Models and Observations of Externally Photoevaporating Protoplanetary Discs

Queen Mary University of London

Postdoctorate Position 2 years London, UK

Uploaded 25 Sep 2019

Job Description

Department: School of Physics & Astronomy
Salary: £31,613 - £34,220 (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL20036
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 10-Sep-2019
Closing date: 19-Oct-2019


A highly-motivated postdoctoral researcher is sought to join the Astronomy Unit, School of Physics and Astronomy, at Queen Mary University of London. The researcher will work under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Haworth on models and observations of externally photoevaporating protoplanetary discs.

There is a growing theoretical expectation that planet-forming discs are significantly influenced by the radiation fields of their ambient star forming environment over a wide range of UV field strengths. However, until recently we could only observe this in action in the strongest UV environments (near O stars). The researcher will work on predicting observational signatures of evaporating discs in weaker UV environments and identifying them in real observations. This will involve using state-of-the-art photochemical/dynamical models (TORUS-3DPDR code), synthetic observations (TORUS code) and real data using facilities such as ALMA and SOFIA. It is a great opportunity to both diversify skills whilst strengthening existing theoretical/observational expertise. The successful candidate will be encouraged to interact widely with members of the both the planetary systems group and the broader QMUL Astronomy Unit.  The observational program will be ongoing, with the PI seeking additional funding for postdoctoral research support that may extend this position.

The Planetary Systems group at QMUL has diverse research interests, including the observational search for exoplanets, planetary formation and migration, protoplanetary disc dynamics and evolution, satellite formation and dynamics, and ring-satellite interactions. Group members play key roles in international experiments, including CARMENES, ESA’s PLATO and JUICE missions, and on-going analysis of Cassini data.

Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in Astrophysics or related subject as well as a good working knowledge of recent developments in exoplanet science and plant formation.  Experience working with observational data and CASA software would be an advantage.

The position is available for two years and must commence by October 2020. The starting salary will be in the range of £31,613 - £34,220 per annum.  Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Thomas Haworth with any queries about research aspects of the position or the associated grant at [email protected].

General information about the School can be found at and about the Astronomy Unit at

Applications should consist of:

1) A CV & list of publications, highlighting up to five most relevant works.

2) A research statement (maximum two pages in length). This should describe your previous research experience, your skill set, and your future professional plans.

3) Contact information for two academic references who can provide letters in support of your application.

Please provide for each referee their name and title, institution, e-mail address and telephone number.

Please consolidate all this information in a single PDF file, and upload it as your CV in our on-line application system.

To apply, please click on the link below.

Enquiries on the application procedures can be addressed to Ms. Jazmina Vaca Ortiz:

[email protected].

The closing date for applications is 19 October 2019. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.

The School of Physics and Astronomy is proud to hold Institute of Physics JUNO Champion status and Athena SWAN silver status; we have a number of supportive policies in place to facilitate a diverse and inclusive working environment. We strongly encourage applications from and all under-represented groups - see for details.