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Research Associate (Simons Observatory:UK Project)

Simons Observatory, Manchester, United Kingdom
Employer Description

The Simons Observatory (SO) is an $80 million dollar project supported by the Simons Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and member organizations, dedicated to understanding how the universe originated and evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. The SO project began in 2016 and is comprised of the design and deployment of four special-purpose telescopes, a high-altitude site, and cryogenic detectors. The SO will collect a comprehensive range of data spanning angular scales from one arcminute to nearly 70% of the sky visible from its site in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, at an altitude of 5200 meters (17,200 feet) above sea level.

The SO is comprised of over 40 institutions world-wide with over 300 participating members, representing scientific/academic/educational personnel, engineers, managers, and other parties. Upon completion, SO will be the largest, most ambitious observatory of its kind designed to probe the composition and evolution of the entire universe. The Simons Observatory Project Office at UC San Diego is responsible for the construction and operation of the Simons Observatory.

Job Description

Reference number: SAE-020412
Location: Oxford Road
Salary: £34,308-£42,155 per annum depending on experience
Employment type: Fixed Term
Hours per week: Full Time
Contract Duration: 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2026

The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the area of instrumentation to work on the Simons Observatory:UK (SO:UK) project. Simons Observatory (SO) is a next-generation Cosmic Microwave Background observatory, comprised of a single large aperture telescope (LAT) and multiple small aperture telescopes (SATs). It is currently under construction in the Atacama Desert in Chile, with early science operations due to begin in 2023. SO:UK is a major UK contribution to SO. In addition to a significant contribution to the SO Data Management, SO:UK will deliver two additional SATs and a receiver system for the LAT. The University of Manchester is one of six UK universities that form the SO:UK collaboration and, amongst other contributions, will be assembling and testing one of the two SO:UK SATs.

Job Requirements

The successful candidate will work with Prof. Lucio Piccirillo, Prof. Michael Brown and the wider SO:UK team – both at Manchester and across the UK institutes – to deliver this major instrumentation project. In particular, we are seeking to appoint an individual to work on two critical aspects/sub-systems of the instrument: setting requirements and validating the performance of the detector/readout combination, and implementation and testing of the rotation system for the Half-Wave Plate.

The starting date is 1 April 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The post will be available for three years in the first instance.

Applications should consist of a completed application form, an up-to-date CV and a Research Statement (maximum 2 pages).

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Blended working arrangements may be considered.

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
: Michael Brown

General enquiries:

Technical support:

Closing date: Midnight on the 9 December 2022.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.

· SAE-020412 Research Associate FPs

Related URLs: Apply online here
Application Deadline: Friday, December 9, 2022
Selection Deadline: Friday, December 9, 2022

15 November 2022
15 December 2022
Research and Development
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