South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO, Cape Town, South Africa) and Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK) are calling for applications for a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship in advanced algorithms for radio astronomy imaging. The CAPe Town - Edinburgh (CAP-E) fellowship will be held jointly between the Radio Astronomy Research Group (RARG, Prof Smirnov) at SARAO, and the Biomedical and Astronomical Signal Processing research group (BASP, Prof Wiaux) at Heriot-Watt.
The RARG group at SARAO was established in 2012, together with the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques & Technologies (RATT) at Rhodes University. Prof Smirnov, who holds the SKA Research Chair in RATT at Rhodes, leads both groups. RARG and RATT conduct 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 of the RARG and RATT-affiliated researchers are members of the various MeerKAT Large Survey Projects, and are leading and/or are actively involved in the recently awarded open time proposals.
The research of the Biomedical and Astronomical Signal Processing group (BASP) at Heriot-Watt spans Data Science from theory and algorithms to application in astronomy and medicine. The group is headed by Dr Yves Wiaux, Professor in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Prof Wiaux is also Honorary fellow at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh, and Academic Guest at the Signal Processing Laboratories of EPFL in Lausanne. BASP pioneered the development of a new generation of algorithms powered by the theory of optimisation for precision imaging in radio astronomy, and capable of processing extreme-size data for the upcoming SKA era. These gave rise to the Puri-Psi software suite, currently under active development.
Since 2016, Profs Smirnov and Wiaux have undertaken an ambitious collaboration between their research groups aimed at the validation of such algorithms on data produced by the new generation of radio telescopes, and MeerKAT in particular. In the context of the CAP-E fellowship, the specific subjects of calibration, imaging and uncertainty quantification will be targeted, underpinned by algorithms emerging at the cross-roads of optimisation and deep learning. The research will focus on (a) the practical application of novel algorithms to MeerKAT data, including scientific interpretation, and (b) the development of algorithms that should be scalable to the Exabyte-size data sets expected in the SKA era.
We are looking for an outstanding candidate with a PhD in astrophysics, applied mathematics, computer science, or a related discipline. The ideal candidate will have proven software development skills, and will have a strong interest in the development of new algorithms, and the applications of these to drive new science with current and future observatories.
The CAP-E fellow will be appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow at RATT (Rhodes University), and will be hosted at SARAO for 50% of the time, and at Heriot-Watt for the other 50%. The candidate will be expected to work closely with the researchers from the groups of Profs Smirnov and Wiaux and with the wider radio astronomical imaging community.
The value of the fellowship will be pegged at the standard SARAO post-doctoral bursary level, and adjusted annually for inflation. The 2019 level is ZAR 390,000 p.a., tax-free. Top-up funding for the increased costs of accommodation and subsistence in Edinburgh will be provided. 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.
Expressions of interest and applications should be sent by email to Profs Smirnov and Wiaux (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). 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 September 2019, and continue until the position is 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 2019 Closing date for applications: 1 October 2018.
Rhodes University has established the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies, 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 include 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 this webpage for more information on potential research areas and projects.
Bursaries are now available for 2019. Funding levels are linked to SARAO bursary levels. As a guideline, for 2018 these were:
The bursaries are renewable on an annual basis subject to satisfactory academic progress.
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.
Applicants should prepare the following documents: a motivational letter (including the applicant’s background and intended subject of study), detailed Curriculum Vitae, copies of all academic transcripts, and details of three referees.
Applications should be submitted by e-mail to Prof O. Smirnov, firstname.lastname@example.org. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to have their referees e-mail their reference letters to the same address at a later date.
The Rhodes University Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT) invites high-flying students looking to get involved in radio astronomy, MeerKAT and the SKA to apply for postgraduate scholarships for 2018.
Closing date for applications: 31 October 2017.
The Square Kilometre Array is coming to Africa ‒ how would you like to be involved in one of the biggest projects in science? The SKA site bid was only the beginning: designing the SKA and making it work will be an even bigger hurdle. Before we can take full advantage of the SKA and its precursor instruments ‒ most notably MeerKAT ‒ we still need to do a great deal of research into data processing algorithms, novel calibration & imaging techniques, and innovative observational methods.
Rhodes University has established the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (http://scifac.ru.ac.za/ratt), based around the SKA Research Chair in RATT, with the aim of furthering research into these topics. We have extensive collaborations with leading international radio astronomy groups, we are closely involved with the MeerKAT, KAT-7, C-BASS and HERA telescopes in the Karoo, and we expect to play a large role in the design and development of the SKA. Our activities include algorithm design, software implementation, development of mathematical methods and frameworks for use in radio astronomy, and processing of real-life 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:
Contact: Mrs Ronel Groenewald, email@example.com, Prof O. Smirnov, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants should prepare a covering letter indicating intended subject of study; detailed Curriculum Vitae; full certified academic transcript, and details of three referees (including working email addresses).
Foreign citizens should be aware that first priority will be given to South African candidates, followed by candidates from SKA Africa partner countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia), followed by exceptional candidates from the rest of the world.