Dear MSc graduates & students --
We would like to draw your attention to the NRF-Nuffic Doctoral Scholarship opportunity. A pre-announcement can be found here: https://www.nrf.ac.za/sites/default/files/documents/2021%20NRF-Nuffic%20Doctoral%20Scholarships%20Pre-Call%20Announcement.pdf. The funding call will open in April 2021, to fund doctoral degrees starting in 2022.
This scholarship will fund a 4-year joint PhD between a South African and a Dutch institution (with 2 years spent in SA, and 2 in the Netherlands), with the final degree awarded jointly by both institutes.
The Rhodes Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques & Technologies (RATT) has a long-standing collaboration with the University of Groningen. We are therefore prepared to endorse an NRF-Nuffic application from a qualified South African candidate. We propose to supervise a PhD project in the field of 21cm cosmology and/or its observational aspects, such as calibration and imaging.
Please note that the application process is handled by the NRF directly, however, the research proposal must be endorsed by the supervisors, and we are only allowed to endorse one proposal a year. Therefore, we will need to conduct our own pre-selection process in order to identify a candidate. If you would like to apply for pre-selection, could you please e-mail us (see below) your CV, a motivational letter (can be part of the e-mail), and names of referees before 1 June 2021.
Eligibility: you must be an SA citizen or a permanent resident, no older than 32, with either (a) a completed MSc degree, or (b) expecting to complete your MSc by the end of 2021.
The value of the scholarship is R175,000 p.a., and top-up funding from the Dutch side is available to offset the increased cost of living in the Netherlands.
The scholarship is an excellent opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research and build an international profile. We look forward to receiving your applications.
Prof O Smirnov (firstname.lastname@example.org), RATT & SARAO
Prof G Bernardi (email@example.com), INAF & RATT & SARAO
Prof L Koopmans (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen
Prof PD Meerburg (email@example.com), Van Swinderen Institute, University of Groningen
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS IN OBSERVATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY AND RADIO ASTRONOMY TECHNIQUES & TECHNOLOGIES
The Rhodes University Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques & Technologies (RATT) is calling for applications for 3-year postdoctoral fellowships in observational radio astronomy and/or radio astronomy techniques and technologies. RATT was established around the eponymous SKA Research Chair at Rhodes held by Prof Oleg Smirnov. In collaboration with the Radio Astronomy Research Group (RARG) of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO, Cape Town, South Africa), RATT conducts research into novel radio astronomy calibration, imaging, data analysis algorithms, software and techniques that are urgently required by the next generation of radio telescopes and by the science they are designed to deliver, with a particular focus on MeerKAT data processing. Most RATT-affiliated researchers are members of the various MeerKAT Large Survey Projects, and are leading and/or are actively involved in the MeerKAT open time proposals from the first two calls.
We are looking for two types of candidates: observational radio astronomers with experience in data reduction and a strong interest in novel techniques, algorithms and software, or mathematicians and/or signal processing specialists with an interest in developing algorithms and software for radio astronomy. The ideal candidate will have proven software development skills and will be motivated to develop and/or validate new radio data processing algorithms. The candidates will be able to (and will be expected to) spend a significant fraction of their time on their own research projects, with a strong focus on MeerKAT science. Collaboration with other institutions worldwide, and participation in observational programs with leading radio observatories (EVLA, LOFAR, E-MERLIN, GMRT, WSRT, ATCA, EVN, ALMA, ASKAP, etc.) will be actively encouraged, as will collaboration with groups at South African universities.
The positions will be based at Rhodes University (Makhanda/Grahamstown) and/or at SARAO (Cape Town). The value of the fellowship will be pegged at the standard SARAO post-doctoral bursary level, and adjusted annually for inflation. The 2021 level is ZAR 410,000 p.a., tax-free. Additional equipment and travel funding will be available as necessary. The appointment is for two years, with a one-year extension subject to satisfactory progress.
Suitable candidates may also be offered a joint fellowship with Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK) in advanced algorithms for radio astronomy imaging. This fellowship will focus on developing radio imaging algorithms in collaboration with the Biomedical and Astronomical Signal Processing research group (BASP, Prof Wiaux) at Heriot-Watt. The fellow will be expected to spend extended periods at HWU, and travel funding to support this will be available.
Expressions of interest and applications should be sent by e-mail to Prof Smirnov (firstname.lastname@example.org). The application should consist of a single PDF including a motivation letter, CV, publication list, and names of 3 references. Screening of candidates will start in March 2021, and will continue until the positions are filled.
RATT invites high-flying students looking to get involved in radio astronomy, MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array to apply for postgraduate bursaries for 2021.
University cut-off date for applications (note that this is necessarily earlier than the NRF deadline): 17 July 2020 (MSc/PhD) / 1 December 2020 (Hons).
Rhodes University has established the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (http://www.ratt-ru.org), based around the SKA Research Chair in RATT, with the aim of furthering research into data processing algorithms, novel calibration & imaging techniques, and innovative observational methods. We have extensive collaborations with leading international radio astronomy groups, we are closely involved with South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) and the MeerKAT, C-BASS and HERA telescopes in the Karoo, and we expect to play a large role in the design and development of the Square Kilometre Array. Our activities range from observational radio astronomy programs with MeerKAT and other telescopes, to algorithm design, software implementation, development of mathematical methods and frameworks for use in radio astronomy, and processing of observational data from existing radio telescopes. We have research projects of various scope and level available to suit students with a variety of aptitudes, from low-level software and algorithm work, to high-level mathematics and physics. Applicants should have a strong academic record in one or preferably more of the following subjects: astronomy, computing science, mathematics and/or applied mathematics, physics, statistics, signal processing.
Please see http://www.ratt-ru.org/research-areas.html for more information on potential research areas and projects.
2021 funding levels will be linked to the relevant NRF and SARAO policies. PhD and MSc bursaries are renewable on an annual basis subject to satisfactory academic progress. Please note that bursaries can only be awarded to candidates registering at Rhodes University for postgraduate or Honours research with a RATT-affiliated supervisor.
Priority for funding will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents, followed by candidates from the SKA Africa partner countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia). Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered on an exceptional basis only.
Please note that the application process for 2021 has changed. Read the below carefully: