Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Multi-Wavelength Transient Astronomy

Hawthorn, Australia
Thursday, 13 February 2020
End of advertisement period
Thursday, 30 April 2020
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Join our prestigious Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery
  • Full time, 3-year fixed term position at our Hawthorn campus
  • Academic Level A6 to A8 $87,603 - $93,896 + 17% superannuation

About the Job

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with expertise in time domain astronomy, with a focus on fast transients. The Research Fellow will work with Associate Professor Jeff Cooke at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, in collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

The Fellow will help explore fast (millisecond-to-hours duration) multi-wavelength time domain science and help progress the Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) program. DWF is a Swinburne-led program involving over 60 multi-wavelength (radio through gamma-ray) and particle detector observatories worldwide and in space for real time detection and rapid and later-time follow up of fast transients. Fast transients include fast radio bursts (FRBs), gamma-ray bursts, supernova shock breakouts, novae, X-ray bursts, flare stars, kilonovae, and unknown events in this little explored regime, as well as early detection of slower evolving events.

The appointee will help optimise DWF coordinated operational runs, database, and citizen science program, produce DWF science publications, and is encouraged to pursue their own transient-related research. If interested, the Fellow is welcome to pursue additional DWF-related opportunities, such as progressing advanced data visualisation techniques, including our virtual and augmented reality data analysis project, our data sonification tools, and Swinburne-led instrumentation projects underway aimed at progressing fast transient astronomy and the fast analysis of Big Data.

Skills and Experience

To be successful in this role you will require a PhD in observational astrophysics with research interests and experience in time domain astronomy. Demonstrable research skills in transient astronomy are essential, as evidenced by publications and/or technical skills through community code development.

Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing

The Centre, located in Melbourne, ranks among the best in the world and is one of Australia’s largest astronomy research institutes, hosting over 20 faculty, 20 post-doctoral researchers, 50 PhD students and many visiting international researchers. Swinburne is one of the few universities in the world with guaranteed access to the W.M. Keck Observatory telescopes in Hawaii and our astronomers have access to ESO and Australian telescopes, and regularly obtain time on HST, VLT, Magellan, AAT, ATCA, Parkes, ASKAP and many other major facilities. Swinburne hosts the headquarters of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave discovery (OzGrav) and the next generation Australian Supercomputer for Theoretical Astrophysics (OzSTAR), with petaflops performance and state-of-the-art 2D and 3D visualisation facilities.

Living in Melbourne

Melbourne is top ranked for its quality of life and as a destination for working abroad (ranked #1 or #2 in the world since 2010). Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a mild climate and plenty of sunshine, with ocean, mountains, and wildlife nearby. The city offers a diverse range or nightlife, restaurants, entertainment, festivals, and culture, while featuring numerous parks, open spaces and excellent public transportation.


Swinburne University provides generous superannuation (typically 17%) and paternity, maternity, annual, and sick leave provisions. Swinburne is committed to encouraging a balanced workforce, by providing equity, diversity, and inclusion, family-friendly policies and work practices, part-time roles, solutions to ‘two-body’ problems where possible, and career development.

How to apply and further information

See the full position description here and follow the instructions to apply online. Applications must include a cover letter, CV with publications and skills listed, and a 2-page research plan that describes the research you would like to pursue as part of the OzGrav team. Three letters of reference are to be submitted independently by the referees to Jeff Cooke at by the application closing deadline. For further information about this position, contact A/Prof Jeff Cooke on +613 9214 5392 or via email at

Should you require further support for an interview due to special needs or consideration, please contact our Diversity Consultant, Dr Walter Robles, on For support or queries related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, please contact

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Recruitment team on

Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation. We are proud to be recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an Employer of Choice for women for 10 years in a row and of key initiatives such as our Pride@Swinburne Strategic Action Plan and our Reconciliation Action Plan. Equity and diversity are integral to our 2025 vision to be a world class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation.

Applications close at 5 pm on 30 April 2020