Postdoctoral Research Associate in Theoretical Astronomy, Physics

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 per annum
Nov 18, 2021
End of advertisement period
Dec 03, 2021
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Full Time

Department of Physics

Grade 7: - 34,304
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 4 month
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 03-Dec-2021, 7:59:00 AM

The Department

The Department of Physics at Durham University is one of the leading UK Physics departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education, and are proud of our Juno Champion Award and Athena SWAN Silver Award.

The Role

The candidate would be expected to undertake a programme of research in support of Durham’s contribution to the Enabling Weak Lensing Cosmology (EWC) project, particularly the Work Package on the Virtual Universe.

The post-holder will work directly with Prof Carlton Baugh and Prof Richard Massey as well as interacting with other members of the group.


The successful applicant will be expected:

  • 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 work towards publishing in 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 assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • 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 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.

This post is fixed term for 4 months linked to an EU Grant exploring “Enabling Weak lensing Cosmology” with time-limited funding.

The post-holder is employed to work on 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 1 December 2021. 

The Requirements


  1. Qualifications
    • A good first degree in physics or a related.
    • A PhD (or be close to submission) in Astronomy or a related subject.
  2. Experience
    • Experience in conducting high quality research.
    • Undertaken postgraduate training in astronomy
    • Experience of writing reports on research
    • Experience in galaxy formation modelling and building mock galaxy catalogues. 
    • Experience in presenting results at EWC review meetings.
  3. Skills
    • 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.
    • Expertise in running and analysing cosmological simulations.


  1. Experience
    • 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.
    • 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.
  2. Skills
    • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor C.M. Baugh (c.m.baugh@durham.ac.uk. 0191 3343542). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above, including publication list.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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