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Post-doctoral position to work on simulations for the Athena X-ray Observatory at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC, IEEC; Barcelona)

Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC, IEEC)
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Mié, 22/09/2021
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Mié, 20/10/2021


The Athena mission will be the next generation large X-ray observatory offering spatially-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and deep wide-field X-ray spectral imaging with performance greatly exceeding that offered by current X-ray observatories. It was selected in 2014 by ESA to become the second L-class mission of its Cosmic Vision programme. It will be launched in the 2030’ and it is now preparing its Mission Adoption Review that will end in late 2022 when the instrument construction will start.

We welcome applications for a post-doctoral position on data simulations for the Athena X-ray Observatory at the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona (ICE), which is part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Catalan Institute for Space Studies (IEEC). The Institute of Space Sciences is deeply involved in the scientific preparation for the mission being part of the Athena Science Study Team, and part of a bigger network of Spanish institutes involved in several aspects of the Athena preparation.

In this role, the post-doctoral researcher will be:

- Simulating Athena observations of pulsars, magnetars, pulsar wind nebulae and neutron stars in binary systems.
- Improving existing and developing new pipelines for image, spectral and timing X-ray analysis, focused on the future Athena X-ray Observatory.

He/she is requested to have experience in:

- High energy astrophysics in general.
- X-ray data analysis.
- Python and related libraries.

The successful candidate is expected to work actively on Athena simulations but having 30% of the time to pursue his/her own scientific interests. A scientific background on neutron star science is a plus, but not strictly necessary.

He/she will be hired on a full-time contract from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and funded by a European H2020 ERC Consolidator grant (MAGNESIA ERC Consolidator project, PI: Rea). The position is for 2 years, with possible extensions. There will be a (relaxed) evaluation of performance every year, and a report (a couple of pages maximum) to be submitted to the European Commission. Salary and benefits will be in accordance with the Spanish labour laws, and will depend on past experience. This position further allows 1 month vacation per year, usually taken in August. Working hours are flexible as typical for our discipline, and we encourage performance-driven work, rather than a filling-hours approach. The funding grant will also provide a laptop, accessories or justified materials, which can be chosen and customized. Starting date would be December 2021/Early 2022 but can be discussed with the potential candidates. Given the current situation, working conditions will be flexible if required.

Group activities will be in English (as are all the institute's activities) and there is a weekly group meeting that the successful candidate is expected to attend (remotely if needed). One crucial strength of our group is the generally relaxed and supportive atmosphere between all its members, and we are looking forward to having a new team member join in this spirit. More information about the group here:

About the institution:

Currently, the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE) counts over 20 faculty members, about 20 engineers, about 20 post-doc fellows and a dozen of PhD students. The areas of research vary from engineering applied to several space missions to fundamental physics, cosmology, from high-energy astronomy to theoretical astrophysics. ICE is part of the "Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas" (CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council). CSIC is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe. ICE is also part of the Catalan Institute of Space Studies (IEEC, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya). Our institute is an equal-opportunity employer committed to building a culturally diverse community of researchers, dedicated to contributing to an inclusive environment. We encourage, in particular, applications by women and by members of minorities. ICE is located in a modern building on the Campus of the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in Bellaterra, just outside Barcelona. The Campus is well served by public transportation (railways and buses), and a variety of temporary and long-term accommodation options can be found both in Barcelona city center and in the smaller towns close to the University Campus.

To apply please send your CV to: Nanda Rea <>

Deadline: October 20th, 2021. Applications are open until positions are filled.