Current opening at GRAPPA (see details below):

  • Postdoctoral Position to Work on Instrumentation for High-Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy (evaluation starts 19 September 2016, deadline is 2 October 2016)

Postdoctoral Position to Work on Instrumentation for High-Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy

The CTA group of the Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’ (API) and GRAPPA of the University of Amsterdam is  looking for an excellent experimental postdoctoral researcher to lead the CTA precision timing efforts of API/GRAPPA. We are involved in electronics R&D for one of the camera prototyping efforts of the small-size telescopes (SSTs) of CTA, the planned next-generation facility for gamma-ray astronomy. For the camera project (CHEC) we are developing the backend electronics of CHEC. In addition to that, our group contributes to the photo-sensor and analog frontend electronics development of CHEC, the pointing system of the telescopes and the use cases of the entire CTA. We are also heavily involved in the maintenance and enhancement of the data acquisition system of H.E.S.S. and the analysis of H.E.S.S. data.

We are furthermore developing a common timing card based on White Rabbit to be used by all CTA cameras. The new postdoc is expected to lead this activity. Applicants should have an interest in hardware developments, lab testing, and collaborative research with more than a handful of groups across the world. Frequent interactions with electronics engineers, locally or at companies, and with scientists during the commissioning and pre-construction phase of CTA are needed. Applicants should ideally have experience with fast electronics in particle physics or astroparticle physics experiments or neighboring fields, and have the ambition and capability to lead the CTA timing activities. Knowledge of modern programming languages and/or experience with real-time software development is a bonus. There is ample opportunity to participate in directing PhD and MSc student projects.

The gamma-ray group of API is part of the GRAPPA institute, a cross-disciplinary activity for astroparticle physics. Research at the GRAPPA institute covers dark matter, dark energy, neutrinos, cosmic rays, as well as more generally string theory, cosmology, high-energy astrophysics and high- energy particle physics. Participation in gamma-ray research within GRAPPA is possible, either as a member of H.E.S.S. or via contributions to the first very-high-energy gamma-ray data analyses of the CTA-SST prototypes.

The appointment is initially for two years and can be extended by up to two years depending on the performance of the candidate. The salary is set by Dutch labor law, including generous benefits, and depends on experience. The standard, generous Dutch social benefits apply to this position including collective health insurance, 16 weeks paid maternity leave, childcare subsidies, pension, and about 35 days annual paid vacation, depending on level.

Applicants should hold (or soon hold) a PhD in experimental particle physics, astroparticle physics, astronomy, or engineering, obtained no more than four years prior to starting the position.

The position is available from 1st of November 2016 onwards. The evaluation of the applications (cover letter, CV including publications, statement of research interests, two letters of recommendation) will start on 19 September 2016. The deadline for application is 2 October 2016. Further questions shall be directed to David Berge, d.berge [at], mentioning the key word CTAPD.