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Research fellowship position in the field of stars and planetary systems

Ref: IA2017-10-BI

The Centro de Investigação em Astronomia/Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) opens a call for up to 2 research fellowships (Bolsas de Investigação - Mestre) in the field of Stars and Planetary Systems at the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA).

The position is offered in the context of the project "The Future of Extrasolar Planets: new instrumentation for new science" with financial support provided by the FCT / MCTES (refª IF/01037/2013/CP1191/CT0001).

The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) assembles more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in this area. The research and development effort at the IA includes 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 is open in the fields of Stars and Planetary Systems, and the fellowship is to be started from the 1st of November of 2017. The position has a maximum duration of 3 months.

The fellowship contract will comply with the ''Lei nº 40/2004 de 18 de Agosto (Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação) and ''Regulamento de Bolsas e Investigação da Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia'' in force (http://fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/docs/RegulamentoBolsasFCT.pdf).

According to the FCT table values (http:www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores), the monthly allowance will be €980 (tax free) and will be paid monthly by bank transfer. The fellowships holders will have a personal accident insurance. Funds for traveling (conferences, collaborations, observing missions) are also available. The work plan is to be carried out in IA, in Porto, under the supervision of Dr. Pedro Figueira.

Research work plan:

The search for a planet like our own is one of the most epic quests Human curiosity ever embarked on. With the development of dedicated spectrographs capable of delivering precise radial velocities down to the amplitude of the signature of an Earth analog, the attention now shifts to the correction of the parasite stellar signals. This fellowships focuses on the development of methodologies that will allow us to correct for the stellar parasite signals in radial velocity time series. The work will first be done in mock time series and then in real observational data obtained with spectrographs like HARPS or HARPS-N. The result of this search will inform not only current but upcoming spectrographs such as ESPRESSO or NIRPS.

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 (up to 4 pages in 10pt size format at minimum), and a list of the grades for the taken classes and a scan of the MSc degree diploma;

- 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 the 12th to 25th of Ocotber, 2017.

Selection criteria and evaluation:

The applicant must have completed a MSc degree. Only applications from candidates having an adequate background in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, or other relevant domains, will be considered.

The candidate is expected to pursue research on the impact of stellar activity on the derivation of precise radial velocities. Preference will be given to:

1- candidates with demonstrated experience on the field of radial velocity time series analysis, and if possible on activity characterization and correction algorithms,
2.- with a sound mathematical/statistical background.

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

- cover letter with a brief description of the candidate's experience and motivation (10%);
- CV, including degrees, marks and contents of curricular units completed (50%);
- relevance and adequacy of previous research experience and research plan to the priorities of the team and of IA (40%).

An ordered list of candidates will be defined by the selection committee based on the submitted documents and the criteria mentioned above. All candidates fulfilling the selection criteria will be considered for a shortlist, and will be required to attend an interview for the second stage of the evaluation. Reference letters may also be asked to the aforementioned referees and will be taken into account in the evaluation process.

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 60% will be accepted.

The selected candidates will be notified by e-mail.

For inquires please contact Dr. Pedro Figueira.

Selection Committee:
Pedro Figueira (chair)
Nuno Santos
Vardan Adibekyan
Mário João Monteiro

Publication Date:
26th September 2017

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