Onsala Space Observatory (OSO), the Swedish national facility for radio astronomy hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral fellow in connection with its newly established European ALMA regional centre (ARC) node.
Background: The ALMA (sub)millimetre array in Northern Chile, presently under construction, will provide a leap in performance relative to existing millimetre-wave arrays. Onsala Space observatory and Chalmers University have a strong involvement in both the science of ALMA and its technical development. A permanent staff of eight astronomers plus PhD students conduct a wide range of research from star formation to cosmology. Staff specialise in observing at radio through submillimetre wavelengths, but also make use of IR, optical and other observations. Additionally, theoretical work is conducted in astrochemistry, radiative transfer and N-body simulations. On the technical side for ALMA Onsala is/has been heavily involved in the areas of receiver development, water vapour radiometry design and the design of the antenna pad distribution. Onsala also manages the 23% Swedish share in the 12m diameter APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) submillimetre wavelength telescope at the ALMA site.
To support the use of ALMA for a wide range of astronomers ALMA regional centers (ARCs) are being established in Europe, North America and East Asia. The European ARC has a distributed structure with most core user operations (proposal handling, scheduling, archiving, standard pipeline data reduction etc) being concentrated at ESO headquarters in Garching (Germany) while face-to-face user support, most off-line data reduction, development of specialist data reduction and local community outreach will be functions covered by ARC 'nodes' covering countries or sub-regions within Europe. A Nordic ARC node is being established at Onsala (Sweden) to provide ALMA support functions to astronomers in the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland) and in the Baltic countries. The ARC node at Onsala will as a minimum consist of a part time director, two new permanent staff positions and postdoctoral positions. These positions will be filled in 2008 in order to prepare for supporting and exploiting ALMA science-verification and first-science operations in 2009 and 2010.
Job Description: The postdoctoral position is largely funded by the pan-Nordic funding agency, Nordforsk and will run for two years. The successful candidate is expected to run her/his own astronomical research programme in an area where ALMA will make a large impact, and will preferably make significant use of APEX observations in preparing for ALMA. Additional support duties will involve helping the ARC node become ready for ALMA operations. This will involve testing and becoming familiar with ALMA observing and reduction tools, providing face-to-face help to initial Nordic ALMA users and helping in outreach for ALMA in the Nordic region, including helping organise and run workshops. Establishing research collaborations with potential ALMA users, especially within the Nordic region will also be encouraged.
The position will have a gross salary of approximately 30,000 Swedish Kronor per month (approximately $5000/month or €3150/month). The position is available immediately and we hope to fill it before December 2008 at the latest.
Requirements: The successful candidate should have a PhD in astronomy, with a strong research record. Previous experience in millimetre or radio astronomy and /or in interferometric imaging would be strong advantages.
Further Information and application: For further details of the position and for application details contact John Conway, (John.Conway@chalmers.se) The application should consist of a curriculum vitae/resume and a research plan and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org citing job ref 2008/114 in the subject line. The applicant should also arrange for two letters of reference to be sent to the same address, also citing the job reference number.