PhD Student Scholarship: Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) invites applications for a 3 year PhD scholarship position related to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).

The student will join the research group led by Professor David Buckley, who is a South African LSST Principal Investigator involved in optical transient follow-up and is affiliated with both the University of Cape Town and University of the Free State. The student will be enrolled at one of these institutions and will be co-supervised by an appropriate staff member.

The activities proposed for this programme involve supporting the followup studies of optical transients discovered by the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). When this 8.4-m telescope, with its ~10 square degree field and 3.2 gigapixel camera, is completed and commissioned in Chile in 2024, it will embark on a 10 year mission to continuously survey the southern sky, in multiple filters, every few days: the so-called Deep, Wide, Fast survey. This will be supplemented by smaller scale targeted surveys, some at a higher cadence. The science from RO-LSST will be a game-changer in terms of the number of transient or variable objects discovered, leading to the identification of new types of objects and phenomena. South Africa will be heavily involved in the followup of LSST-discovered transients using its own suite of optical, infrared and radio facilities.

The potential topics for the PhD study within this programme are outlined below, with the final choice depending on the student’s interests and the requirements of the programme at the time.

The position will be filled once a viable candidate is identified and ideally taken up before 31 March 2022.

Download the full advert and application details here.