Postdoctoral Research Associate in Adaptive Optics in the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, Physics

Durham University

Postdoctoral Analysis Affiliate in Adaptive Optics within the Centre for Superior Instrumentation, Physics (
Job Quantity:
Division of Physics
Grade 7:  £37,099 – £44,246 every year
Fastened Time period  Full Time
Contract Period: 1 yr / 52 weeks
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 10-Dec-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Relevant. 

Working at Durham College  

A globally excellent centre of educating and analysis excellence, a heat and pleasant place to work, a singular and historic setting – Durham is a college like no different.

As one of many UK’s main universities, Durham is an unbelievable place to outline your profession. The College is situated inside a gorgeous historic metropolis, house to a UNESCO World Heritage Website, and surrounded by gorgeous countryside. Our proficient students and researchers from all over the world are tackling world points and making a distinction to individuals’s lives.  

We imagine that inspiring our individuals to do excellent issues at Durham permits Durham individuals to do excellent issues on the planet. Being part of Durham is about extra than simply the success of the College, it’s additionally about contributing to the success of the town, county and group.

Our College Technique is constructed on three pillars of analysis, schooling and wider pupil expertise, but in addition on our eager sense of group and of inspiring others to realize their potential. 

Our Function and Values

We would like our College to be a spot the place individuals might be free to be themselves, it doesn’t matter what their id or background. Collectively, we have fun distinction, worth each other and are every answerable for creating an inclusive group that’s respectful and truthful for all.

Discover out extra about the advantages of working on the College and what it’s prefer to stay and work within the Durham space on our Why Durham? info web page.   

The Position and Division

The Centre for Superior Instrumentation (CfAI) is a big main analysis group within the Division of Physics at Durham College with roughly seventy employees and analysis college students. CfAI’s mission is to design and develop novel instrumentation primarily based on leading edge applied sciences. CfAI develops state-of-the-art floor and space-based devices for functions throughout a variety of disciplines together with adaptive optics, spectroscopy, biophysics, distant sensing, laser communications, and fusion diagnostics. 

CfAI has offered main devices for lots of the world’s main astronomical amenities together with the James Webb House Telescope, William Herschel Telescope, Gemini Telescopes, Southern African Giant Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Giant Telescope. Main present ground-based instrumentation tasks in CfAI embody HARMONI and MOSAIC, the first-light spectrograph and multi-object spectrograph for the upcoming 39m diameter Extraordinarily Giant Telescope.

The Position

Functions are invited for a Postdoctoral Analysis Affiliate place within the Adaptive Optics group in Durham. The function can be targeted on the event and modelling of the wide-field ground-layer AO system for the MOSAIC instrument which is at present in its preliminary design section.

You can be anticipated to contribute to MOSAIC AO system design with an emphasis on the modelling of the ground-layer AO system efficiency. This may embody modelling and characterising each telescope and instrument results that may affect system efficiency however happen on longer timescales than that of typical AO simulations. You’ll use and prolong current simulation codes to look at the efficiency of the MOSAIC instrument below a spread of atmospheric and telescope configuration. These simulations might embody each Monte-Carlo and/or semi-analytical codes. As a member of the MOSAIC AO group, you’ll be a part of an skilled group of AO scientists and engineers primarily based right here in Durham, who will work with you to develop these codes and interpret outcomes.

By means of this place you may be making a vital contribution to the event of this worldwide astronomy facility. This function will swimsuit somebody who needs to realize sensible expertise of taking novel analysis outputs and growing applied sciences from them to the extent the place they are often included into leading edge scientific devices. You can be anticipated to work in shut collaboration with different members of the worldwide MOSAIC consortium who’ve a variety of scientific and engineering backgrounds.

Key obligations:

  • To grasp and convey materials of a specialist or extremely technical nature to the group or group of individuals by displays and discussions that results in the presentation of analysis papers in conferences, venture design opinions and publications.
  • To arrange and ship displays on analysis outputs/actions to audiences which can embody: analysis sponsors, educational and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish top quality outputs, together with papers for submission to see reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops below the course of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To help with the event of analysis aims and proposals.
  • To conduct particular person and collaborative analysis tasks below the course of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and different colleagues within the analysis group, as applicable, to establish areas for analysis, develop new analysis strategies and prolong the analysis portfolio.
  • To cope with issues which will have an effect on the achievement of analysis aims and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and providing artistic or revolutionary options.
  • To liaise with analysis colleagues and make inner and exterior contacts to develop data and understanding to kind relationships for future analysis collaboration.
  • To plan and handle personal analysis exercise, analysis assets in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of analysis tasks.
  • To ship coaching in analysis methods/approaches to friends, guests and college students as applicable.
  • To be concerned in pupil supervision, as applicable, and help with the evaluation of the data of scholars.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working setting which is inclusive and welcoming and the place everyone seems to be handled pretty with dignity and respect.
  • To interact in wider citizenship to assist the division and wider self-discipline.
  • To interact in persevering with skilled growth by participation within the undergraduate or postgraduate educating programmes or by membership of departmental committees, and many others. and by attending related coaching and growth programs.   
  • Some other particular obligations. 

This publish is mounted time period for 12 months to coincide with current funding.  There would be the risk for an extension past this era if further funding is secured.

The post-holder is employed to work on a analysis venture which can be led by one other colleague. While which means that the post-holder won’t be finishing up unbiased analysis in his/her personal proper, the expectation is that they are going to contribute to the development of the venture, by the event of their very own analysis concepts/adaptation and growth of analysis protocols.

Profitable candidates will, ideally, be in publish by 1 January 2024.

Working at Durham 

A aggressive wage is just one a part of the numerous unbelievable advantages you’ll obtain in case you be a part of the College: additionally, you will obtain entry to the next unbelievable advantages

  • 30 Days annual go away per yr along with 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per yr – a complete of 42 days per yr.     
  • The College additionally closes between Christmas and New 12 months.    
  • We provide a beneficiant pension scheme, As a brand new member of employees you may be routinely enrolled  into the College Superannuation Scheme (USS).   
  • Irrespective of the way you journey to work, now we have you lined.  We’ve parking throughout campus, a cycle to work scheme which lets you purchase a motorcycle and low cost with native bus and practice firms.   
  • There’s a real dedication to growing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There’s a complete vary of growth programs, apprenticeships and entry to {qualifications} and routes to develop your profession within the College.  All employees have devoted annual time to focus on their private growth alternatives.    
  • Plenty of assist for well being and wellbeing together with discounted membership for our state-of-the-art sport and fitness center amenities and entry to a 24-7 Worker Help Programme.   
  • On web site nursery is accessible and entry to vacation camps for youngsters aged 5-16 all year long.
  • Household pleasant insurance policies, together with maternity and adoption go away, that are among the many most beneficiant within the increased schooling sector (and certain above and past many employers).   
  • The chance to participate in employees volunteering actions to make a distinction in the local people.   
  • Reductions can be found by way of our advantages portal together with; cash off at supermarkets, excessive road retailers, IT merchandise similar to Apple, the cinema and days out at numerous points of interest.    
  • A wage sacrifice scheme can be accessible that can assist you make the most of tax financial savings on advantages.    
  • If you’re transferring to Durham, we may help with removing prices and now we have a devoted group who may help you with the practicalities similar to home searching and faculties.  Should you want a visa, we cowl most visa prices and provide an curiosity free mortgage scheme to pay for dependant visas.     

Durham College is dedicated to equality, variety and inclusion

Equality, variety, and inclusion (EDI) are a key element of the College’s Technique and a central a part of all the pieces we do.  We additionally stay by our Function and Values  and our Workers Code of Conduct.   At Durham we actively work in direction of offering an setting the place our employees and college students can research, work and stay in a group which is supportive and inclusive. It’s essential to us that each one colleagues undertake actions which are aligned to each our values and dedication to EDI. 

We welcome and encourage functions from those that are at present under-represented in our work power, together with individuals with disabilities and from racially minoritised ethnic teams.

You probably have taken a profession break or intervals of go away which will have impacted on the amount and recency of your analysis outputs and different actions, similar to maternity, adoption or parental go away, chances are you’ll want to disclose this in your software. The choice committee will take this under consideration when evaluating your software.

The College has been awarded the Incapacity Assured Employer standing. If you’re a candidate with a incapacity, we’re dedicated to making sure truthful remedy all through the recruitment course of. We are going to make changes to assist the interview course of wherever it’s cheap to take action and, the place profitable, cheap changes can be made to assist individuals inside their function. 

Contact Data

Division contact for casual enquiries in regards to the publish is Professor Tim Morris ([email protected]

Contact info for technical difficulties when submitting your software 

Should you encounter technical difficulties when utilizing the net software kind, we desire you ship enquiries by electronic mail.  Please ship your title together with a transient description of the issue you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

Alternatively, chances are you’ll name 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outdoors the UK. This quantity operates in the course of the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We are going to usually reply inside one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).  

The best way to Apply  

To progress to the evaluation stage, candidates should proof every of the important standards required for the function within the particular person specification beneath. It will likely be on the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether or not they may also contemplate any fascinating standards, however we’d urge candidates to supply proof for all standards.  

Whereas some standards can be thought-about on the shortlisting stage, different standards could also be thought-about later within the evaluation course of, similar to questions at interview.  

Submitting your software 

We desire to obtain functions on-line. We are going to replace you about your software at numerous factors all through the choice course of, by way of automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please examine your spam/junk folder periodically to be sure you haven’t missed any of our updates.

Interviews are to be held within the w/c 18th December.

What to Submit 

All candidates are requested to submit:

  • A CV and;
  • A overlaying letter which particulars your expertise, strengths and potential towards the important and fascinating standards set out beneath.
  • Subsequent Steps 

    Quick-listed candidates can be invited to the College, both nearly or in-person and may have the chance to satisfy key members of the Division. The interview and evaluation will happen on 12 December 2023.

    Within the occasion that you’re unable to attend in particular person on the date provided, it is probably not attainable to give you an interview on another date. 

    Please notice that in submitting your software Durham College can be processing your information. We’d ask you to contemplate the related College Privateness Assertion which gives info on the collation, storing and use of information.   

    When appointing to this function the College should be certain that it meets any relevant immigration necessities, together with wage thresholds that are relevant to some visas.

    Particular person Specification 

    Important Standards:


    1.     first diploma in Engineering, Arithmetic, Pc Science or Physics.

    2.     A PhD (or be near submission) in any of the above fields.


    3.     Expertise in conducting top quality educational analysis.

    4.     Demonstrable skill to jot down materials of a high quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.

    5.     Demonstrable skill to current analysis papers at worldwide conferences and talk complicated info to specialists and inside the wider educational group.

    6.     Expertise within the simulation of wide-field adaptive optics techniques. 


    7.     Demonstrable skill to work cooperatively as a part of a group, together with taking part in analysis conferences.

    8.     Means to work independently on personal initiative and to strict deadlines.

    9.     Wonderful interpersonal and communication expertise.

    10.  Competence in written English and technical authoring.

    11.  Demonstrable competence in using Python programming language for information evaluation and presentation of information merchandise.

    Fascinating Standards 


    12.  Expertise within the modelling of time averaged wavefront sensor information within the presence of optical atmospheric turbulence.

    13.  Demonstrable skill to develop analysis proposals and designs in collaboration with different lecturers.

    14.  Expertise of overseeing college students with respect to the event of their sensible/analysis expertise e.g. performing as a demonstrator; supervising pupil tasks/ experiments. 


    15.  Demonstrable skill to plan and handle unbiased analysis. 

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