ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Fellowship

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Archive Date: 
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research - Curtin University
Job Announcement Text: 

A prestigious ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Fellowship in Australia is available for an outstanding early career researcher within the Curtin University node of the Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) spans six (6) Australian universities, three (3) national infrastructure facilities, and seven (7) international partner institutions.  ASTRO 3D combines Australia's leading optical, infrared and radio telescope technologies with sophisticated theoretical simulations and ambitious new data intensive science techniques to build a comprehensive picture of the evolution of matter, the chemical elements, and ionizing radiation in the Universe from the Epoch of Reionization to the present day.


Headed by Professor Lisa Kewley at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Australian National University, the Centre of Excellence is offering one externally funded prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship to an outstanding early career postdoctoral scientist to conduct independent, world-leading observational, computational, or theoretical research focused on the main Centre scientific programs.


This Fellowship is offered at the Curtin University node and is offered within and across any of the science programs in ASTRO 3D. The primary science program at the Curtin node is The Epoch of Reionization, led by Assoc. Professor Cathryn Trott, and a research plan that includes the Epoch of Reionization science program would be advantageous.

The Epoch of Reionization program uses the Murchison Widefield Array and future Square Kilometre Array in Western Australia to detect the sources at the Epoch of Reionization using rest-frame 21cm emission and to compare with the predictions of detailed theoretical simulations.


Other ASTRO 3D Science Programs include:

First Stars: This program aims to discover the oldest and most metal-poor stars in and around the Milky Way using ANU's SkyMapper telescope and determining their chemical compositions by means of high-resolution spectroscopy with telescopes like Keck and Magellan to shed light on their formation, evolution and nucleosynthesis.

First Galaxies: This program aims to discover the first galaxies in the universe with JWST and to reveal their chemical and star formation properties.

Galaxy Evolution: This research program, suitable for both theorists and observers, combines rest-frame UV, optical, and infrared Keck spectroscopy with large-scale numerical simulations to understand chemical evolution, mass build-up, and the accumulation of angular momentum in galaxies across cosmic time, as well as gas transport through and out of galaxies.

ASKAP Surveys: The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is conducting three large surveys (FLASH, WALLABY, and DINGO) to measure the mass and angular momentum through neutral hydrogen gas of hundreds of thousand galaxies over the past 6 billion years.

SAMI: the SAMI survey is providing data on the kinematics, morphology and stellar populations of more than 3000 galaxies. This project will use this data to explore the role of angular momentum in determining the morphologies and star formation histories of galaxies. It will compare observations to simulations of galaxy formation to test models of angular momentum evolution during galaxy assembly.

GALAH: The GALactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey is an ambitious spectroscopic survey on the Anglo-Australian Telescope with the ultimate goal of determining the detailed chemical composition of a million stars in the Milky Way to unravel the full assembly, dynamical, chemical, star formation and merger history of the Galaxy.

Data Intensive Science: the Centre is reliant on the efficient collection, processing, storage and curation of vast amounts of data from the Centre’s scientific programs, requiring novel techniques and advanced algorithms to accomplish.


The vibrant and diverse Australian astronomical research community has access to a broad array of facilities. These include the optical/IR Anglo-Australian Telescope, Magellan, Gemini and Keck telescopes as well as the new MWA and ASKAP radio telescopes.  Australia is also strongly engaged in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) projects, and has recently joined the European Southern Observatory (ESO) with access to ESO facilities.


This Fellowship is tenable at the Curtin University ASTRO 3D node as host institution. Fellows may spend up to two 2 years visiting at another ASTRO 3D host institution or partner institution of their choice, and are encouraged to conduct research within more than one scientific program or to conduct collaborations across more than one host or partner institution.  

ASTRO 3D host institutions are:

        The Australian National University

        The University of Sydney

        The University of Melbourne

        Swinburne University of Technology

        The University of Western Australia

        Curtin University


ASTRO 3D partner institutions are:

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, The Anglo-Australian Observatory, The National Computational Infrastructure, The California Institute of Technology, The University of Washington (Seattle), The University of Toronto, Oxford University, The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, The Chinese Academy of Sciences.

ASTRO 3D actively encourages applications from Women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we value diversity and inclusion and believe employment opportunities must not be limited by socio-economic background, race, religion or gender.


Application information

In order to apply for this role please ensure that you upload the following documents to the Curtin University recruitment portal:

        A cover letter

        A current curriculum vitae (CV) with an up to date publication list

        A two (2) page description of your previous research

        A three (3) page statement describing your future research plans

        A statement addressing the selection criteria


1. A PhD or progress toward a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or related area, with a track record of independent research in astronomy or astrophysics as evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

2. Expertise in at least one of the following areas: the Epoch of Reionisation, the First Stars, the First Galaxies, Galaxy Evolution, ASKAP surveys, the SAMI survey, the GALAH survey, and/or Data Intensive Astronomy Infrastructure.

3. Experience in undertaking research projects with the potential to develop a research program of high international standing.

4. An ability and commitment to contribute to bids for competitive external funding to support individual and collaborative research activities.

5. Excellent oral and written English language skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate and interact effectively with a variety of staff and students in a cross-disciplinary academic environment and to foster respectful and productive working relationships with staff, students and colleagues at all levels.

6. Ability and willingness to assist with the supervision of students working on research projects.

7. A demonstrated understanding of equal opportunity principles and policies and a commitment to their application in a university context.

        Three (3) letters of reference should be sent independently to by the deadline (June 1 2018)

Included Benefits: 

Work type: Fixed term and externally funded research-only position for four years.  ASTRO 3D supports a flexible working environment; subject to visa restrictions, this opportunity is available as either a full-time or part-time position

Location: Curtin University, Perth, Australia

Salary package: $86,832 - $93,178 + 17% Superannuation (AUD)

        Undertake cutting edge research in Astronomy and Astrophysics

        Work with a leading research facility

        Flexibility in ASTRO 3D science program


Curtin University offers a competitive remuneration and benefits package, a friendly and collaborative work environment, generous leave entitlements, flexible working arrangements, a relocation allowance, generous superannuation, salary packaging arrangements including child care, and the potential to support dual-career arrangements.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, June 1, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Ms Tina Salisbury
CIRA Business Manager
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Assoc. Prof. Cathryn Trott
ASTRO 3D Fellowship enquiry