The Astrophysics Departments at Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science invite applications for up to two joint postdoctoral positions focused on astronomical transients, including tidal disruption events, core-collapse supernovae, and rapidly-evolving transients. Successful applicants will manage the observations, data analysis and scientific exploitation of transient spectra obtained through the upcoming novel SoXS instrument, and will also be encouraged to initiate and pursue their independent research program.
The postdoctoral researchers will work together with the research groups of both Prof. Avishay Gal-Yam at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Dr. Iair Arcavi at Tel Aviv University, will have offices at both departments, and will be encouraged to interact with faculty, postdocs and students at both institutions.
SoXS (Son of X-Shooter) is an upcoming high‐efficiency wide-band spectrograph for the ESO-NTT telescope on La Silla with a resolution of 3500 to 6500 and a simultaneous wavelength coverage from 3500 Ang to 2 microns. It is expected to start operations in early 2023. SoXS is specifically designed for spectroscopy of transient events with half of the time proprietary to the consortium (to which Prof. Gal-Yam and Dr. Arcavi belong), and all of the time being managed dynamically by the consortium to allow for rapid and flexible classification and follow-up of a large number of transients.
Prof. Gal-Yam chairs the Core Collapse Supernova Working Group for SoXS and Dr. Arcavi chairs the Fast Transients Working Group and is deputy chair of the Tidal Disruption Events Working Group. Both are members of the Gravitational Wave Followup Working Group, and Dr. Arcavi is also a member of the Classification Working Group.
The starting date can be between late 2022 and early 2023, with the positions running for three years (two guaranteed and the third based on performance). The positions include funds for research support (travel, computing, publication fees, etc), access to the Las Cumbres Observatory global network of robotic telescopes, to the robotic telescopes at Tel Aviv University's Wise Observatory, to the Weizmann Institute’s upcoming Large Array Survey Telescope, to the MMT and Magellan telescopes, to the upcoming high-cadence BlackGEM transient survey, and to the upcoming wide-field UV transient survey to be conducted with the ULTRASAT space telescope.
Tel Aviv University is located in the northern part of Tel Aviv - a vibrant, liberal, cultural city on the shore of the Mediterranean. The Weizmann Institute is located in the city of Rehovot, some 30km south of Tel Aviv (both institutions are connected by a direct 30-minute train line). Both Astrophysics Departments have close ties to other departments in Israel and around the world.
Applicants should email a CV, publication list, and a brief (< 3 pages) description of research interests, and arrange for at least three reference letters to be sent to [email protected]. Please state the name of the applicant in the subject line. Complete applications received by December 31, 2021 will receive full consideration.