Applications are invited for two PhD positions in astrophysics at Radboud University, of which one is a shared position between ASTRON and Radboud University in The Netherlands.
1. Testing gravity by timing pulsars with the SKA and its pathfinders
The PhD student will be based at Radboud University Nijmegen, with regular visits to ASTRON in Dwingeloo. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of dr. Gemma Janssen (ASTRON/Radboud) and dr. Cees Bassa (ASTRON) on testing gravity using high precision radio pulsar timing. Specific topics can cover: detecting gravitational waves with a PTA, testing GR and other theories of gravity using binary pulsars, or searching for pulsars. The candidate will use data from several existing telescopes like LOFAR and WSRT in The Netherlands, and will become part of the European Pulsar Timing Array collaboration. A close collaboration with MeerKAT through the MeerTIME project is expected. The results of this project will contribute to the development of SKA pulsar science and instrumentation, and as such will improve detection prospects of gravitational waves in the nanohertz regime.
2. Measuring extreme astrophysics in the Violent Universe using gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observations.
The PhD student will be based at Radboud University Nijmegen and the successful candidate will work under the supervision of dr. Samaya Nissanke (Radboud) on the astrophysics of electromagnetic counterparts and gravitational wave compact object mergers. Specific topics can cover: the theory of electromagnetic counterparts, the equation of state of neutron stars and testing fundamental physics with both gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations. The candidate will be part of the Virgo Collaboration, which works jointly with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and also be part of the electromagnetic follow-up efforts of the optical BlackGEM telescope (a dedicated telescope array for follow-up of gravitational wave mergers whose scientific center is Radboud), the LOFAR, MeerKAT and JVLA telescopes, and the GROWTH collaboration. The results of this project will contribute to the next generation of gravitational wave detectors, as well as the science gained from future surveys such as LSST and SKA.
The Department of Astrophysics at Radboud University is part of the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics. The vibrant department consists of 13 faculty, ~15 postdocs, ~25 PhD students. Research activities focus on high-energy astrophyscis, black holes, cosmic-rays, gravitational waves, stellar and binary evolution, star clusters and the Milky Way.
ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside the town of Dwingeloo in the province of Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. ASTRON's Astronomy Group offers a scientifically rich enviroment with strong ties to technical development in the domain of radio astronomy both within the institute and internationally. ASTRON astronomers are active in many frontline research areas. They are also heavily involved in the operation and use of LOFAR and involved in preparing for the wide-field astronomy that will be made possible with instruments like APERTIF, which is currently being commissioned on the WSRT. ASTRON astronomers are also involved in preparations for the SKA and participate in SKA precursor projects. Other front-line research facilities available to astronomers resident in the Netherlands include ESO, ALMA, and the ING telescopes.
More information about Radboud University and the Department of Astrophysics can be found at http://www.ru.nl/english/working-at/ http://www.ru.nl/astrophysics/ http://www.ru.nl/imapp/. For more information about ASTRON look on our websites www.astron.nl and http://www.jobsatastron.nl. For more information about this vacance please contact Dr. Gemma Janssen, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Samaya Nissanke, e-mail: email@example.com
The positions are part of the collective labour agreement (CAO) of the Dutch universities and research institutes, with gross/month salaries of 2100-2750 Euro for a PhD student depending on experience. Previous experience with radio astronomy, pulsars, or gravitational waves is preferred. The applicant should have a MSc in astronomy or physics.
To apply, email a cover letter, CV, list of university courses taken with a transcript of grades, and a brief research statement (PDF) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please arrange for 3 letters of reference to be emailed to email@example.com. Complete applications received by November 15, 2017 will receive full consideration. We encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities.