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PhD position in Astrophysics: Gamma-ray bursts in the multi-messenger era

Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Mié, 22/01/2020
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Sáb, 29/02/2020


A fully funded PhD position in Astrophysics, starting in September 2020, is available in the UCD School of Physics in Dublin (Ireland) under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Martin-Carrillo.


The successful candidate will work on different aspects related to gamma-ray bursts (GRB) astrophysics. GRBs are the most luminous explosions in the Universe, with central engines which drive the outbursts in extremely high relativistic jets. Most of their energy is produced at high energy gamma-rays lasting only a few seconds. About 10% of their energy is released as longer wavelengths as the so-call ‘afterglow’ emission, which is detectable at X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths for days, weeks and even months after the main burst. GRBs can signal the death of massive stars or the merger of two compact objects, such as two neutron stars or a black hole and a neutron star. The detection of GW/GRB170817 by both, the LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave detectors and the electromagnetic fleet of telescopes available, recently confirmed the link of compact object mergers and GRBs, opening up a new era of astrophysics.


This PhD position will focus on the study of the progenitors and central engines of gamma-ray bursts using simulations, machine learning algorithms and multi-wavelength data analysis, including UCD’s Watcher & Watcher 2/BOOTES-6 robotic telescopes, XMM-Newton, Swift, Chandra and INTEGRAL.


The candidate may also join the EIRSAT-1 team, currently building Ireland’s first satellite. EIRSAT-1 is a 2-U CubeSat being developed in UCD as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Fly Your Satellite! Programme. The payloads are a gamma ray detector, a materials thermal experiment, a prototype Antenna Deployment Mechanism and a satellite orientation control algorithm. It is currently being integrated and tested in UCD and at ESA facilities. It is the first spacecraft to be designed, built and operated wholly in and from Ireland and will be delivered to ESA for subsequent launch into low Earth orbit. The candidate may work on different aspects of the mission such as software development, ground support during the duration of the mission and data analysis.


Applicants are expected to possess a 2.1 or 1st class honours degree in Physics with emphasis in Astrophysics, experience in Python, good teamwork skills and a good English level (written and spoken). 


Starting date: September 2020 (an earlier start can be negotiated).

Duration 4 years

Stipend: €18,000 per year (EU and non-EU fees included)

Additional support for equipment and travel is also available.


The successful candidate may be required to demonstrate in the School of Physics. As part of the PhD programme, the candidate will have to course 30 ECTS credits, including, the mandatory, Teaching and Learning module (unless done already as part of their undergraduate/MSc degrees).


Deadline for applications is close of business on 29 February 2020.


Applicants should send a cover letter detailing their interest and suitability for the position, a CV, a transcript of university grades and the details of three names to act as references to The email subject should include “UCD PhD in Astrophysics application”.

For more information contact