Applications are invited for 1 postdoctoral position at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Science Academy (CAMK PAN), in Warsaw, Poland, in the fields of pulsating and binary stars. CAMK PAN is the leading astrophysical institute in Poland, hosting about 50 staff researchers and 30 PhD students. CAMK PAN scientists participate in many international projects.
A successful applicant will work with Dr. Bogumił Pilecki (the Principal Investigator) on the project “Understanding Cepheids: physical and empirical basis for our main tool for distance determination in the Universe”. The position will be funded from a Polish National Science Center (NCN) SONATA BIS research grant (UMO-2020/38/E/ST9/00486). Generous funding for travel and excellent working environment is secured. This position is offered for two years with a possibility of extension.
Classical Cepheids are successfully being used to measure distances in the Universe for over a century, but our understanding of their physical properties and evolution is still very limited. It was not a problem when measurements (distances, Hubble constant) were done with 10%-precision, but currently precision of 1% or less is necessary to solve the most pressing problems in astrophysics (e.g. the Hubble tension).
Our knowledge of Cepheid astrophysics has started to improve only recently with the first precise measurements of the masses and radii obtained by our group from the analysis of Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems. However, only a few such measurements are available now, and there are still many open problems to be solved. We want to improve our understanding of these important stars through a detailed investigation of about 50 newly discovered Cepheids in binary systems. This will consist of measurements of their physical and atmospheric properties (some of them for the first time), and the study of their multiplicity and binary interactions. Photometric observations will be performed in our dedicated observatory located at Cerro Armazones in Chile (this observatory will be soon expanded with 4 new telescopes in the 0.8–2.5m range), while for the spectroscopic observations the best world-class telescopes (Magellan, VLT, etc.) and instruments will be utilized. For the analysis, we will use modern tools and novel methods that were never applied before. The project will be performed within the Araucaria group in a large international collaboration (Chile, France, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Austria, Italy). The group consists of about 15 astronomers in CAMK PAN and about 20 in other countries.
The project will be focused mainly on Cepheids in spectroscopic and eclipsing binary systems. Depending on skills and preference the selected candidate will be able to work on the whole scope of the project or specifically on either Cepheids or binary systems (with Cepheid companions). Related personal projects will also be welcome.
The successful applicant will participate in observations, data analysis (radial velocity determination, light curve modeling, SED fitting), and software development. He/she is also expected to regularly present and publish the results, and write applications for observing time. The selected candidate will have the possibility to work, among others, on spectral analysis (including SED fitting), modeling of selected Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems, modeling of pulsation properties of Cepheids, and on evolutionary models of Cepheids and their companions.
Information about related projects on Cepheids in binary systems can be found here.
Requirements to be met by candidates include the following:
The person recruited as a result of this competition must also meet all of the following conditions:
The preferred starting date for the position is October 2021 but is negotiable. The salary of the successful candidate will be competitive to that of Polish researchers at the same career stage.
Applications (in pdf format) should be submitted by e-mail with the subject “Postdoc competition” to email@example.com and they must include:
Questions about the position can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For full consideration, applications should be received by 31 July 2021.
The review of the applications will begin soon after this date and continue until the position is filled.
You can also read this announcement at the webpage of the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center.