The Department of Astrophysics of the Institute of Research into the Fundamental laws of the Universe (Irfu) at CEA-Saclay, a government research centre located 25 km South of Paris, invites applications for a permanent staff position in transient sky science. For several decades, the department has developed a worldwide expertise in hard X-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics and instrumentation, including the development and scientific exploitation of space borne coded mask imaging telescopes, such as GRANAT/SIGMA, INTEGRAL/SPI, INTEGRAL/IBIS and SVOM/ECLAIRs.
The decade 2020 will see the rise of so-called time domain astronomy. This concerns the detection, monitoring, characterisation and study of transient sources, which are variable on time scales ranging from the sub-second (Fast Radio Bursts, Gamma-Ray Bursts), to the day/month (binary systems, intermediate-mass black holes and to a lesser extent active galactic nuclei). All wavelengths are concerned since large dedicated networks are or will be operational very soon: SKA in radio, VRO (LSST) in visible, Einstein Probe in X-rays, SVOM in X-rays and soft gamma rays, and CTA in high-energy gamma rays.
SVOM, a French-Chinese collaboration, with its launch in early 2023, is the next mission dedicated to the study of high-energy transient sources. The department is strongly involved in SVOM in terms of payload and scientific exploitation and hosts in particular its French Science Centre (FSC). The FSC is also involved in the scientific planning of SVOM targets of opportunity in response to the detection of transient sources by other wide-field observatories at all wavelengths but also through new messengers.
In this context, the astrophysics department is looking for a transient sky astrophysicist working at the SVOM French Science Centre whose main tasks will be:
- Scientific analysis (multi-wavelength) and interpretation of transient sources (e.g. gamma-ray bursts):
- Short-term analysis of SVOM data and publication of the first results in telegrams/circulars and of the consolidated results in scientific papers,
- Coordination of the scientific analysis of ground/space data obtained by the SVOM instruments,
- Interpretation of the data in collaboration with the department’s theoretical group.
- Support to SVOM science operations (target of opportunity programming, training and coordination of Burst Advocates).
Specialist in fast transient sources:
- Phenomenology of high-energy fast transient sources including multi-messenger aspects; in order of priority:
- Gamma-ray bursts,
- Isolated compact stars (magnetars),
- X-ray binaries.
- Multi-wavelength radiation processes related to relativistic jets.
- Radiation processes related to compact objects.
Observational expertise in the following areas will be considered favorably:
- X-ray and gamma-ray data analysis,
- Multi-wavelength monitoring of alerts (robotic telescope chain),
- Characterisation of transient sources using machine-learning methods.
Ability to work in international collaborations is required.
TO APPLY: For full consideration, complete applications (including letters) must be submitted by December 23, 2021 by email to Bertrand Cordier ([email protected]). Applications should include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae (including the list of publications), a research statement (max 4 pages), as well as two letters of reference to be provided directly at the same address by the same date.
The interviews of selected candidates are foreseen in the first half of January 2022. The position has an expected start date in March 2022.