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Research fellowship position in the field of Star Formation

Ref: IA2021-05-BI-M

The Centro de Investigação em Astronomia/Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) opens a call for up to two research fellowships in the field of star formation at the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA).

The position is offered in the context of the project "Zoom-In ON hIgh-mass Star forMation" with financial support provided by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (refª IF/00956/2015/CP1273/CT0002).

The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) is the most prominent research unit in the field of Astrophysics in Portugal, integrating researchers from the University of Porto and the University of Lisbon, and is responsible for a major fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in this area. The research and development effort at the IA include most of the topics at the forefront of research in Astrophysics and Space Sciences, complemented by work on instrumentation and systems with potential use in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The call for fellowships is open in the field of Star Formation, and has a maximum duration of  six months and have to start preferentially no later than May 2021. It is expected that the work carried out in the fellowship period will lead to Master thesis.

The fellowship contracts will comply with Lei nº 123/2019 de 28 de Agosto - ''Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação'' in force  [https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/estatutobolseiro]  and Regulamento nº 950/2019 de 16 de Dezembro de 2019 - ''Regulamento de Bolsas e Investigação da Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia'' in force [https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/regulamento.phtml.pt], and CAUP Fellowship Regulation (available at www.astro.up.pt/documentos/CAUP-RegulamentoBolsas.pdf).

According to the FCT table values [http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores], the monthly allowance will be €835,98 (tax free) and will be paid monthly by bank transfer. The fellowship holders will have a personal accident insurance. Funds for traveling (conferences, collaborations, observing missions) are also available.

The work plan will be carried out within IA, in Porto, under the supervision of Dr. Nanda Kumar.

Research work plan:
There are three main research topics available in the field of star formation, although the candidate is expected to freely choose and cross-pollinate between topics before settling upon a final thesis title.
 
1. Far-infrared observations and modeling of hub-filament systems: The science interest is to understand the formation of stars as total ensembles in the clustered mode, relating to the recently highlighted importance of hub-filament systems. Our team is the proponent of a new paradigm of star formation in this framework that is attracting much attention from the international community. The prospective candidate will use Far-Infrared and sub-millimeter cutting edge observational facilities available in order to study the formation, dynamics and structure of hubs and filaments

2. ALMA observations zooming in on the formation of highest mass stars: The physical processes that occur in the inner few to hundreds of au’s around the monstrous stars (>50Msun—200Msun) when they form are unknown and is expected to be violent and exaggerated as compared to what is known from the studies of Sun like stars.
The student will analyze ALMA observations already obtained by Nanda Kumar and participate in publishing the research work.

3. High-resolution infrared spectro-polarimetry of massive stars: When massive stars form, the accretion flows that is building the star itself will get ionized because of the intense uv light and lead to ionized accretion flows. To test this hypothesis, very high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopic data are already obtained from the cutting edge instrument SPIRou on CFHT. The student will analyze the data, participate in publishing the work.

These topics can be pursued further well beyond the time-line of these fellowships to conduct PhD thesis research.

Application:
The application, to be submitted through the web form below, should include the following information:  
 
    - Cover letter with a brief description of the candidate's experience and motivation;
    - Curriculum Vitae describing the academic curriculum and research experience (up to 4 pages with at least 10pt font size) and a separate list of the completed curricular units with the respective marks;
    - BSc degree diploma or certificate (please see note 1);
    - Name and contact details (position, email, address) of two referees, available to provide information about the candidate (these will be contacted at the jury's discretion).

Applications will be accepted from 8 to 21 april 2021.

Selection criteria and evaluation:
The applicant must have completed a BSc degree and be enrolled in a Masters Program or comply with the requirements to be enrolled in a MSc Program. Only applications from candidates having an adequate background in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, or other relevant domains, will be considered.

The curricular evaluation of the candidates will be done based on:

    - (25%) Cover letter with a brief description of the candidate's experience and motivation; You should demonstrate a flair to undertake the research and mention any specific interests in the choice of observational regime such as infrared, radio etc..
    - (50%) CV, considering the degree and the previous academic training, including outcomes and contents of completed curricular units and the relevance of that training for the topic;
    - (25%) Relevance and adequacy of previous research experience to the work plan, the priorities of the project, the team, and of IA.

An ordered list of candidates will be defined by the selection committee based on the submitted documents and the criteria mentioned above. If judged necessary, reference letters may also be asked to the aforementioned referees and will inform the grading of the evaluation criteria above.

Awarding of the contract:
Following the evaluation process the contracts will be offered according to the ordering list proposed by the selection committee. The positions will be granted only if suitable candidates are found. Only candidates with a minimum grade of 70% will be accepted.

The selected candidates will be notified by e-mail.

For inquires please contact Dr. Nanda Kumar by email (nanda@astro.up.pt).

Selection Committee:
Nanda Kumar (chair)
Catarina Lobo
Vardan Adibekyan
Pedro Palmeirim (alternate)

Notes:
1. In the event that the degree was awarded by a foreign higher education institution, that degree must comply with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 66/2018, of 16th August (approves the legal regime for the recognition of foreign higher academic degrees), and all formalities established therein must be complied with up to the date of hiring.

Applicants are advised to check the website of the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES) for further information: https://www.dges.gov.pt/en/pagina/degree-and-diploma-recognition.

Also can check information on the website of University of Porto: https://sigarra.up.pt/up/en/WEB_BASE.GERA_PAGINA?p_pagina=1005819.

2. The fellowship holders' functions are carried out under a scheme of exclusive dedication, in accordance with the terms established in the Research Fellowship Holder's Statute (Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação). For more information, see in particular article 5 - Performing Duties [https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/estatutobolseiro].

Publication date:
23 March 2021

Submit application

Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia