South African Astronomical Observatory Postdoctoral Fellowships
National Research Foundation
Closing date: 29 February 2020
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is seeking qualified candidates for 3 postdoctoral fellowships in optical observational astronomy for a period of two years.
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the National Facility for Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Its headquarters are in beautiful Cape Town with a Mediterranean climate, while its telescopes are at Sutherland in the semi-arid Northern Cape. Distributed between the two sites, SAAO employs about 130 people, many of them scientists and engineers, and is contracted to operate SALT (the Southern African Large Telescope) on behalf of the international SALT Foundation. SAAO is the premier optical/infrared research facility on the African continent, with global research and outreach collaborations, contributing to human capital development for South Africa. The Sutherland site also hosts many guest facilities to which our astronomers have access to. More information may be found at https://www.saao.ac.za/astronomers/ and https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/
The fellows will be expected to spend 40% of their time working on their personal research, possibly in one of the existing research groups at SAAO which include extragalactic astronomy, time domain astrophysics, planetary astronomy and instrumentation development. During the remaining 60%, fellows will contribute to ongoing observatory projects. This project work may include the high stability mode for SALT’s high resolution spectrograph (HRS), the development of a new low-resolution spectrograph for transient follow-up, the African Intelligent Observatory program aimed at transient science, or other instrumentation and software development.
These positions will be based in Cape Town, but may involve periods working at the observatory site in Sutherland.