Research Assistant/Associate

University of Cambridge - Institute of Astronomy

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 March 2019 in the first instance. (Expected start date January 2017 or after by negotiation).

A Research Assistant/Associate position is immediately available at the Institute of Astronomy (West Cambridge site) to join the Gaia Science Alerts follow-up science team. The position has primary duties to help coordinate the spectroscopic follow-up observations and lead scientific analyses and publication of some of the wide range of astrophysical object discoveries being made by Gaia Alerts. These include supernovae, tidal disruption events, CVs, microlenses, and many as yet unclassified variable or transient sources. See

The post holder will join the IoA Cambridge Gaia Alerts team, and work in coordination with the Warsaw-based coordination activities and the consortium currently active in the field. (Note that this post is a separate position from the Gaia Alerts follow-up position for tenure from 10/2017 to 09/2020 - LG10499 also advertised with a closing date of 21st December 2016)

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field or be near to completion, have proven experience of data analysis and processing specially in the context of complex astrophysical data sets, familiarity with spectroscopic instrumentation and calibration, excellent communication , computing and scientific writing skills. The primary criteria for selection will be based on relevant research excellence in observational astronomy and an ability to work with and lead a distributed network of collaborators as detailed above. The current salary scale is £25,298 to 29301 (Research Assistant) or £29,301 to £38,182 p.a. (Research Associate) depending on experience and qualifications, plus superannuation benefits.

Further information can be obtained from Prof Gerry Gilmore ( or Dr Simon Hodgkin (

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) research statement, publications list and a covering letter in the upload section of the online application.

The names and contact details of three referees are a necessary part of the submission. Referees will be contacted automatically following an application but applicants are strongly advised to prepare nominated referees for the need to provide references by midnight (GMT) Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Please submit your application by midnight (GMT) of the closing date of Monday, 3rd January 2017.  If you have any queries about your application, please contact Ms Joy McSharry (

The IoA is committed to providing a family friendly environment for researchers and is ensuring that should parental leave be needed during the course of employment, there is provision for extension to contract to compensate for the parental leave taken.

Please quote reference LG10867 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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