ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Research FellowsPostdoctoral Research Fellows (3 positions) in Data Intensive Astronomy and Galaxy Evolution

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Archive Date: 
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Macquarie University
Department Name: 
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
North Ryde, Sydney
New South Wales
Job Announcement Text: 
  • An exciting opportunity for three motivated researchers and data professionals to join the newly created Macquarie University Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D)
  • Outstanding collaboration and career development opportunities
  • Based at the parkland campus of Macquarie University, 30 minutes from the Sydney CBD
  • Salary Package: Level A step 6 (PhD) from $95,706 to $102,570., plus 17% employer’s Superannuation and annual leave loading.
  • Appointment Type: Full-time, fixed term for 3 years, with a possibility of further appointment subject to funding.
  • Each position comes with generous funding for research equipment and travel

The Roles

Macquarie University seeks to appoint THREE level-A researchers to join its newly created Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). ASTRO 3D is a $40m national research centre spanning nine Australian Universities, partnering with major research institutions in Australia and overseas, and providing outstanding networking and career development opportunities for researchers in astrophysics and data science.

One position will be focused on Galaxy Evolution research using integral field spectroscopy (IFS) from the newly commissioned Hector multi-IFS instrument, conducting a 15,000 galaxy survey at high spectral resolution using the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) at Siding Spring Observatory.

Two positions will focus on Data-Intensive Astronomy, creating unique opportunities for applicants with strong interests (or existing skills) in both data science and astrophysics research, with each position dedicating half their time to developing innovative research-oriented data applications and methodologies in partnership with ASTRO 3D projects (spanning optical, radio and simulation/theory), and the other half dedicated to conducting independent data-intensive astronomical research related to one or more of the scientific programs of the Centre of Excellence.

In line with the ASTRO 3D's goal of achieving equal numbers of male and female researchers across all levels, at least two of these three positions will be filled by researchers who identify as women. Macquarie University supports special measures to improve access, participation and inclusion of academic women who are under-represented in the field of Astronomy. We also actively encourage applications from researchers who identify with other under-represented groups in STEM research, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

All appointees will have access to a broad range of mentoring and support options to facilitate their career development, and will be encouraged to lead independent research projects exploiting the outstanding national and international network of distinguished collaborators within the ASTRO 3D Centre of Excellence.

Postdoctoral Fellow Level A, Data-Intensive Astronomy (2 positions, under Associate Professor Richard McDermid)

These data-focused researchers will spend 50% of their time developing innovative research-oriented tools for accessing, visualising and analysing data from across the diverse array of ASTRO 3D science programs. Appointees will work closely with Data Central – the data-specialist group within the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University. Both appointees will work with some of the largest and most complex astrophysical data sets in the world, embedding themselves within the associated projects’ science teams to develop discovery-enabling tools that break new ground in our understanding of the Universe. Each appointment will have 50% of their time dedicated to leading a program of research related to data-intensive ASTRO 3D projects aligned with Macquarie’s research strengths.

Postdoctoral Fellow Level A, Galaxy Evolution (1 position, under Dr Matt Owers)

This research program will focus on understanding the impact of environment on galaxy evolution using a unique integral-field spectroscopic sample of thousands of galaxies, including eleven rich clusters and their outskirts. The successful applicant will become part of the Hector Galaxy Survey team, and will take a leading role in various aspects of the cluster portion of the survey. The research associate will also contribute to the ongoing success of the survey by observing at the AAT, and publishing papers based on Hector Survey data.

About Macquarie University

Macquarie University has established itself as one of the fastest-growing centres of astronomy research excellence in Australia, consistently holding a top ranking of ‘well above world standard’ in the Excellence in Research for Australia national research evaluation framework since 2012. Macquarie also hosts Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO), bringing significant expertise in the archiving and management of large astronomical data sets via the Data Central team. As a node of ASTRO 3D, Macquarie therefore brings together both an active environment for astronomical research and advanced technical capabilities in data intensive astronomy, giving a unique opportunity for applicants to combine skills in both areas.

Macquarie University is situated in the leafy suburb of North Ryde, less than 30 minutes by train from the Sydney CBD, and bordering on the picturesque Lane Cove National Park. Sydney itself was ranked the world’s third most liveable city by the Economist in 2019, and generally ranks in the top 10 of cities with the highest quality of living.

Application Process

Applications for all three positions will be evaluated together by a single selection committee, who’s composition will be gender balanced and diverse, following the hiring guidelines of Macquarie University and ASTRO 3D.

Applicants must provide a cover letter indicating which position(s) they wish to be considered for, and a statement addressing the relevant selection criteria below. In addition, a 2-page CV must be provided (including details of two referees, who will be contacted as needed), along with a 2-page statement of research achievements and plans in the context of these roles.

Selection Criteria for Data-Intensive Astronomy Positions:

The successful applicant will have a PhD (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in Astrophysics, Data Science, Computing, or other area of data-intensive science, with demonstrated experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • A record of science innovation and research creativity, preferably evidenced by peer-reviewed journal publications, but discipline- and industry-norms will be taken into account;
  • Experience in working with and managing large complex data sets, preferably for the purpose of collaborative research and discovery;
  • Excellent communication skills, and ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary, geographically-distributed team;
  • A demonstrated ability to identify the key elements of complex problems, and design and implement solutions in collaboration with disparate stakeholders.

Selection Criteria for Galaxy Evolution/Hector Survey Position:

The successful applicant will have a PhD (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in observational astrophysics, with demonstrated experience (via peer-reviewed publications) in one or more of the following areas:

  • Using integral field spectroscopy to characterise the stellar and interstellar medium properties of galaxies;
  • Characterising the local and global environments of galaxies using e.g. multi-object spectroscopy and/or X-ray observations;
  • Measuring the photometric and structural composition of galaxies;
  • Comparison of observational data to simulations.

Equity & Diversity Statement

Macquarie University is committed to providing a working environment where each individual is valued, respected and supported to progress. Our priority is to ensure culture, policies and processes are truly inclusive and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, gender, culture, disability, LGBTIQA+ identities, family and caring responsibilities, age, or religion. We strongly encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria and shares Macquarie University’s values of scholarship, empowerment and integrity to apply.

Learn more about our progress towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

Pay Compensation
Salary Min: 
$67951.00 (USD)
Salary Max: 
$72824.00 (USD)
Compensation Notes: 
The above is based on 1 AUD = 0.71 USD
Included Benefits: 

Salary Package: Level A step 6 (PhD) from $95,706AUD to $102,570AUD, plus 17% employer’s Superannuation (pension scheme) and annual leave loading.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Richard McDermid
Associate Professor
Macquarie University
Department Name: 
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Associate Professor Richard McDermid
ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Research Fellows