Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position on cosmic magnetic fields in the Fundamental Physics in Radio Astronomy department of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR). The successful candidate will work on the imaging survey enabled by the MPIfR Galactic plane survey at S-band (1.7-3.5 GHz) to be carried out with the South African MeerKAT Telescope in Karoo in collaboration with the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). This is the deepest planned Galactic plane survey at S-band to-date and is expected to produce high-impact results. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with Prof. Dr. Michael Kramer, Dr. Sui Ann Mao, the survey team members at the MPIfR, as well as our colleagues at SARAO on various aspects of the survey. This position is aimed at developing and optimizing the data reduction, calibration and imaging pipeline for the survey, with a focus on producing high fidelity polarization data products (with corrections for both on-and off-axis instrumental polarization effects). The successful candidate will make use of the resulting data products to conduct scientific research on a variety of topics, such as (1) understanding the multi-scale Milky Way magnetic field using both extended polarized synchrotron emission and a background Faraday rotation measure grid; and (2) characterizing broadband polarization properties of extragalactic radio sources.
The postdoctoral fellow will receive an official SARAO affiliation due to the close collaborative nature of this position between the MPIfR and SARAO. Regular visits to SARAO in Cape Town is encouraged during the appointment of the postdoctoral fellow. The MPIfR offers a vibrant research environment with expertise in diverse topics, including cosmic magnetic fields, pulsars, transients, star formation, Galactic structure and VLBI astronomy. Members of the Fundamental Physics in Radio Astronomy department are actively involved in magnetism science projects of SKA pathfinders, such as LOFAR, ASKAP, APERTIF, VLASS as well as the SKA magnetism science working group.
The applicant should have a PhD in astronomy/astrophysics or a closely related field. We seek candidates with experience in radio interferometry, and preferably in polarimetric surveys. Candidates with interests in radio polarimetric analysis, the interstellar medium, large and small-scale galactic magnetic fields, polarimetric properties of AGNs and big data are encouraged to apply.
Applications should be submitted by Jan 31st 2020, and should contain a curriculum vitae, a list of publications and a statement of research interest. The candidate should also arrange for three reference letters to be sent to the same email address by the deadline. The appointment is initially for 2 years, with the possibility to renew for an additional year. Funding for equipment and travel is available. The MPIfR is committed to equal opportunity in employment.