DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Physics

Location
Durham, United Kingdom
Salary
£33,797 - £41,526 per annum
Posted
05 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
02 Feb 2021
Ref
20000816
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Physics Department 

Department of Physics

Grade 7: - £33,797 - £41,526 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 24 month
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 02-Feb-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.

The Department is committed to advancing equality and we aim to ensure that our culture is inclusive, and that our systems support flexible and family-friendly working, as recognized by our Juno Champion and Athena SWAN Silver awards. We recognise and value the benefits of diversity throughout our staff and students.

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

The Department of Physics have a number of funded opportunities for outstanding early career researchers to join the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and/or the Institute for Computational Cosmology. These opportunities are typically in the areas of numerical simulations of structure formation, dark energy and modified gravity, dark matter, gravitational lensing, cluster physics, the Milky Way, galaxy surveys, absorption-line studies of the intergalactic medium, spatially resolved studies of galaxies, multiwavelength studies of the formation and evolution of galaxies and AGN, and the astrophysics of accreting black holes.

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.

Responsibilities:

  • 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.
  • To engage in citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.   
  • In addition you will carry out one or more of the following:
  • The reduction and/or analysis of spectroscopic data
  • The reduction and/or analysis of photometric and/or imaging data
  • The development and/or analysis of computer simulations
  • Theoretical research in cosmology
  • The analysis and/or interpretation of data from astronomical surveys

These posts are fixed term for 2-3 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 October 1st 2021. 

The Requirements

Essential:

Qualifications

  • 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

  • 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 spectroscopic data
  • The reduction and/or analysis of photometric and/or imaging data
  • The development and/or analysis of computer simulations
  • The analysis and/or interpretation of data from astronomical surveys
  • A good strategic fit with existing research expertise in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy or the Institute of Computational Cosmology 

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.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.   

Desirable:

Experience

  • 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.

Skills

  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact the astronomy secretaries at astro.secretary@durham.ac.uk. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Candidates should state in their application which areas they wish to be considered for.

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;
  • A research proposal, detailing current and future research plans

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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