We are looking for enthusiastic, motivated, young astronomers with radio astronomy, multi-wavelength transient search, and/or strong computational experience who are keen to do innovative astronomical research at ASTRON (Netherlands institute for Radio Astronomy) as Postdoctoral researcher (f/m).
You will become a key member of a team that is supported by the ERC Starting Grant DRAGNET: A high-speed, wide-angle camera for catching extreme astrophysical events (PI Hessels). You will play a large role in this project by helping to create and commission a new, innovative backend to the LOFAR telescope that is capable of processing high-time-resolution radio data in real time in order to discover fast transients and radio pulsars. This system will also monitor hundreds of known radio pulsars at a high cadence (every few days).
You will help acquire a large database of transient events and pulsar monitoring data, which you will then scientifically exploit to study such things as the interstellar (and potential intergalactic) medium, the physics of new transient source classes, and the pulsar emission mechanism. The complete DRAGNET team will include the PI (Hessels), one technical developer, two science postdocs, and two PhDs and will be based at ASTRON, the University of Amsterdam, and Oxford University. Besides the exciting scientific potential of this project, its technical development is closely linked to developments for the upcoming Square Kilometer Array. As such, team members will acquire strong scientific, analytical and technical skills that will see them well placed to play leading roles in the next generation of cutting-edge radio astronomical instrumentation.
a PhD degree in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related discipline;
experience in radio astronomy and/or multi-wavelength transient search techniques;
good oral and written communications skills;
publication experience in refereed scientific journal and conference papers;
strong experience with instrumentation and/or software development is also highly valued;
good command of English (written and spoken).
we offer a contract for two years plus a one year extension, pending good performance;
in addition to a pleasant and stimulating work environment, we offer a good package of benefits like a pension plan and group discounts on personal insurances;
we offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation;
we offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation;
we offer excellent computational facilities and travel support.
ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside the town of Dwingeloo in the province of Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research.
The ASTRON Pulsar Group – in which this project is hosted – currently consists of three staff members (Hessels, van Leeuwen, and Deller), 3 postdocs and 1 PhD student. We have very strong ties with the University of Amsterdam and regularly work there as well. The group has a broad set of interests and achievements, including wide-field fast transient and pulsar searches (LOFAR/APERTIF/GBT/Arecibo), studying pulsar phenomenology at multiple wavelengths, precision astronometry, and testing fundamental physics through pulsar timing.
More generally, ASTRON’s Astronomy Group offers a scientifically rich environment with strong ties to technical development in the domain of radio astronomy both within the institute and internationally. ASTRON astronomers are active in many frontline research areas: galaxy structure and evolution, the interstellar and intergalactic medium, pulsars and compact objects, the transient radio sky, AGN evolution, studies of the magnetic universe, large radio continuum and HI surveys, deep fields, and gravitational lensing. They are also heavily involved in the operation and use of LOFAR and involved in preparing for the wide-field astronomy that will be made possible with instruments like APERTIF, which will be installed on the WSRT in the very near future. ASTRON astronomers are also involved in preparations for the SKA and participate in SKA precursor projects. Other front-line research facilities available to astronomers resident in the Netherlands include ESO, ALMA, and the ING telescopes.
For more information about ASTRON look on our website www.astron.nl. For more information about this vacancy please contact Diana Verweij, Head of the HR department, phone: +31 521 595 211 or e-mail: email@example.com. For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Jason Hessels in the Astronomy Group, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can apply for this job by sending your one-paragraph introduction letter, curriculum vitae, and one-page description of past research experience to ASTRON by e-mail to email@example.com (reference number 2013-10-088). Please arrange for two to three letters of reference to be sent to the same address as well by the deadline. Consideration of applications will begin on 1 December 2013 and continue until the positions are filled.