PhD in Galaxy Evolution and Big Data (14 positions available)

SUNDIAL

SUNDIAL (SUrvey Network for Deep Imaging Analysis & Learning) invites applications for 14 junior scientist (PhD) positions for its program on Galaxy Evolution and Big Data, where astronomers and computer scientists work together on big data algorithms, and apply them to the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies. The research will be carried out at nine European institutes with possible internships at 5 companies. The individual PhD-projects, which will start between June and September 2017, are described on the SUNDIAL web pages.

SUNDIAL is an ambitious interdisciplinary network of research groups in astronomy and computer science in the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom funded by the EU as a Horizon2020 Marie Curie ITN project. The aim of the network is to develop novel algorithms to study the very large databases coming from present and future telescopes and simulations to better understand galaxy formation and evolution, and to prepare for the huge astronomical missions of the next decade. As a starting database SUNDIAL uses the KIDS survey and the deep wide-field survey of the Fornax cluster FDS, both observed with the OMEGACam instrument at ESO, as well as complementary imaging and spectroscopic surveys from various telescopes, such as VISTA, SAMI (AAT) and MeerKAT across the full electromagnetic spectrum.

Special for this network is that the PhD students are trained in two fields - computer science and astronomy, and scientific collaborations between the nodes are strongly encouraged. The techniques that we develop (in machine learning and mathematical morphology) will be applied to problems in galaxy evolution, as well as other fields. With 5 companies we will look for commercial applications.

Positions are available across all our nodes, and successful candidates will spend at least six months at secondary nodes. Network activities include internships at our commercial partners, training schools and one or more conferences. Details of the available positions can be consulted on our webpage, http://www.astro.rug.nl/sundial. The duration of contracts will be 36 months; funding for an additional fourth year is or may become available (see the individual projects). Financial conditions and benefits are excellent, and include generous mobility and living allowance, following EU guidelines. We invite applicants from all nationalities, although EU rules on research experience and mobility apply, as outlined on our website. Applicants need to have finished the equivalent of a Masters degree in astrophysics, computer science, or a related field of study by the start of their contract.

Applications need to be submitted by 15 December 2016 at https://www.astro.rug.nl/~peletier/sundial/applications.html
SUNDIAL is committed to equal opportunities and will recruit exclusively on merit.