ASTRO 3D Senior Research Fellow

Subiaco, Australia
11 Oct 2017
End of advertisement period
15 Jan 2018
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Full Time

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences 

School of Physics and Astrophysics

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)

  • Ongoing, tenurable position
  • Salary range: Level C $117,857 - $135,900 p.a.
  • Plus 17% superannuation

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is ranked amongst the top 100 universities in the world and a member of the prestigious Australian Group of Eight research-intensive universities.  With an enviable research track record, vibrant campus and working environments, supported by the freedom to ‘innovate and inspire’ there is no better time to join Western Australia’s top University.

The team

ICRAR/UWA hosts a node of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), headed by Professor Lisa Kewley (ANU). ASTRO 3D spans five other Australian universities, three national infrastructure facilities, and seven international partner institutions and conducts world-leading observational and theoretical research focused on the main Centre scientific programs:

  1. The Epoch of Reionization : This program will use the Murchison Wide-field Array in Western Australia to detect the sources at the epoch of reionization using rest-frame 21cm emission and to compare with the predictions of detailed theoretical simulations.
  2. First Stars: This program aims to discover the oldest and most metal-poor stars in and around the Milky Way using ANU's SkyMapper telescope and determining their chemical compositions by means of high-resolution spectroscopy with telescopes like Keck and Magellan to shed light on their formation, evolution and nucleosynthesis.
  3. First Galaxies: This program aims to discover the first galaxies in the universe  with JWST and to reveal their chemical and star formation properties.
  4. Galaxy Formation and Evolution: This research program, suitable for both theorists and observers, combines rest-frame UV, optical, and infrared Keck spectroscopy with large-scale numerical simulations to understand chemical evolution, mass build-up, and the accumulation of angular momentum in galaxies across cosmic time, gas transport through galaxies and in galactic outflows, and how chemical elements are incorporated into stars. 
  5. ASKAP Surveys: The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is conducting three large surveys (FLASH, WALLABY, and DINGO) to measure the mass and angular momentum through neutral hydrogen gas of hundreds of thousand galaxies over the past 6 billion years.
  6. SAMI: the SAMI Galaxy Survey is providing data on the kinematics, morphology and stellar populations of more than 3000 galaxies. This project will use these data to explore the role of angular momentum in determining the morphologies and star formation histories of galaxies. It will compare observations to simulations of galaxy formation to test models of angular momentum evolution during galaxy assembly.
  7. GALAH: The GALactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey is an ambitious spectroscopic survey on the Anglo-Australian Telescope with the ultimate goal of determining the detailed chemical composition of a million stars in the Milky Way to unravel the full assembly, dynamical, chemical, star formation and merger history of the Galaxy.
  8. Data Intensive Science: the Centre is reliant on the efficient collection, processing, storage and curation of vast amounts of data from the Centre’s scientific programs, requiring novel techniques and advanced algorithms to accomplish.

Research at the ICRAR/UWA node of ASTRO 3D is mainly focused on ASKAP HI surveys, SAMI/HECTOR, cosmological simulations and data intensive science. However applications from candidates with experience in any of the ASTRO 3D research areas are welcome.

ASTRO 3D host institutions are: the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Western Australia, and Curtin University.

ASTRO 3D partner institutions are: CSIRO, the Anglo-Australian Observatory, the National Computational Infrastructure, Caltech, the University of Washington (Seattle), the University of Toronto, Oxford University, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

About the opportunity

You will take a leading research role at ICRAR/UWA in an area in astronomy and astrophysics related to one or more of the research areas of ASTRO 3D listed above. You will have generous travel and research support. Allocation of PhD students and postdoctoral support will be through competitive UWA and national processes. The position is tenurable at UWA with the first four years being funded by ASTRO 3D in the role of ASTRO 3D Fellow. Contributions to advanced teaching will be viewed favourably in this period. After this period, the position will be funded by UWA in an ongoing capacity. There will be UWA teaching and other duties after this period, as directed. You will be expected to offer PhD projects and to supervise undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. You will interact with national and international ASTRO 3D team members, ICRAR staff, and other national and international researchers on projects of fundamental importance. ASTRO 3D research at ICRAR/UWA is focussed on large-scale HI surveys with ASKAP and complementary optical/IR surveys and large-scale cosmological simulations. These projects will help UWA’s aspirations for future engagement in SKA and other major-facility science. This position is open to female applicants.

To be considered for this role, you will demonstrate:

  • PhD in astronomy or related discipline
  • Expertise in a relevant area of astronomy
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication
  • Outstanding publication record as evidenced by international refereed publications
  • An ability to work effectively in scientific collaborations
  • Experience in student supervision
  • The ability to win research grants (desirable)
  • Teaching experience (desirable)
  • Experience with outreach/public talks (desirable)

UWA is an equal opportunity employer and working to achieve equality under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 WA Legislation (section 31). As part of its commitment to increase representation of women ICRAR will only consider applications from suitably qualified female candidates for this position.

Full details of the position's responsibilities and the selection criteria are outlined in the position description.

Benefits: University offers 17% Superannuation benefits and support for relocation to Perth if required.

Closing date: 15 January 2018

Application Details: Please apply online via the Apply Now button. 

Applicants are encouraged to provide a cover letter addressing the selection criteria, a CV including a statement of previous research experience (and teaching/service duties if appropriate), a statement of future research intentions, and name and contact details of three referees.

  • ICRAR supports equity, diversity and flexible work arrangements and actively encourage applications from female candidates.
  • UWA has been awarded Top Ten Employer for LGBTI – inclusion the Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI -2016).
  • The University is also a proud member of the Athena SWAN/SAGE Pilot for Gender Equity.