The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) invites applications for a two year (with 1 year possible extension contingent on funding and performance) postdoctoral position to start before 1 March 2021. We seek outstanding candidates with research interests in any area of observational astrophysics, instrumentation or modelling.
SAAO is the National Facility for optical and infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation, and is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. SAAO hosts and/or operates a suite of sub 2-m class telescopes, as well as the 10-m class Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) at its site near Sutherland (a 4 hour drive from Cape Town). South Africa is the leading partner in SALT and astronomers based here have access to time on the SAAO telescopes, SALT, and the MeerKAT radio interferometer. In addition, we have access to either time on, or data from, a number of hosted facilities, including the 1.4-m Infrared Survey Facility, LCO, KMTNet, ATLAS, MeerLICHT, MASTER, and the upcoming 1.8-m near-IR telescope PRIME. SAAO also has a very active outreach and education department, and hosts the Office of Astronomy for Development, which focuses on how the tools, skills and methodologies of astronomy can be applied across other fields in service of sustainable development.
The SAAO hosts researchers who are active in areas that span transients and time-domain astrophysics, the studies of evolved stars, various binaries, galaxy evolution, exoplanets and small bodies in the solar system (see also this link). SAAO is also host to significant competency in computational astrophysics and instrumentation development.
The research fellowship is intended to offer an opportunity for excellent early career researchers to establish a track record of independent research. You are encouraged to contact any staff astronomers you may collaborate with, to discuss your research plans. While the primary duty of the fellow is the completion of research, you will be expected to make active contributions to the SAAO environment through, for example, student mentorship, service observing, contributions to science engagement or astronomy for development.
The minimum requirement for this position is a PhD in astronomy or related discipline.
An excellent publication record, commensurate with career stage, is desirable.
Informal enquiries may be directed to A/Prof. Vanessa McBride email@example.com.
Applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement outlining their research and broader interests and the contact details of 3 references to Mrs Linda Tobin firstname.lastname@example.org , by 20 September 2020.
The filling of this position will be in line with the NRF’s Employment Equity Policy.
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These are postdoctoral positions open funded by the National Research Foundation and open to South African citizens and permanent residents. Nominations for the 2021 academic year will be in line with the ministerial guidelines on equity and redress.
The following staff members would like to host PDP postdoctoral fellows in 2021: