Background Image

PhD position on Massive Stars at the Centro de Astrobiologia

Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), sede Torrejón
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Jue, 20/12/2018
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Mié, 06/02/2019


PhD position on Massive Stars at the Centro de Astrobiología  within INPhINIT, "la Caixa" Foundation Fellowship Programme

Centro de Astrobiologia, in Madrid, Spain, is offering 1 PhD fellowship in the field of Massive Stars within INPhINIT program of "la Caixa" Foundation. INPhINIT will select 35 young researchers of all nationalities for a three year program to complete a PhD in one of the centers that has received a Severo Ochoa or Maria de Maeztu award, a quality seal given by the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación. The salaries and other benefits are very competitive.

Project title:  Engines of modern astrophysics: massive stars
  Advisers: Francisco (Paco) Najarro and Miriam Garcia

  Research Project / Research Group Description:

This research project studies massive stars, counted among the most active agents of the Universe. In life and death they inject vast amounts of ionizing flux and kinetic energy into the interstellar medium, they can trigger the formation of new generations of stars or destroy  planetary systems, and are responsible for the production of most Oxygen and Phosphorous in the Universe, key elements for life. Massive stars are also excellent sites to test extreme-physics at the time of their spectacular life-ending events (collapse, supernovae and long γ-ray burst) and seed the Universe with exotic leftover products, neutron stars and black holes. At the moment, massive stars are the only astronomical objects capable of producing gravitational waves that can be captured with current observational facilities.

Our team consists on one staff member  one postdoc , one PhD student, and Master students from Madrid Autónoma and Complutense Universities. We work closely with the other Spanish massive star teams at Universidad de Alicante and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and have strong collaborations over the world including colleagues at U. Observatory Munich (Germany), Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), Royal Observatory of Edinburgh (UK), Open University (UK), U. Innsbruck, (Austria), U. Pittsburgh (USA), U. Leuven (Belgium), UNAM (Mexico), ESA, and Space Telescope Science Institute (USA).

Our expertise includes both observational and theoretical studies of massive stars. We have a long record of successful observing programs at top-observatories (HST, VLT, GTC) and are experts in modeling the atmospheres of massive star with advanced codes. We have been involved in the definition of new instrumentation in the past (e.g. GTC-MEGARA and EMIR, WHT-WEAVE) and for future facilities (LUVOIR). We are part of SAFARI’s science team, the far-IR spectrometer for the future mission SPICA, for which F. Najarro is the national representative for Spain.
Job position description:

The successful applicant will be trained to observe massive stars, extract data products, and analyze massive stars with the state of the art codes CMFGEN and FASTWIND. Then he or she may choose to join one or more of our research lines:

-        Massive stars in the Milky Way, infrared (IR) spectroscopy: we are involved in IR studies of dust-obscured populations of massive stars in the disk of the Milky Way and the Galactic Center. We chase and characterize the most massive stars known in our Galaxy and use them as beacons of its chemical composition. Our results inform the studies of the structure and chemical evolution of the Milky Way.

-        Extremely metal-poor massive stars:  we are leading the efforts to uncover massive stars in galaxies with a small amount of metallic elements in their composition. They will help us understand massive stars at high redshift, estimate feedback at different look back times, and ultimately make the connection to the first stars of the Universe.

-        Physics of massive stars: the above lines are connected by the study of the atmospheres of massive stars that expand by the force of their own UV energy production, a phenomenon called radiation-driven winds. The detailed analysis of high quality spectra with CMFGEN provides unique insight into the processes governing the stellar atmosphere, which in turn is essential to determine the stellar parameters of the star (e.g. temperature, luminosity, mass and wind properties).

The three research lines target massive stars in single and binary systems in all their life-stages to understand their physical properties and draw their sequence of evolution. The ultimate goal is to assess their impact on the host galaxy and achieve a better understanding of the massive stars that produce the highly energetic phenomena we detect outside the Milky Way.

Requirements for candidates:

In order to be accepted, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:

1.- Experience: At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

2.- Studies pursued: At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:

2.1.- To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.

2.2.- To have completed a degree in university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

3.- Geographic mobility:

Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.

Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.
4.- Level of English: Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).
Complete applications: Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.

Applications and further information:

All applications must be completed online at the following link, where additional information on the application process is also provided:

*** The deadline for the applications is 6 February 2019 at 2 p.m. (Central European Time - CET). ***