Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy

Durham, United Kingdom
Oct 28, 2020
End of advertisement period
Dec 17, 2020
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Institute for Computational Cosmology

Department of Physics

Grade 7: - £33,797
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 3 year
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 17-Dec-2020, 7:59:00 AM

The Department

The Department of Physics at Durham University is one of the very best UK Physics departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked in the top 10 in REF2014 in terms of grade point average, 96% of Durham Physics research was considered either to be of “internationally excellent quality” or “world leading”. The Department is committed to research-led and small group teaching. The Complete University Guide ranks Durham's Physics Department in fourth place nationally based on entry standards, student satisfaction, research and graduate prospects.

The Department hosts one of the largest research groups in Europe dedicated to observational and theoretical cosmology, extragalactic astronomy and advanced instrumentation. The Durham group is ranked joint-sixth in the world in terms of our research impact. The successful candidate will join the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Institute for Computational Cosmology. In November 2016 the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation moved into the brand new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building designed by the world renowned Studio Daniel Libeskind.

The Role

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position in the area of extragalactic astronomy at Durham University. We are particularly interested in candidates with research interests in both radio galaxy surveys and cosmological simulations. However, excellent candidates with interests outside of these areas are also encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will work on SKA pathfinder surveys (with a focus on LOFAR) and the EAGLE cosmological simulation, in collaboration with Dr Leah Morabito.

The Department of Physics is committed to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment. It is pledged to the Athena SWAN charter, where we hold a silver award, and has the status of IoP Juno Champion. We embrace equality and particularly welcome applications from women, black and minority ethnic candidates, and members of other groups that are under-represented in physics. Durham University provides a range of benefits including pension, flexible and/or part time working hours, shared parental leave policy and childcare provision.


  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • In addition you will carry out one or more of the following:
  • The reduction and/or analysis of radio surveys data
  • The analysis of cosmological simulation data
  • The development and/or analysis ofsemi-analytic models of radio galaxies / galaxy formation

This post is fixed term for 3 years from the start date.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by December 1st October 2021.

The Requirements



  • A good first degree in astrophysics, cosmology, or a related subject.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in astrophysics, cosmology, or a related subject.


  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research in the area of extragalactic astronomy and/or cosmology using observational and/or theoretical/computational techniques
  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  • In addition candidates will have expertise in one of the following:
    • The reduction and/or analysis of radio surveys data
    • The development and/or analysis of computer simulations
    • The analysis and/or interpretation of data from astronomical surveys


  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.
  • Experience with developing and/or implementing equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives
  • Experience of using computing clusters


Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.