New Centre for Radio Cosmology at UWC

The Astrophysics group is pleased to announce the creation of a new research centre – Centre for Radio Cosmology (CRC) funded by the South African SKA Project. The centre, lead by prof. Mario Santos, aims to fully exploit the use of the next generation of radio telescopes for measurements in cosmology, in particular with MeerKAT and SKA1. It will focus on the development of pipelines and technical know how in order to have a world leading group capable of conducting the required radio surveys and tackle the huge data volumes that will be provided by these telescopes and ultimately provide exquisite cosmological constraints. For more information, please contact: mariogrs AT gmail.com

More information will be provided here once the CRC web site is up. For now, please consider the following job announcement:

Postdoctoral positions in Cosmology with the SKA

 The Astrophysics Group at the University of the Western Cape, invites applications for up to three postdoctoral positions in cosmology as part of the newly created Centre for Radio Cosmology (CRC). UWC is located in the beautiful city of Cape Town, with excellent cultural and outdoor activities. The Astrophysics Group has grown dramatically in recent years – curently there are 5 Faculty, 16 postdocs and 15 postgraduate research students. This has led to the formation of the CRC, which is deeply involved in work related to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). South Africa will be hosting SKA1-MID, the largest array of dishes in the world, to be completed by 2023, with the pathfinder MeerKAT already under construction.
We encourage applications from strong candidates with experience in observational or theoretical cosmology, or in radio astronomy, large-scale simulations or statistical analysis of data. The scientific focus will be in one or more of the following areas:
  • Cosmology with the SKA and its pathfinders, in particular MeerKAT (continuum and HI intensity mapping surveys).
  • Theoretical and data analysis of number counts, brightness temperature and weak lensing, in radio and optical, with focus on the power spectrum and bispectrum on very large scales
  • The 21cm signal from the epoch of reionization. This includes both theory/simulations as well as data analysis with the HERA experiment (currently being built in South Africa) and the future SKA-LOW
The selected candidates will work more closely with Prof. Mario Santos or Prof. Roy Maartens but will also be encouraged to collaborate with other staff members, in particular Profs Romeel Dave, Matt Jarvis, Russ Taylor and Dr Michelle Cluver. The group also has strong links with other institutions in Cape Town, such as the SKA office, SAAO and UCT (all within 20 minutes from the University). Besides the research work, we give special attention to the development of data science skills by the postdoctoral fellows as part of their career plan.
Applicants must hold a PhD by the anticipated start date and should have obtained the degree less than five years ago. The appointment will be for 3 years with a nominal start date of September 2016, although other start dates can be negotiated. Applications consisting of a CV, publications list and a statement of research interests, should be emailed to the address provided. Applicants should arrange for a minimum of two letters of recommendation to be sent the same way. Applications received by April 10, 2016 will receive full consideration, although later applications may be considered. Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to the same email.
Included Benefits:
Salary for 2016 is ZAR 330,000 per year, tax free, plus a generous travel and equipment grants. Candidates should also factor in the lower cost of living in South Africa when considering the salary.
Email contact: mariogrs AT gmail.com