Support Scientist position at the Radio Observatory of ASTRON (Dwingeloo, NL)
Deadline: 1 December 2013
The Radio Observatory division of ASTRON (the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) invites applications for one or more Support Scientist positions in the Science Support Group, that will be available starting from January 2014.
This position offers exciting opportunities for front-line research in radio astronomy, as well as for in-depth involvement in exploiting and developing highly innovative new observing facilities, realizing their full potential along with the first users. ASTRON operates the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a cutting-edge, low-frequency, multi-field aperture array telescope that is using transformational technologies and novel software approaches. LOFAR has entered its operational phase, and has started delivering scientific and unique data in the relatively unexplored spectral window below 200 MHz. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), an array of fourteen 25m radio telescopes with state-of-the-art instrumentation. APERTIF (APERture Tile In Focus), a next generation observing system using focal plane array technology, is being developed for the WSRT in order to significantly expand its field of view and its survey speed, enabling new, innovative types of astronomical research. The WSRT also participates in the European and Global VLBI Networks.
Appointees will be expected to spend time on support work as well as on their research. The balance and specific areas of emphasis will be initially agreed upon according to the profile and interests of the candidate; this may be reconsidered after the support scientist has gained experience with the possible areas of technical expertise and support and the research possibilities afforded by the Radio Observatory telescopes.
Depending on technical background and interests, the support responsibilities may include:
Assistance with the development of new observing modes, software, or hardware.
Testing of new equipment and capabilities.
Advising and assisting users to design, prepare, run, process, and analyze observations.
Monitoring of system performance.
Overseeing the planning of astronomical projects and the telescope calendar.
The research of support scientists can be on any astrophysical or instrumental topic, although some component involving the use of LOFAR and/or the WSRT and/or allowing possibilities to collaborate with other ASTRON research staff is preferred. Astronomers at ASTRON are active in many frontline research areas: galaxy structure and evolution, the ISM and IGM, galaxy clusters and the ICM, pulsars and compact objects, the transient radio sky, AGN evolution and studies of the magnetic universe, large radio continuum and HI surveys, deep fields, and gravitational lensing. Other front-line research facilities available to astronomers employed in the Netherlands include the ESO-VLT(I), ALMA, JCMT and the ING telescopes. Access to excellent computational facilities and travel support is available.
Depending on experience and skills, this appointment is typically offered as a starters position for two years, with an extension to a third year based on good performance. The position requires a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or other related discipline. Affinity with instrumentation or software is also valued. A good command of the English language (writing and speaking) is essential.
Letters of application should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The search will continue until the position is filled; applications arriving before the deadline of 1 December 2013 will be assured of full consideration. Applications should include a CV, scientific interests, a research proposal and three letters of reference.
Successful candidates will be in the formal employment of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), at a salary scale commensurate with age and experience. Generous relocation expenses, as well as an excellent package of benefits and assistance with finding accommodation will be provided (see also www.astron.nl/about-astron/careers/careers). Applicants of any nationality are eligible to apply. Their work place will be the ASTRON headquarters, located in Dwingeloo (the Netherlands).
For enquiries please contact: Dr. Roberto Pizzo (email@example.com), head of the Science Support Group of the Radio Observatory.