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 Length: 2 years / 104 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 instructing 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 positioned inside a phenomenal historic metropolis, house to a UNESCO World Heritage Website, and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Our gifted students and researchers from all over the world are tackling world points and making a distinction to individuals’s lives.  

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

Our College Technique is constructed on three pillars of analysis, training and wider pupil expertise, but additionally on our eager sense of group and of inspiring others to attain their potential. 

Our Goal 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 rejoice distinction, worth each other and are every accountable for creating an inclusive group that’s respectful and honest for all.

Discover out extra about the advantages of working on the College and what it’s prefer to dwell 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 workers and analysis college students. CfAI’s mission is to design and develop novel instrumentation based mostly 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 supplied main devices for most 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 position might be cut up between the event of the AO methods for the HARMONI and MOSAIC devices for the ELT and considered one of a number of AO lab-based analysis tasks we now have right here in Durham together with: multi-wavelength AO wavefront sensing and management, predictive wavefront management utilizing Neural Networks, AO for Terahertz imaging, Large-field AO for photo voltaic telescopes and Novel wide-field laser information star wavefront sensing.

You may be anticipated to contribute to AO system design, integration and efficiency evaluation with an emphasis on the event of the Actual Time Management (RTC) system. You may be doing this alongside our very skilled RTC workforce however a familiarity with (or a willingness to be taught) RTC software program growth is a requirement for this position. The analysis challenge you be part of might be dependent in your expertise and your future profession objectives and we’re comfortable to debate which challenge you may finest contribute to whenever you begin. 

This place will present expertise of the total vary of AO system growth, from preliminary design to system efficiency optimisation and all the things in between, while engaged on the most important and most fun AO instrument growth applications on this planet. As such this position will swimsuit somebody who needs to achieve sensible expertise of constructing AO methods work, in addition to growing an in-depth understanding of the software program that’s at their core. 

Key duties:

  • To grasp and convey materials of a specialist or extremely technical nature to the workforce or group of individuals via displays and discussions that results in the presentation of analysis papers in conferences, design opinions and publications.
  • To organize and ship displays on analysis outputs/actions to audiences which can embody: analysis sponsors, tutorial and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish prime quality outputs, together with papers for submission to look reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops beneath the path of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To help with the event of analysis targets and proposals.
  • To conduct particular person and collaborative analysis tasks beneath the path 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 lengthen the analysis portfolio.
  • To take care of issues that will have an effect on the achievement of analysis targets and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and providing artistic or modern 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 sources 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 atmosphere which is inclusive and welcoming and the place everyone seems to be handled pretty with dignity and respect.
  • To have interaction in wider citizenship to help the division and wider self-discipline.
  • To have interaction in persevering with skilled growth by participation within the undergraduate or postgraduate instructing programmes or by membership of departmental committees, and many others. and by attending related coaching and growth programs.   
  • To keep up project-specific real-time management system {hardware} and software program.
  • To contribute to the implementation and use of group and challenge software program growth requirements.
  • Every other particular duties. 

This submit is mounted time period for twenty-four months to coincide with current funding.  There stands out as the risk for an extension past this era if extra funding is secured.

The post-holder is employed to work on a analysis challenge which might be led by one other colleague. While which means the post-holder is not going to be finishing up impartial analysis in his/her personal proper, the expectation is that they may contribute to the development of the challenge, via the event of their very own analysis concepts/adaptation and growth of analysis protocols.

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

Working at Durham 

A aggressive wage is just one a part of the various incredible advantages you’ll obtain when you be part of the College: additionally, you will obtain entry to the next incredible advantages:

  • 30 Days annual depart per 12 months along with 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per 12 months – a complete of 42 days per 12 months.     
  • The College additionally closes between Christmas and New Yr.    
  • We provide a beneficiant pension scheme, As a brand new member of workers you can be mechanically enrolled  into the College Superannuation Scheme (USS).   
  • Irrespective of the way you journey to work, we now have you coated.  We’ve parking throughout campus, a cycle to work scheme which lets you purchase a motorcycle and low cost with native bus and prepare 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 workers have devoted annual time to focus on their private growth alternatives.    
  • Plenty of help for well being and wellbeing together with discounted membership for our state-of-the-art sport and gymnasium amenities and entry to a 24-7 Worker Help Programme.   
  • On website nursery is obtainable and entry to vacation camps for youngsters aged 5-16 all year long.
  • Household pleasant insurance policies, together with maternity and adoption depart, that are among the many most beneficiant within the greater training sector (and certain above and past many employers).   
  • The chance to participate in workers volunteering actions to make a distinction in the local people.   
  • Reductions can be found through our advantages portal together with; cash off at supermarkets, excessive road retailers, IT merchandise akin to Apple, the cinema and days out at varied sights.    
  • A wage sacrifice scheme can also be accessible that will help you reap the benefits of tax financial savings on advantages.    
  • If you’re transferring to Durham, we can assist with elimination prices and we now have a devoted workforce who can assist you with the practicalities akin to home looking and colleges.  Should you want a visa, we cowl most visa prices and supply an curiosity free mortgage scheme to pay for dependant visas.     

Durham College is dedicated to equality, range and inclusion

Equality, range, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the College’s Technique and a central a part of all the things we do.  We additionally dwell by our Goal and Values  and our Employees Code of Conduct.   At Durham we actively work in direction of offering an atmosphere the place our workers and college students can examine, work and dwell in a group which is supportive and inclusive. It’s necessary to us that every one colleagues undertake actions which can be aligned to each our values and dedication to EDI. 

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

If in case you have taken a profession break or intervals of depart that will have impacted on the quantity and recency of your analysis outputs and different actions, akin to maternity, adoption or parental depart, you could want to disclose this in your utility. The choice committee will take this under consideration when evaluating your utility.

The College has been awarded the Incapacity Assured Employer standing. If you’re a candidate with a incapacity, we’re dedicated to making sure honest therapy all through the recruitment course of. We’ll make changes to help the interview course of wherever it’s cheap to take action and, the place profitable, cheap changes might be made to help individuals inside their position. 

Contact Info

Division contact for casual enquiries concerning the submit is Professor Tim Morris ([email protected] )

Contact info for technical difficulties when submitting your utility 

Should you encounter technical difficulties when utilizing the web utility kind, we want you ship enquiries by e mail.  Please ship your identify together with a transient description of the issue you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

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

The way to Apply  

To progress to the evaluation stage, candidates should proof every of the important standards required for the position within the particular person specification beneath. It will likely be on the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether or not they can even think about any fascinating standards, however we might urge candidates to offer proof for all standards.  

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

Submitting your utility 

We want to obtain functions on-line.   We’ll replace you about your utility at varied factors all through the choice course of, through automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please test your spam/junk folder periodically to be sure to 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 masking letter which particulars your expertise, strengths and potential towards the important and fascinating standards set out beneath.
  • Subsequent Steps 

    Quick-listed candidates might be invited to the College, both nearly or in-person and could 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 supplied, it is probably not attainable to give you an interview on an alternate date. 

    Please word that in submitting your utility Durham College might be processing your knowledge. We might ask you to contemplate the related College Privateness Assertion which supplies info on the collation, storing and use of information.   

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


    Individual Specification 

    Important Standards:


    1.     A superb 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 prime quality tutorial analysis.

    4.     Demonstrable capacity to jot down materials of a high quality commensurate with publication in extremely ranked journals.

    5.     Demonstrable capacity to current analysis papers at worldwide conferences and talk advanced info to specialists and inside the wider tutorial group.

    6.     Intensive data of C/,-C++ and Python programming languages.

    7.     Expertise within the use, design or simulation of adaptive optics or adaptive optics actual time management methods. 


    8.     Demonstrable capacity to work cooperatively as a part of a workforce, together with collaborating in analysis conferences.

    9.     Capability to work independently on personal initiative and to strict deadlines.

    10.  Wonderful interpersonal and communication expertise.

    11.  Competence in written English and technical authoring.

    Fascinating Standards 


    12.  Expertise within the utility of Software program Engineering finest practices.

    13.  Expertise in any points of the software program growth cycle from necessities seize to challenge supply.

    14.  Expertise in growing software program for supply to finish customers and post-delivery help.

    15.  Demonstrable capacity to develop analysis proposals and designs in collaboration with different lecturers.

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


    17.  Demonstrable capacity to plan and handle impartial analysis. 

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