SOAR Instrument Support Postdoc

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1. Overview

The UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy has established a SOAR Instrument Support Postdoctoral Fellowship, to conduct independent research within the department and to help provide support for SOAR instrumentation. The selected candidate will have access to the department’s outstanding research facilities for their own research and will be expected to spend one-half of their time providing instrument support for the SOAR telescope, especially the Goodman Spectrograph constructed at UNC (http://www.goodman-spectrograph.org). This work will require spending three months each year in La Serena, Chile. Responsibilities may include maintenance and upgrades to the hardware and software, documentation and new observer support, and the development of data reduction pipelines.

2. Fellowship Policies

2.1. Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants must have received a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral-level research degree in astronomy, physics, or a related discipline, at the time of appointment. Graduate-student awardees who have not yet received their doctoral degree at the time of application must present evidence of having completed all requirements for the degree before commencing the Fellowship. The Fellowship is open to citizens of the United States and to English-speaking citizens of other countries. Qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, or national origin. Women and members of minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

2.2. Host Institution

The Fellowship will be based at UNC’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. Office space and access to computational and administrative infrastructure will be provided by the Department. The faculty supervisor for the position will be Dr. Chris Clemens or other faculty member as appropriate. Fellows will work half-time on SOAR instrument support and half-time on their research program. The SOAR support function requires 3 months residence in La Serena each year, for which transportation and housing will be provided.

2.3. Stipend

The annual stipend for a Fellow will be $40,000 to $45,000, depending upon qualifications, subject to annual review, adjustment, and availability of funds. In addition, the Fellow can receive health insurance. A research budget of approximately $4,000 will be available to cover conference travel, research expenses, or publication charges.

2.4. Duration of Fellowship

Contingent on the availability of funds, Fellowships are awarded for up to a three-year period. Funding will be provided initially for the first year of the Fellowship. Renewals for the second and third year will depend on annual performance reviews.

Please note that a Fellowship carries with it no guarantee of SOAR observing time and implies no change in the way SOAR observing time is awarded. The Fellow can apply for observing time through the Department’s guaranteed share (61 nights/year), and through NOAO.

3. Solicitation

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina welcomes applications for a new postdoctoral position to conduct independent research and provide SOAR instrument support. Ideally, we seek a talented scientist with experience in astronomical instrumentation, but candidates with extensive experience in observing, including the construction of data reduction pipelines, will also be considered. The selected candidate will have access to the department’s outstanding research facilities for their own research and will be expected to spend one-half of their time providing instrument support for the SOAR telescope, especially the Goodman Spectrograph constructed at UNC (http://www.goodman-spectrograph.org). This work will require spending three months each year in La Serena, Chile. Responsibilities may include maintenance and upgrades to the hardware and software, documentation and new observer support, and the development of data reduction pipelines. Experience with IRAF, IDL, and LabVIEW will be especially useful.

UNC has 60 nights guaranteed annually on the 4.1m SOAR telescope atop Cerro Pachon, Chile, and operates a state-of-the-art remote observing center on campus. The department is a partner with guaranteed nights on the 11m SALT telescope, and it runs a network of robotic telescopes (the PROMPT array in Chile, and Skynet globally). Our instrumentation labs built SOAR’s high‐throughput spectrograph, and we are engaged in other SOAR and large telescope instrument projects.

Applicants should provide a resume, publication list, summary of previous research and instrumentation experience (2 pages), a description of research they would like to conduct (3 pages), and the email addresses of three references on the UNC recruitment website, http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/32612. Applicants should arrange for three reference letters to be submitted via email to SOARinst2014@listserv.unc.edu. Complete application materials including letters are due December 1, 2013, with announcements expected mid-January 2014. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. For information on eligibility and further program details, please see http://physics.unc.edu/SOARinst, and for inquiries please contact SOARinst2014@listserv.unc.edu.

If you experience any problems accessing the system or have questions about the application process, please contact the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity office at (919) 966-3576 or send an email to equalopportunity@unc.edu. Please note: The Equal Employment Opportunity office will not be able to provide specific updates regarding position or application status. The University of North Carolina is an Equal Opportunity Employer.