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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Galaxy Formation and the Circumgalactic Medium

Deadline: 15.12.2019

Job description

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.


The Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. It presently has 11 permanent professors/associate professors. The Institute employs some 15-20 postdoctoral and senior research fellows and has of order 15-20 Ph.D. students. The research activity of the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics is concentrated around solar physics, cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics.

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The Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) is heavily involved in both observational and theoretical/computational astrophysics. The Institute is actively engaged in a large number of international collaborative programs, e.g., through the Norwegian membership in ESA, Norwegian participation in the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), the CMB polarization experiment Spider, the CO Mapping Array Pathfinder experiment (COMAP), the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the VLT Multi-Object Optical and Near-IR Spectrograph (MOONS). Space missions with major participation from ITA include Planck and Euclid within cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics. In theoretical and computational astrophysics, the Institute has built up strong groups in numerical simulations, high performance computing and the use of modern computational statistics methods in data analysis.

For this position, we are seeking an ambitious postdoctoral researcher to join the extragalactic astrophysics group led by Dr. Sijing Shen and Dr. Claudia Cicone. The position is funded by Dr. Shen’s national grant from the Research Council of Norway entitled “Simulating the Circumgalactic Medium (CGM) and the Cycle of Baryons in and out of Galaxies Throughout Cosmic History”. The successful candidate will work on the co-evolution of galaxies and the circumgalactic gas using numerical simulations. The main work includes designing, performing and/or analyzing simulations to confront with multi-wavelength observations of the galaxies and the CGM, and/or improve smaller-scale physical models of the ISM, feedback and the CGM.

The successful candidate will collaborate closely with the observational team lead by Dr. Cicone at the ITA, in particular on the submm/mm emissions from gas in the ISM/CGM. The candidate will also have opportunities to participate in the CO Mapping Array Pathfinder (COMAP) and the Euclid collaborations, and to develop her/his own projects.

Candidates with any of the following expertise are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • 1) numerical galaxy formation;
  • 2) star formation, stellar and AGN feedback;
  • 3) numerical radiative transfer;
  • 4) magnetohydrodynamics and/or cosmic ray physics;
  • 5) expertise on creating and analyzing synthetic observations of the CGM (absorption and emissions) from simulations;

In selection, weight will be given to the documented research potential of the candidates.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

More about the position

The Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) is heavily involved in both observational and theoretical/computational astrophysics. The Institute is actively engaged in a large number of international collaborative programs, e.g., through the Norwegian membership in ESA, Norwegian participation in the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), the CMB polarization experiment Spider, the CO Mapping Array Pathfinder experiment (COMAP), the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the VLT Multi-Object Optical and Near-IR Spectrograph (MOONS). Space missions with major participation from ITA include Planck and Euclid within cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics. In theoretical and computational astrophysics, the Institute has built up strong groups in numerical simulations, high performance computing and the use of modern computational statistics methods in data analysis.

For this position, we are seeking an ambitious postdoctoral researcher to join the extragalactic astrophysics group led by Dr. Sijing Shen and Dr. Claudia Cicone. The position is funded by Dr. Shen’s national grant from the Research Council of Norway entitled “Simulating the Circumgalactic Medium (CGM) and the Cycle of Baryons in and out of Galaxies Throughout Cosmic History”. The successful candidate will work on the co-evolution of galaxies and the circumgalactic gas using numerical simulations. The main work includes designing, performing and/or analyzing simulations to confront with multi-wavelength observations of the galaxies and the CGM, and/or improve smaller-scale physical models of the ISM, feedback and the CGM.

The successful candidate will collaborate closely with the observational team lead by Dr. Cicone at the ITA, in particular on the submm/mm emissions from gas in the ISM/CGM. The candidate will also have opportunities to participate in the CO Mapping Array Pathfinder (COMAP) and the Euclid collaborations, and to develop her/his own projects.

Candidates with any of the following expertise are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • 1) numerical galaxy formation;
  • 2) star formation, stellar and AGN feedback;
  • 3) numerical radiative transfer;
  • 4) magnetohydrodynamics and/or cosmic ray physics;
  • 5) expertise on creating and analyzing synthetic observations of the CGM (absorption and emissions) from simulations;

In selection, weight will be given to the documented research potential of the candidates.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in astronomy, astrophysics or a related field. Appointment is dependent on the defence of the doctoral thesis being approved, if it has not been held by the application deadline.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

We offer

  • Salary NOK 523 200 – 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Professionally stimulating working environment
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Postdoctoral development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • Research statement, detailing possible research projects and how they will benefit from participating in Dr. Shen’s research group
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities)
  • List of Publications
  • Copies of educational certificates
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).
  • 2-3 letters of references, sent directly to Sijing Shen, e-mail given below

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the research statement, as well as the candidate’s motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For technical questions regarding the application system, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, +47 22 85 71 96, e-mail: [email protected]

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