An amazing opportunity for an enthusiastic postdoctoral research assistant with experience of radio astronomical data modelling and simulation, and radio astronomical calibration and imaging algorithms and tools, to join an international, multicultural organisation.
The Postdoctoral Researcher in Radio Astronomy Simulations will play a major part in developing radio astronomy simulations in collaboration with existing Science and Operations team members, to support various activities necessary for the delivery of SKAO. An immediate application will be in support of the SKAO Science Data Challenges. This initiative, led by the SKAO Science team, aims to release with a regular cadence increasingly realistic simulated SKA datasets and data products to the international scientific user community, together with a specific data analysis exercise for them to solve (the challenge) and a set of tools and services to support the completion of the exercise and the evaluation of the results.
Further applications will depend on the progress and needs of SKAO science operations and science commissioning activities, and might include supporting the prototyping and validation of SKAO/SKA regional centres data analysis pipelines, supporting SKAO science commissioning/science verification observations, etc.
The role will report to the SKA Project Scientist with responsibility for the coordination of the SKA Science Data Challenges, and will be based at the SKAO Global Headquarters at the iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, UK.
SKAO is committed to providing an inclusive and flexible working environment, meeting the requests of our Colleagues whilst also fulfilling the needs and objectives of the Observatory.
We encourage applications from under-represented groups such as women and individuals with disabilities, as well as open conversations during the recruitment process in relation to any specific requirements.
There may be occasions where this role requires the post holder to work across different time zones and, in line with SKAO policy, flexible working hours will be supported in agreement with the line manager.
Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties
-Development of radio astronomy simulations of SKAO data products using existing packages and code as well as customised packages and code in collaboration with the SKAO Science and Operations Team.
-Development of astrophysical sky models for use in radio astronomy simulations in consultation with the SKA user community.
-Development and maintenance of tools to support the SKA science data challenge progression (e.g. data challenge website, community forum, evaluation procedures).
-Publication of data challenges outcomes in major astronomical journals.
-Installation and maintenance of astronomy packages and software in a Linux cluster environment.
-The role will provide the opportunity for 25 percent independent research.
-The role will provide the opportunity for international travel to conferences and other events.
Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience
-PhD in Astronomy, Physics or a closely related field.
-Experience with astronomical data modelling and simulation, and understanding of the concept of simulated astronomical observations.
-Significant familiarity with the major calibration and imaging packages used in Radio Astronomy (AIPS, Miriad, CASA), as well as with the underlying algorithms that those packages implement.
-Experience with installation, maintenance and customisation of astronomical software packages in a Linux/Unix/MacOSX environment.
-Experience or solid knowledge of Python scripting.
-Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change.
Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience
-Expertise in software development including Version control/code collaboration tools (e.g. Git, Mercurial).
-Knowledge of software and tools to simulate radio astronomical observations (e.g. OSKAR, RASCIL).
-Knowledge of Open science and FAIR principles.
-Expertise in Code Optimization for multi-processor CPUs and/or GPUs.
Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement
SKA Observatory recognises that our diversity is a strength. We aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. As such, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are at the core of SKA Observatory?s agenda.
Our aim is to recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, nationality or background.
SKA Observatory welcome all candidates, especially those from member countries.