Fellowship at the South African Large Telescope

National Research Foundation South Africa

Fellowship Fixed Term Cape Town, South Africa

Uploaded 21 Mar 2020

Job Description

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), on behalf of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) Foundation (Pty) Ltd, is seeking qualified candidates for a SALT Postdoctoral fellowship for a period of up to three years, depending on funding.

The SAAO is the National Facility for Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and it is the premier optical/infrared research facility on the African continent, with global research and outreach collaborations, contributing to human capital development for South Africa. Research focus areas include extragalactic astronomy, time domain astrophysics, planetary astronomy and instrumentation development. Its headquarters are in picturesque Cape Town with a Mediterranean climate, while its telescopes are at Sutherland in the semi-arid Northern Cape. Distributed between the two sites, SAAO employs about 130 people, many of them scientists and engineers, and is contracted to operate the 10-m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), on behalf of the international SALT Foundation (Pty) Ltd. The Sutherland site also hosts many guest facilities to which our astronomers have access to. More information may be found at https://www.saao.ac.za/astronomers/ and https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/

This position will be mainly based in Cape Town, with some extended periods of stay in Sutherland.

Person Specification

  • PhD in Astronomy or related field (formal requirements for a PhD passed by the application deadline).
  • 3 years of experience in optical observational astronomical research and relevant data reduction packages or in astronomical instrumentation development.
  • Proven ability to carry out own astronomical research.
  • Willingness to work in a team.
  • Proven aptitude to quickly understand complex systems and to communicate clearly and effectively.