ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Fellowship

Location: Perth
Job Type: Full time
Contact: Associate Professor, Cathryn Trott
Email: email Associate
Reference: CURTIN86


Job No: CURTIN86
Location: Technology Park/Perth

4 years fixed term, full-time externally funded research-only position

$86,832 - $93,178 + 17% Superannuation

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) spans six (6) Australian universities, three (3) national infrastructure facilities, and seven (7) international partner institutions. ASTRO 3D combines Australia's leading optical, infrared and radio telescope technologies with sophisticated theoretical simulations and ambitious new data intensive science techniques to build a comprehensive picture of the evolution of matter, the chemical elements, and ionizing radiation in the Universe from the Epoch of Reionization to the present day.

Your new role

A prestigious ASTRO 3D Postdoctoral Fellowship in Australia is available for an outstanding early career researcher within the Curtin University node of the Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

  • Undertake cutting edge research in Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Work with a leading research facility
  • Flexibility in ASTRO 3D science program

Headed by Professor Lisa Kewley at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Australian National University, the Centre of Excellence is offering one externally funded prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship to an outstanding early career postdoctoral scientist to conduct independent, world-leading observational, computational, or theoretical research focused on the main Centre scientific programs.

This Fellowship is offered at the Curtin University node and is offered within and across any of the science programs in ASTRO 3D. The primary science program at the Curtin node is The Epoch of Reionization, led by Assoc. Professor Cathryn Trott, and a research plan that includes the Epoch of Reionization science program would be advantageous.

The Epoch of Reionization program uses the Murchison Widefield Array and future Square Kilometre 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.

Other ASTRO 3D Science Programs include:

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.

First Galaxies: This program aims to discover the first galaxies in the universe with JWST and to reveal their chemical and star formation properties. Galaxy 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, as well as gas transport through and out of galaxies.

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.

SAMI: the SAMI survey is providing data on the kinematics, morphology and stellar populations of more than 3000 galaxies. This project will use this 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.

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.

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. The vibrant and diverse Australian astronomical research community has access to a broad array of facilities. These include the optical/IR Anglo-Australian Telescope, Magellan, Gemini

and Keck telescopes as well as the new MWA and ASKAP radio telescopes. Australia is also strongly engaged in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) projects, and has recently joined the European Southern Observatory (ESO) with access to ESO facilities.

This Fellowship is tenable at the Curtin University ASTRO 3D node as host institution. Fellows may spend up to two 2 years visiting at another ASTRO 3D host institution or partner institution of their choice, and are encouraged to conduct research within more than one scientific program or to conduct collaborations across more than one host or partner institution. ASTRO 3D host institutions are:

  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Curtin University

ASTRO 3D partner institutions are:

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, The Anglo-Australian

Observatory, The National Computational Infrastructure, The California Institute of Technology, The University of Washington (Seattle), The University of Toronto, Oxford University, The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, The Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Curtin University is ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide (ARWU 2017), and in the top 50 in the world for universities under the age of 50 (QS World University Rankings 2017). In recent years, Curtin has climbed significantly in global league tables and in the 2016 Nature Index results, Curtin was named as a rising star, the most collaborative of the Australian universities, and the biggest Australian mover. Curtin is industry-facing, highly engaged with relevant partners, and a major global player, with well-integrated campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai. A PhD or progress toward a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or related area, with

  • A track record of independent research in astronomy or astrophysics as evidenced buy publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
  • Expertise in at least one of the following areas: the Epoch of Reionisation, the First Stars, the First Galaxies, Galaxy Evolution, ASKAP surveys, the SAMI survey, the GALAH survey, and/or Data Intensive Astronomy Infrastructure
  • Experience in undertaking research projects with the potential to develop a research program of high international standing.
  • An ability and commitment to contribute to bids for competitive external funding to support individual and collaborative research activities.
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate and interact effectively with a variety of staff and students in a cross-disciplinary academic environment and to foster respectful and productive working relationships with staff, students and colleagues at all levels.
  • Ability and willingness to assist with the supervision of students working on re-search projects.
  • A demonstrated understanding of equal opportunity principles and policies and a commitment to their application in a university context.
You will bring to this role

The salary ranges presented are those which are contained within the University's Enterprise Agreements; as are the employee benefits which include employer superannuation contribution at the rate of the current Government Superannuation Guarantee amount up to 17 percent, study assistance, a comprehensive salary packaging and wellness programs and flexible and family friendly work practices. This Fellowship may be undertaken full-time or part-time, subject to visa restrictions.

What we need from you

In order to apply for this role please ensure that you upload the following documents

  • A cover letter
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV) with an up to date publication list
  • A two (2) page description of your previous research
  • A three (3) page statement describing your future research plans
  • A statement addressing the selection criteria
  • Three (3) letters of reference should be sent independently to by the deadline (June 1 2018)

For more information, click on the position description here

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Valuing Diversity and Affirmative Action

Curtin University embraces diversity and inclusion and invites applications from women, men and intersex individuals who share the University's values, ethics, international outlook, value diversity and have an informed respect for indigenous people. We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to provide a positive, barrier-free recruitment process and supportive workplace, therefore, if you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application. We will then work with you to identify the best way to assist you through the recruitment process. All personal information will be kept confidential in compliance with relevant privacy legislation.

Personal Information collected will be handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Contact details

To apply complete the application form below. Applications close: 5 pm, Friday 1 June 2018

For more information contact

Associate Professor, Cathryn Trott

Phone:  9266 1306



Curtin reserves the right at its sole discretion to withdraw from the recruitment process, not to make an appointment, or to appoint by invitation, at any time.