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One Postdoctoral Contract Groundbird 2018

Insituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Mar, 26/06/2018
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Dom, 30/09/2018


The IAC (Tenerife) invites applications for ONE three-year postdoctoral contract to work on data analysis, and subsequent scientific exploitation, of the GroundBIRD experiment, a millimetric (145 and 220 GHz) CMB polarimeter to be located at the Teide observatory. This project is aimed to detect the primordial B-mode signal from inflation in the CMB polarisation, and is a collaboration between Japanese (RIKEN, KEK, NAOJ, Kyoto, Saitama and Tohoku universities) and Korean (University of Korea) institutions and the IAC. The participation of the IAC in this project is led by Dr. Ricardo Génova Santos. The selected candidate will become part of this collaboration, and will work closely with the IAC CMB group, and with other groups of this consortium, in a rather stimulating and international environment. The successful candidate will be based at the IAC's headquarters in La Laguna, but the position will involve regular trips and stints in Japan.

The IAC CMB group has a long experience in CMB research, and in the development and operation of CMB experiments. This group is now leading the QUIJOTE experiment, whose angular resolution and frequency range (10-40 GHz) nicely complement those of GroundBIRD, and has also been heavily involved in the Planck mission. Research topics at the IAC include most areas of astrophysics: solar physics, planetary systems, stellar and interstellar physics, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmology and astroparticles. These research lines are supported by an ambitious instrumentation programme. The IAC has been selected as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence by the Spanish Government in 2015, a prestigious recognition awarded for the second time to the IAC as a leading research institute in Spain. Further information about the IAC's research programme, its Observatories and the 10.4m GTC is available at the IAC's web page (

Duties: The selected candidate will pursue research related to one or several of the following fields:

·      Participation in the commissioning of the GroundBIRD experiment, and analysis of the first-light data, at 150 and 220 GHz. Characterisation of the instrument noise properties, optical quality, beam response, and atmospheric contribution, using the first data of this experiment.

·      Characterisation and assessment of systematics: local interferences, ground spillover, atmospheric contamination, sidelobe pickup, leakage from intensity to polarisation.

·      Scientific data processing, calibration, and scientific exploitation. Production of the maps at 150 and 220 GHz, validation, noise characterisation and identification of potential residual systematics.

·      Joint analysis of GroundBIRD and QUIJOTE data. Cross-correlation of the maps of the two experiments, in the same areas of the sky. Application of component separation techniques and extraction of the common signal.

·      Study the contribution of polarised (thermal dust) foregrounds. Application of component separation techniques to extract the cosmological signal.

·      Power spectrum estimation and extraction of the cosmological information, in particular constraints on the ratio between tensor and scalar modes, r.

·      Act as a contact between the IAC group and the rest of the GroundBIRD collaboration.

Position requirements: The candidates must have a solid track record of research and are expected to have a strong publication record in the field of CMB and, more generally, cosmology.

Qualification requirements: To be eligible for admission, applicants must have obtained a Ph.D. degree in Astrophysics or Physics, within the application deadline (September 30, 2018). A copy of the degree or corresponding stamped certificate (issued by the University where the degree was obtained) must be included. Applicants who have not completed their Ph.D. degree within the application deadline will not be considered.

Selection stage: The selection process will consist of two stages: a merit assessment phase and an interview.

In the merit assessment stage, the Selection Committee will verify and rate the merits documented by the applicants. The maximum score that can be awarded for the assessment of merits will be 80 points, which will be calculated as the sum of the scores obtained in each of the sections.

A) Maximum score: 60 points

·      Scientific and technical contributions to the field of research.

·      Scientific publications, in quality and quantity, listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI conference contributions; teaching tasks, participation in scientific committees, membership of scientific conference committees, conference organization, journal refereeing, and stays at other research centres.

·      Every career stage since the defence of the doctoral thesis will be taken into consideration

B) Maximum score: 20 points

Adequacy of the candidate’s training and experience for the contract applied for

·      Data reduction and/or data processing and/or data analysis of CMB experiments, or in general expertise with handling and analysing data from radio and/or sub-mm telescopes.

·      Expertise with the analysis and management of large data sets.

·      Physics of Galactic foregrounds (thermal dust, synchrotron, spinning dust), their polarisation, and of the CMB polarisation.

·      Statistical tools for the analysis and exploitation of CMB data. Component separation techniques and power spectrum estimation.

·      Standard CMB software packages, like Healpix. Expertise in coding up basic software (preferred languages: Python, IDL, F90) for the analysis and exploitation of CMB data.

Method of accreditation for both sections: Report on the technical and research activity carried out, accompanied by documentation that proves what was stated in it. Candidates should indicate in this report which group/s they would like to collaborate with and should present a scientific project to be developed during the contract.

C) Interview. Maximum score: 20 points

Candidates who have obtained the minimum score to pass the first phase (50 points) will be called to the second assessment phase at a specific time and date. The second phase will consist in an interview that can take place either in person at the IAC headquarters or using internet communication software (e.g., skype or zoom) that allows voice and image transmission.

During the interview, the candidates will present, for a maximum of 20 minutes, their vision about the adaptation of their professional profile to the position applied for and the development of their research activity if awarded the contract. The Selection Committee may then ask questions about the contents of its presentation and any other aspects that they deem relevant.

The presentation may be in either Spanish or in English.

In this exercise a score of 0 to 20 points will be awarded, of which:

Up to 10 points, correspond to the adaptation of the professional profile to the specialty of the contract awarded.

Up to 10 points, correspond to the candidate's vision of the future and planned research activity in the position applied for.

To pass this second phase a minimum score of 15 points will be necessary.

To pass the selective process, it will be necessary to obtain a minimum score of 65 points.

In order to ensure the effective equality of opportunity for men and women, in pursuance of the provisions of the IAC's Second Plan of Equality, and to ensure that certain documented circumstances of candidates do not prejudice the success of their application, the following special circumstances will be taken positively into account:

·      Maternity leave, up to 18 months after the date of birth or adoption.

·      Paternity leave, as provided for by Social Security, for the duration of the corresponding permit.

·      Severe illness or accident with medical leave for a minimum of 3 months.

·      Care of dependents for a minimum period of 3 months, as provided for by Law 39/2006.

·      Work permits for the care of dependent children or adults.

Training: Those candidates who have done their Ph.D. research at the IAC must have undertaken a period of training in other research centres. This period must consist of either one continuous year or 18 accumulated months (including periods of training during their doctoral period).

Duration: The appointment will be for a period of three years.  The starting date is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Remuneration: The gross annual salary is 33,547 Euros, subject to up to 20% income tax and Social Security contributions (depending on the personal situation of the candidate). Medical insurance under the Spanish National Health Service will be provided for the candidate and will also cover spouse or registered partner (de facto partner) and children (if relevant).

Relocation allowance: This call includes a relocation allowance (for the appointed candidate only) comprising: the cost of the flight ticket (booked and issued by the IAC), temporary accommodation for up to two weeks (organized by the IAC) and a per diem rate up to two weeks. The allowance cannot exceed the amount of 2,500 Euros.

Non-UE citizens: Applicants who are not citizen of a country belonging to the European Union are invited to apply for this position, but, if selected, will be allowed to sign the contract with the IAC only after obtaining the compulsory documentation required to live and work in Spain. 

How to apply: The required documentation must be submitted using the online application system, and received by the application deadline. Alternatively, candidates may follow the instructions in the official announcement (in Spanish only).

The following documentation will be sent in in a single file in PDF format:

·      Application form (Annex I, duly completed and signed)

·      Curriculum Vitae, including publication list

·      Research activity report and statement of suitability for the position (maximum of 2 pages)

·      Scientific project to be developed during the contract (maximum of 2 pages).

·      Copy of the Ph.D. degree certificate

·      Copy of the national identity or passport

In addition, the names and e-mails of three scientists familiar with the work of the candidate must be indicated.

Late applications or those that do not include the mandatory Application Form (Annex I), will not be considered. In case of incomplete applications, the applicant will have a period of five (5) days, starting from the day after publication of the provisional list of accepted and excluded candidates, to provide the missing documentation.

Contact: For scientific enquiries please contact Dr. Ricardo Génova Santos (