Next-Generation Event Horizon Telescope Postdoctoral Position

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Institution/Company: 
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
City: 
Cambridge
State/Province: 
MA
Country: 
United States of America
Announcement
Job Announcement Text: 

Next-Generation Event Horizon Telescope Postdoctoral Position
at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), a partner in the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) with Harvard University. The EHT is an international project to study event horizon scale physics at the boundary of the supermassive black holes at the center of the Milky Way (SgrA*) and in Virgo A (M87) using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry. The EHT group at SAO is located close to Harvard University at 160 Concord Ave. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is closely affiliated with the Harvard Black Hole Initiative (BHI), the first interdisciplinary research center worldwide to focus on the study of black holes.

On April 10, 2019, the EHT announced the first images of a black hole. These images resolved the core of the M87 galaxy, revealing a bright ring of emission encircling the predicted ‘shadow’ of a 6.5 billion solar mass black hole. Postdocs in the EHT group have full access to proprietary EHT data and are encouraged to take leading roles in all aspects of the project, including observations, instrument development, and data analysis, as well as studies of black hole accretion, jet formation, and exotic spacetimes.

The specific postdoctoral position announced here focuses on the next-generation EHT (ngEHT) project. This initiative is pursuing a number of specific long-range developments to increase the capability of the array, enabling real-time movies of supermassive black holes. The project will prototype dual-frequency millimeter-wave radio receivers and surface control of very large millimeter-wave radio dishes. It will modernize and accelerate large-scale data processing infrastructure (hardware and software). It will improve performance of existing large radio telescopes, and will enhance imaging fidelity through design and deployment of many small, replicated, designed-to-purpose radio dishes. It will require innovative analysis algorithms to draw new physics from next-generation data. It will also inform global ngEHT architecture and will study many extensions, such as horizon-resolving observations from space. The postdoctoral appointee will join an international team that includes engineers, astrophysical theorists, software developers, astronomers, and imaging algorithm experts, all united by a common science vision for the ngEHT.

We are looking for highly motivated and excellent applicants with experience in some subset of the areas of radio interferometry, software, astronomy data pipelines, digital signal processing, mm/submm instrumentation, and black hole theory/simulation/modeling. There are multiple opportunities for the successful candidate to take on leading roles within the ngEHT and EHT. The fellowships can start as early as winter 2021.

Applicants must have a PhD in astronomy, engineering, or a related field. The grant-funded position is for three years. A generous stipend, starting at $71,274/year, as well as full SAO benefits, research and travel funds, and laptop/desktop computers will be provided. 

To apply, please go to https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/586651300

For further information about the EHT or BHI, please go to www.eventhorizontelescope.org or https://bhi.fas.harvard.edu. Please direct any questions about projects or programs to Shep Doeleman (sdoeleman@cfa.harvard.edu) or Michael Johnson (mjohnson@cfa.harvard.edu). 

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. AAE/EOE.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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