to break a no-go theorem in direct detection (Eingeladener Konferenzvortrag), 17-06-16

    Cosmological Probes of Fundamental Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

    Big Bang Nucleosynthesis as a Probe of New Physics (Eingeladener Konferenzvortrag), 09-06-16

    Stanford University, USA

    Dark Photons Dark Matter, Dark Axions Dark Energy (Seminarvortrag), 23-03-15

    Beyond WIMPs: From Theory to Detection, Hagoshrim, Israel

    Dark Photon Dark Matter: Theory and Constraints (Eingeladener Konferenzvortrag), 31-05-15, PDF

    Gran Sasso National Laboratory, Assergi, Italy

    New Opportunities for Dark Matter Experiments (Kolloquium), 10-03-15, PDF

    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada

    Astrophysical and cosmological aspects of feebly-interacting light species (Eingeladener Konferenzvortrag), 17-06-14

    University of California Berkeley, USA

    The Universe at redshift one billion: a cosmic particle physics lab (Seminarvortrag), 17-03-14

    Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA

    Dark Photons in Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Experiment (Seminarvortrag), 14-05-13

    Research interests

    Much of my research efforts revolve around finding novel signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model and to devise strategies to experimentally test them. I deem such work as very important as it creates new perspectives and science cases for existing and future experiments. I am also thrilled by the prospect that a non-gravitational detection of Dark Matter and a conclusive test of the paradigm is a realistic possibility within the next decade. Therefore, I am pushing my research towards the exploration of laboratory tests of Dark Matter.

    The physics of the early Universe, and, in particular, the physics framework of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis are further active lines of my research. I am interested in exploring various generation mechanisms of Dark Matter and to look for cosmological signatures of the hidden sector. Upcoming precision determinations of deuterium and helium abundances, together with the still unsolved cosmological lithium problem keeps primoridal nucleosynthesis a most important window to test for deviations from Standard Model during those first seconds after the big bang.