SKA Postdoctoral Position in Radio Astronomy Simulations

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Square Kilometre Array Organisation
Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield
SK11 9DL
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Reports To: SKA Science Director

Term: This is a 3-year term appointment

Submission of applications: Email to  See final paragraph for details of how to apply.

Location: SKA Organisation, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, UK

Organisation Background

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to build a multi-purpose radio telescope that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology. It will be one of a small number of cornerstone observatories around the world that will provide astrophysicists and cosmologists with a transformational view of the Universe. The SKA will be constructed in two distinct phases. The major science goals for the first phase (SKA1) will be to study the history and role of neutral Hydrogen in the Universe from the dark ages to the present-day, and to employ pulsars as probes of fundamental physics.

The SKA Organisation is headquartered in a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, UK.

General Description

The Office of the SKA Organisation (“SKA Office”) leads the SKA system design and oversees the detailed design being undertaken within the globally distributed SKA work packages (WPs). The project is currently preparing for the System Critical Design Review (CDR) and the development of the construction proposal, to be ready to start the construction phase in 2020. To accomplish this goal the SKA Office employs highly qualified scientists and engineers, project managers and system engineers. The SKA Science Team safeguards the scientific capabilities of the telescope design and is currently staffed by a Science Director and four Project Scientists. Please have a look at the astronomer’s portal to the SKA web site for more information:

The Role

This position will play a major role in developing solutions for the SKA Science Data Challenge, and in collaboration with existing Science Team members, this initiative aims to release increasingly realistic simulated SKA datasets and data products to the international scientific user community with a six-month cadence. This individual will have a PhD in Astrophysics, as well as significant experience and expertise in interferometric image processing and simulation.

Familiarity with the major interferometric calibration and imaging packages (such as AIPS, Miriad, CASA) is essential, together with Python scripting skills and the ability to install, maintain and customise software packages in a cluster environment.

Programming expertise and experience with Code Optimisation for GPUs and multi-processor CPUs is highly desirable. The role will provide the opportunity for 25 percent independent research.

Mandatory Qualifications, Experience & Knowledge

  • A PhD or equivalent, in Astronomy, Physics or a closely related field
  • Significant familiarity with the major calibration and imaging packages used in Radio Astronomy (AIPS, Miriad, CASA)
  • Significant familiarity with the underlying algorithms used in calibration and imaging in Radio Astronomy
  • Experience with installation, maintenance and customisation of astronomical software packages in a Linux/Unix/MacOSX environment
  • Experience with Python Scripting

Desirable Qualifications, Experience & Knowledge

The following are highly desirable:

  • Expertise in Software Programming
  • Expertise in Code Optimization for multi-processor CPUs
  • Expertise in Code Optimization for GPUs

For more information on the SKA project visit The SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary, a generous company pension scheme and other benefits, including a flexible working environment.  The successful applicant’s workplace will be located at the SKA Office’s new headquarters in Jodrell Bank Observatory. 

How to apply: 
Please send a CV (including your current remuneration) and covering letter to, quoting reference PD05. Applications should include a summary of scientific accomplishments, project experience, a resume and the names of at least three professional references. Closing date for receipt of applications is 28th December 2018.

Equal Opportunities

SKA Organisation is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

At all stages of the recruitment process and beyond, we strive to treat applicants and employees with a high standard of care, honesty and politeness.

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Organisation welcomes and encourages female applicants.

Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided. If you need equipment or adjustments to enable you to complete your application and/or attend an interview then please let us know.

Pay Compensation
Compensation Notes: 
Competitive Salary and Flexible Benefits
Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 28, 2018
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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