The Origins in Cosmology and Astrophysics (OrCA) group at the University of Liege (Belgium) invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher position to participate to the SPECULOOS project. SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) is a new search for terrestrial exoplanets targeting the ~1000 nearest ultracool (spectral type latter than M6) dwarf stars, and based on a network of 1m-class robotic telescopes. Its main southern node is the SPECULOOS-South Observatory (SSO), a new facility of four 1m telescopes currently being installed at ESO Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The inauguration of SSO and the start of its scientific operations is expected for July 2018.
Under the supervision of Michael Gillon, PI of SPECULOOS, the successful applicant will take in charge the instrumental and technical management of the SSO facility, which may include maintenance and upgrade to the hardware and software, documentation and observer support, and the optimization of the facility database, the telescopes’ control system, and the data reduction pipelines. Applicants are also welcome to discuss new emphases that they would bring to the SPECULOOS project. The successful applicant can allocate up to 50% of her/his time to work on independent research programs, or (preferably) on the scientific participation to SPECULOOS. Of particular interest are candidates whose research interests are closely related to the exoplanet programs conducted in the OrCA team.
The start date is flexible, but should happen before Oct 1st 2018. The successful application should have obtained a Ph. D. in astronomy or a related field. A strong background in robotic astronomy is a plus. Qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to species, race, creed, color, age, gender, national or planetary origin. Appointment is for 2 years.
Applicants should submit a CV, publication list, statement of current and future research interests, and names of 3 references. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2018. Applications should be sent as a single PDF to: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org