Applications are solicited for up to three post-doctoral fellowships in astrophysics at Paris Observatory-PSL. The positions are funded for one year, renewable for a second year.
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL is a new university federating nine prestigious research and higher education institutions in the fields of sciences, humanities, and arts, such as the Paris École Normale Supérieure, Paris-Dauphine University, or Paris Observatory, and involving as well ten associate institutions.
Paris Observatory is one of the largest astronomical centres in the world with 650 permanent staff out of a total of 1000 employees, and 840 publications per year. It represents one fourth of French astronomy with teams covering a wide range of research fields and participating in the largest instrumental, theoretical/numerical and experimental projects of modern astronomy. Research teams are located on three main sites, amongst which two are in the Paris area (Paris and Meudon). The third one is the Nançay astronomical radio observatory. Paris Observatory-PSL is part of a rich astronomical environment in the Paris area comprising about 600 scientists.
Successful applicants will be expected to conduct research related to the priorities of the Paris Observatory laboratories and of the Virtual Observatory Paris Astronomical Data Centre (PADC), and to the themes and programmes highlighted by the Paris Observatory Scientific Council for the 2019 – 2023 period :
- Cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution
- Exoplanets and conditions for life
- Fundamental physics and gravitational waves
- High-energy astrophysics, compact objects, Active Galactic Nuclei
- High performance computing in astrophysics
- Interstellar medium
- Laboratory physics and astrophysics.
- Solar physics and heliosphere
- Solar system
- Stellar physics
- The Galaxy
A special attention will be given to applications that are focused on the scientific exploitation or preparation of instruments that were or are currently developed at the Paris Observatory.
Fellowships are open to applicants of any nationality. Fellowships should normally start between September and December 2022.
Selection criteria and procedure
Applications will be selected according to the following criteria:
- Scientific interest of the project in the context of the specific field of research and how it fits within the priorities of the Paris Observatory and of the research laboratory;
- Scientific track record of the applicant and relevance of the proposed project in his/her employability and longer-term career;
- Proposed work plan: pertinence and consistency with respect to the scientific objectives;
- Synergy of the project with the host team;
- Clarity and quality of the application.
Applications will be selected following a three-step procedure:
- Pre-selection of applications by the Paris Observatory research laboratories: each laboratory can select a limited number of applications depending on its size (number of research teams and number of researchers). Criteria (a), (b), and (d) are used during this first pre-selection step. A maximal number of 30 applications are pre-selected and transmitted to the Scientific Council of the Paris Observatory;
- Each pre-selected application is ranked according to criteria (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) by three reviewers selected within the Scientific Council. Each criterion carries equal weight in the evaluation of an average grade. Applications are ranked according to the average grades (scores) and the 70% best applications are selected to pass this second step of the selection process;
- The remaining applications are discussed during the Fall session of the Paris Observatory Scientific Council, from which a list of ~10 applications are finally selected. The first ranked applications, depending on the exact number of positions offered that year, are contacted right after to be offered a position. Applications ranked up to the 10th rank (waiting list) are contacted;
- If a candidate to whom a position was offered declines, the position is offered to the next candidates on the waiting list until the position is fulfilled.