Research Fellow

University of Warwick

Postdoctorate Position 2 years Coventry, UK

Uploaded 2 Jan 2019

Job Description

The Astronomy and Astrophysics Group seeks to appoint a Research Fellow working on the characterisation of exoplanet atmospheres at high spectral resolution, with a particular focus on modelling the atmospheres of the brightest confirmed planets from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.

Observations will be carried out with infrared spectrographs at range of ground based telescopes (VLT, CAHA3.5, TNG), through both guaranteed and open-access time. The successful applicant will be based at Warwick and will play a key role in the interpretation of these observations through modelling of exoplanet atmospheres at high spectral resolution. Modelling will extend to cooler and smaller super-Earth size planets, and will provide the backbone for detecting and interpreting the atmosphere of objects significantly smaller and/or cooler than the current sample of hot Jupiters. A database of models will be created and made available to the community for future use. 

The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator capable of working effectively both independently and as part of a research team. We are looking for excellent planning and time management skills to ensure that research objectives are achieved effectively. Previous experience with line-by-line radiative transfer and familiarity with the main uncertainties at high spectral resolution (line list incompleteness / inaccuracy, line broadening, opacity sources, etc.) is strongly preferred. Candidates experienced with the development of radiative transfer tools are particularly encouraged to apply.

If you have not yet been awarded your PhD but are near submission or have recently submitted your PhD, any offers of employment will be made as Research Assistant on level 5 of the University grade structure (£29,515). Upon successful award of your PhD and evidence of this fact, you will be promoted to Research Fellow on the first point of level 6 of the University grade structure (£30,395 pa). 

Person Specification

Essential Criteria:

  • Hold, or be about to attain, a PhD or equivalent in astronomy or astrophysics.
  • Proven ability for research in observational astronomy. 
  • Ability to publish high quality research output.
  • Familiarity with modelling of spectra through radiative transfer calculations.
  • Experience in scientific computing. 
  • Ability to initiate, plan, implement and deliver programmes of research work to defined deadlines. 
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a research team. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills. 
  • Ability or potential to contribute to funding and telescope proposals. 
  • Experience of research in field of exoplanets. 
  • Active contribution to or intellectual property of a radiative-transfer code.
  • Familiarity with the analysis of exoplanet spectra or their principles.
  • Project management experience