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Senior Research Associate in Supernova Cosmology

Salary:   £34,804 to £40,322
Closing Date:   Tuesday 27 April 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3316

The Lancaster University Physics Department seeks to appoint a postdoctoral researcher to work on Type Ia supernovae and their use in cosmology. The position is funded for three years and comes with funding for travel and computing.  

You will work with Prof. Isobel Hook on surveys for transients using upcoming facilities, specifically the 4MOST instrument, the Rubin Observatory that will carry out the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), and the ESA Euclid mission. The period of appointment is expected to cover the preparation and early data phases of these surveys. 

You will work primarily on the Time Domain Extragalactic Survey (TiDES), a planned 4MOST survey that will obtain spectroscopic follow-up of transients and their host galaxies. You will be expected to contribute to: the scientific preparation of TiDES, including optimization and implementation of target selection algorithms; the real-time running of the survey and its interface with the LSST transient alert stream; data analysis including processing of transient spectra and derivation of host galaxy properties from the combination of LSST, TiDES and Euclid data. You are also expected to work on analysis leading to cosmological constraints, making use of the parameters derived above.  

Applications are encouraged from those experienced with large astronomical surveys, spectroscopic observations and analysis, statistical techniques, source classification, astronomical transient detection and follow-up and/or other astronomical data reduction and analysis. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Prof. Isobel Hook ( for further information on the position and the group’s scientific interests before submitting their application.  

Prof Hook’s research group is part of the larger Observational Astrophysics group at Lancaster, whose members pursue research in diverse and complementary topics including high-redshift galaxies and reionisation, star formation and galaxy evolution, and gravitational waves. The Observational Astrophysics group is part of a wider research group which also includes the Theoretical Particle Cosmology and Space & Planetary Physics groups. Several members of the department are members of the Data Science Institute at Lancaster, which the successful candidate will have the opportunity to join. 

You must have earned a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or a related field by your start date. You must also have prior experience with data analysis, including computational skills. Other desirable criteria include (1) the ability to contribute to publications and present work at conferences; (2) expertise in surveys for astronomical transients (3) expertise in analysis of transient or galaxy spectra; (4) excellent interpersonal and communication skills; (5) the ability to work both in a team and independently, taking on responsibility in both cases. 

To apply, you should submit (1) a curriculum vitae with publications list; (2) a research statement describing your suitability for the position as well as your current and future research interests, not to exceed 2 pages; and (3) a list containing contact information for 3 reference letter writers. Letters of reference will be requested from shortlisted candidates. 

Lancaster University Physics is strongly committed to fostering diversity within its community. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver award and Institute of Physics Juno Champion status. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our department. 

You will join us on an indefinite contract; however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time, is for 3 years. 

Lancaster is a small but vibrant city near the sea and very close to the picturesque Lake District. Applicants may find some helpful information on local amenities here:

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The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.



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