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 12 months / 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 instructing and analysis excellence, a heat and pleasant place to work, a novel and historic setting – Durham is a college like no different.

As one of many UK’s main universities, Durham is an unimaginable place to outline your profession. The College is situated inside a wonderful historic metropolis, dwelling to a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Our gifted students and researchers from around the globe are tackling world points and making a distinction to folks’s lives.  

We consider that inspiring our folks to do excellent issues at Durham allows Durham folks to do excellent issues on the earth. 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 neighborhood.

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

Our Goal and Values

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

Discover out extra about the advantages of working on the College and what it’s prefer to reside and work within the Durham space on our Why Durham? data 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 purposes throughout a variety of disciplines together with adaptive optics, spectroscopy, biophysics, distant sensing, laser communications, and fusion diagnostics. 

CfAI has supplied 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 embrace HARMONI and MOSAIC, the first-light spectrograph and multi-object spectrograph for the upcoming 39m diameter Extraordinarily Giant Telescope.

The Position

Purposes are invited for a Postdoctoral Analysis Affiliate place within the Adaptive Optics group in Durham. The function can be centered 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 part.

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 can embrace 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 lengthen present simulation codes to look at the efficiency of the MOSAIC instrument below a spread of atmospheric and telescope configuration. These simulations might embrace each Monte-Carlo and/or semi-analytical codes. As a member of the MOSAIC AO workforce, 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’ll be making an important 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 creating 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 workforce or group of individuals by displays and discussions that results in the presentation of analysis papers in conferences, mission design evaluations and publications.
  • To arrange and ship displays on analysis outputs/actions to audiences which can embrace: 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 below the course of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To help with the event of analysis goals 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 determine 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 goals and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and providing inventive or revolutionary options.
  • To liaise with analysis colleagues and make inner and exterior contacts to develop information and understanding to type 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 scholar supervision, as applicable, and help with the evaluation of the information 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 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.   
  • Another particular obligations. 

This submit is mounted time period for 12 months to coincide with present funding.  There often is the risk for an extension past this era if further funding is secured.

The post-holder is employed to work on a analysis mission which can be led by one other colleague. While which means that the post-holder won’t be finishing up impartial analysis in his/her personal proper, the expectation is that they’ll contribute to the development of the mission, by 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 improbable advantages you’ll obtain in the event you be a part of the College: additionally, you will obtain entry to the next improbable 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 12 months.    
  • We provide a beneficiant pension scheme, As a brand new member of employees you’ll be routinely enrolled  into the College Superannuation Scheme (USS).   
  • Regardless of the way you journey to work, we have now you lined.  We’ve got parking throughout campus, a cycle to work scheme which lets you purchase a motorbike and low cost with native bus and practice corporations.   
  • There’s a real dedication to creating 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.    
  • A lot of help for well being and wellbeing together with discounted membership for our state-of-the-art sport and health club amenities and entry to a 24-7 Worker Help Programme.   
  • On web site 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 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 through our advantages portal together with; cash off at supermarkets, excessive avenue retailers, IT merchandise equivalent to Apple, the cinema and days out at varied points of interest.    
  • A wage sacrifice scheme can be obtainable that will help you reap the benefits of tax financial savings on advantages.    
  • In case you are transferring to Durham, we might help with removing prices and we have now a devoted workforce who might help you with the practicalities equivalent to home searching and faculties.  For those who 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 every little thing we do.  We additionally reside by our Goal and Values  and our Workers Code of Conduct.   At Durham we actively work in the direction of offering an setting the place our employees and college students can research, work and reside in a neighborhood which is supportive and inclusive. It’s essential to us that each one colleagues undertake actions which can be aligned to each our values and dedication to EDI. 

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

You probably 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, equivalent to maternity, adoption or parental depart, you might want to disclose this in your software. The choice committee will take this into consideration when evaluating your software.

The College has been awarded the Incapacity Assured Employer standing. In case you are a candidate with a incapacity, we’re dedicated to making sure truthful therapy all through the recruitment course of. We’ll make changes to help the interview course of wherever it’s affordable to take action and, the place profitable, affordable changes can be made to help folks inside their function. 

Contact Info

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

Contact data for technical difficulties when submitting your software 

For those who encounter technical difficulties when utilizing the web software type, we want you ship enquiries by electronic mail.  Please ship your identify together with a temporary description of the issue you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

Alternatively, you might name 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outdoors 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 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 can even contemplate any fascinating standards, however we’d urge candidates to supply proof for all standards.  

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

Submitting your software 

We want to obtain purposes on-line. We’ll replace you about your software at varied factors all through the choice course of, through automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please verify your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure 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 protecting letter which particulars your expertise, strengths and potential in opposition to the important and fascinating standards set out beneath.
  • Subsequent Steps 

    Brief-listed candidates can be invited to the College, both just about or in-person and may have the chance to fulfill 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 will not be potential to give you an interview on another date. 

    Please observe that in submitting your software Durham College can be processing your knowledge. We’d ask you to think about the related College Privateness Assertion which supplies data on the collation, storing and use of knowledge.   

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

    Particular person Specification 

    Important Standards:


    1.     An excellent first diploma in Engineering, Arithmetic, Laptop 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 put in writing materials of a top quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.

    5.     Demonstrable capacity to current analysis papers at worldwide conferences and talk advanced data to specialists and throughout the wider tutorial neighborhood.

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


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

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

    9.     Wonderful interpersonal and communication abilities.

    10.  Competence in written English and technical authoring.

    11.  Demonstrable competence in the usage of Python programming language for knowledge evaluation and presentation of knowledge merchandise.

    Fascinating Standards 


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

    13.  Demonstrable capacity to develop analysis proposals and designs in collaboration with different teachers.

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


    15.  Demonstrable capacity to plan and handle impartial analysis. 

    View or Apply
    To assist us monitor our recruitment effort, please point out in your electronic mail – cowl/motivation letter the place ( you noticed this job posting.

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