Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Gravitational Wave Discovery - Electromagnetic Detection

Boroondara, Australia
27 Sep 2017
End of advertisement period
01 Dec 2017
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term

Swinburne aims to be a leading university in science, technology and innovation, with real impact that transforms industries and shapes lives and communities. We have an international reputation for research excellence, innovation and impact through active research engagement with industry, business and community. Ranked in to the top 200 institutes in the world in science, we offer high-quality teaching, focussing on student-centred and industry-engaged learning. 

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (appointable at Academic Level A or B) to work with A/Prof Jeff Cooke at the Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav, headquartered at Swinburne, along with OzGrav members at other nodes and OzGrav international Partner Investigators, on the detection and study of electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational waves. 

Specifically, the Research Fellow will help provide efficient electromagnetic follow up of LIGO/Virgo/GEO gravitational wave events by OzGrav facilities holding LSC consortium Memorandums of Understanding. In addition, the Fellow will help conduct and progress the Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) program, a Swinburne-led program involving over 30 multi-wavelength (radio through gamma-ray) observatories worldwide to detect and characterize, in real time, fast transients that encompass many theoretical gravitational wave sources. The appointee will help produce scientific returns from electromagnetic follow-up observations and the DWF data, and is encouraged to collaborate on joint OzGrav projects and conduct their own independent research.

The Fellow will work within OzGrav, which has been awarded $31.3M by the Australian Research Council over the next seven years. OzGrav’s aims are encapsulated in its stated mission to capitalise on the historic first detections of gravitational waves to understand the extreme physics of black holes and warped spacetime, and to inspire the next generation of Australian scientists and engineers through this new window on the Universe.

Skills and Experience 

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

A full list of the selection criteria for Academic Levels A and B is available within the relevant position description 

What we offer 

The diverse culture within Swinburne is a source of strength. We are proud to be recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality 2015 and of key initiatives such as our Pride@Swinburne Strategic Action Plan and our Reconciliation Action Plan which are integral components of our 2025 vision to be world class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation. Swinburne is committed to advancing gender equality in academia, particularly in STEM disciplines. Swinburne was one of the first Australian universities to join the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot to improve the promotion and retention of women and gender minorities in STEM. We also welcome applications from Indigenous people; varying age workers; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTIQ; and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Swinburne University provides generous superannuation (typically 17%), paternity, maternity, annual, and sick leave provisions. OzGrav is committed to encouraging a balanced workforce, by providing family-friendly policies and work practices, part-time roles, and working to solve “two-body” problems where possible. OzGrav will also have dedicated Career Development, Gender Equity, Outreach, and Research Translation programmes.

To find out more about the extensive benefits offered to Swinburne employees please visit:

As we are a Child Safe Organisation, all appointments are subject to a valid Working with Children’s Check, therefore it will be a mandatory requirement to have and maintain a current Working with Children Check.

How to apply

Please do not email or send paper applications, all applications must be submitted online.

To start an application, click on begin at the bottom of the page and submit the following information online: 

  • A cover letter, including your explanation for why the positions are of interest.
  • A full CV, with publications and skills listed. Please note: any “in preparation” papers will need to be supplied upon request.
  • A 2-page research plan that describes the work you would like to pursue as part of OzGrav.

In addition, please submit the names of at least two, maximum three referees and have their letters submitted independently to by 1st December 2017. 

For further information, please contact A/Prof Jeff Cooke on telephone: +61 3 9214 5392 or email:, or OzGrav Director Prof Matthew Bailes on telephone: +61 3 9214 8782 or email: 

If you are experiencing technical difficulties submitting your application, please contact the Recruitment team on +61 3 9214 8600 (option 2). 

Refer to position numbers: 32500 
Applications close: 5pm AET on 1st December 2017