ASTRO 3D PhD Scholarship

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Archive Date: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Pre-doctoral/Graduate Positions
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Curtin University
Department Name: 
Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy
Job Announcement Text: 

A PhD position with stipend is available at the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), in Epoch of Reionization science. This position is funded by the ASTRO 3D Centre of Excellence. The applicant would be required to be successfully admitted to a PhD program at Curtin University. The position includes:

A stipend to support 3 years of PhD study (current rate AUD27,082, tax free, and is indexed annually)

Limited travel funding.


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 (EoR) to the present day.


Curtin University is part of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), a Joint Venture partnership with the University of Western Australia, which is also an ASTRO 3D node. This PhD position is offered at the Curtin University node, where the primary science program is The Epoch of Reionization, led by Assoc. Professor Cathryn Trott.


PhD projects on offer include:

Understanding ionospheric conditions in MWA EoR data (contact: Dr Chris Jordan,

Variations in the ionosphere are poorly understood, yet have a profound impact on most radio transmissions between Earth and space, and radio astronomy.  MWA EoR is in a unique position to further study and understand how and why the ionosphere changes and behaves, which has huge implications for making radio transmissions more reliable into the future.

Measuring the global EoR signal using the MWA and the Moon (contact: Dr Ben McKinley,

Tiny variations in the mean temperature of the sky across the low-frequency radio spectrum provide a means to test our theories describing the evolution of the early Universe. Traditionally, single-dipole antennas have been used to try to detect this weak signal in the presence of bright astronomical foregrounds. In this project, you will develop, test and improve techniques to measure this global temperature using a novel, alternative method, which aims to measure the signal with an interferometer, using the Moon as a thermal reference source.

Eliminating the effect of the ionosphere in MWA EoR data (contact: Dr Chris Jordan,

The detection of the signature from the EoR is an ambitious project, and only by fully characterising our instrument and all intervening signals between us and the EoR do we have a hope to reach it.  The ionosphere, despite being in extreme proximity relative to traditional impediments to the EoR detection, affects us in both powerful and subtle ways. Detection and removal of ionospheric effects is thus critical to our detection of the EoR.

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, First Galaxies, Galaxy Evolution, ASKAP Surveys, SAMI, GALAH, Data Intensive Science.


To apply for this position, please send the following to the relevant project supervisor:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Brief description of your previous research and research interests
  • Full academic transcript
  • Details of three (3) referees who may be contacted.


Curtin University is ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide (ARWU 2017), and in the top 50 in the world for universities under the age of 50 (QS World University Rankings 2017). In recent years, Curtin has climbed significantly in global league tables and in the 2016 Nature Index results, Curtin was named as a rising star, the most collaborative of the Australian universities, and the biggest Australian mover. Curtin is industry-facing, highly engaged with relevant partners, and a major global player, with well-integrated campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai. The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) concentrates its research effort into a range of projects in radio astronomy, including aspects of next generation telescopes. The institute has played a leading role in contributing high-impact engineering and science to the international Square Kilometre Array project.

Pay Compensation
$20000.00 (USD)
Compensation Notes: 
Current Curtin scholarship rate (AUD27,802 per annum, tax free)
Included Benefits: 

A stipend to support 3 years of PhD study (current rate AUD27,082, tax free, and is indexed annually)

Limited travel funding.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, July 13, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Cathryn Trott
Assoc. Prof.
Curtin University
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Cathryn Trott
ASTRO 3D PhD Scholarship