Research Assistant / Associate in Astronomy
University of Cambridge Institute of Astronomy
United Kingdom

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge to work on the survey selection function for the Gaia mission. The research will be done as part of the GaiaUnlimited project, funded from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The aim is to research, develop, and implement the Gaia survey selection function, as well as selection functions for Gaia combined with other surveys. This will result in publicly available data products and open-source code to apply the selection functions to astronomical analyses of the Gaia data.

The successful candidate will work in Prof Vasily Belokurov's group; frequent interaction with the Cambridge Gaia team is envisaged. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the international partners in GaiaUnlimited, and will be embedded within the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

The successful candidate will be expected to pursue independent and collaborative research, develop a high degree of interaction with the faculty, postdoctoral researchers and research students, and actively contribute to the life of the department. They will disseminate their research findings via publications or other appropriate media, such as international workshops and conferences. They will be encouraged to participate in the teaching and learning programmes of the department as well as in the supervision of postgraduate research students and outreach events.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in astronomy, physics, computer science, or mathematics and have a strong background in data analysis. Experience with constructing or applying survey selection functions will be an advantage.

The anticipated start date of the appointment is no later than June 30 2021.

Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD will be under appointed at Grade 5, (Research Assistant - £26,715 to £30,942 per annum) and upon award, promoted to Grade 7, (Research Associate - £32,816 to £40,322 per annum).

The University of Cambridge thrives on the diversity of its staff and students. The Institute particularly welcomes applications from women and/or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented. We have an active Equality and Diversity Committee which continually works to further the aims of the Athena SWAN charter. The University has a number of family-friendly policies and initiatives, including a returning-carer scheme, childcare costs support, university workplace nurseries, university holiday play- schemes, and a shared parental-leave policy. As part of its commitment to providing a family-friendly environment for researchers, the IoA ensures that should parental leave be needed during the course of employment, there is provision for extension to contract to compensate for the parental leave taken.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please submit your application by midnight of the closing date of Wednesday, 20th January 2021. If you have any queries about your application please contact Ms Joy McSharry (jpm(at) Informal enquires may be addressed to Prof. Vasily Belokurov (vasily(at)

Please quote reference LG25156 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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