Gaia Vacancies


28/11/2018 Opening for a Gaia DPAC postdoc position at Leiden Observatory

The postdoc position will focus on crowded field (spectro-)photometric data processing for the Gaia mission. Specifically, the work will result in algorithms and code, to be integrated into the DPAC processing pipeline, for the combination of repeated observations of blended sources in order to disentangle the overlapping Blue and Red Photometer prism spectra. The work will be guided by insights gained from a limited set of full frame images of crowded fields obtained with Gaia's Skymapper CCDs through the Service Interface Function (SIF).

The successful candidate will work under supervision of Anthony Brown and join the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The work will be embedded in Coordination Unit 5 (CU5, photometry) of DPAC, where frequent interaction is foreseen with the other DPAC coordination units and with the working group analysing the SIF images. In addition a fraction of the time will be spent on supporting the catalogue validation activities of the Gaia group at Groningen University.

Leiden Observatory is the oldest university astronomy department in the world and the largest astronomy department in the Netherlands. Leiden is a charming university town with an international flair, located near Amsterdam.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in astronomy, physics, computer science, or mathematics by the starting date. Applicants experienced in the reduction of crowded field photometric data and in software development, particularly in Java, have a clear advantage.

The appointment is for a period of three years and comes with full benefits and a competitive salary. The anticipated start date of the appointment is January 1 2019 or soon thereafter.

Applications should be submitted electronically at and should include a curriculum vitae, publication list, a brief statement of research experience and interests. The application should arrange for at least two letters of reference to be uploaded. The position remains open until filled (more info).

19/11/2018 Young Graduate Trainee Opportunities

Interested in a traineeship at ESA? Read about the Young Graduate Trainee Opportunities here. Applications are now open until 16 December. One of the trainee opportunities is related to Gaia: YGT for Astrophysics.

07/11/2018 Vacancy: two Phd positions at Lund Observatory

At the Lund observatory, two PhD positions are open in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics. One on "Validation and exploitation of Gaia data" and one on "Formation of moon systems". 

For the position on "validation and exploitation of Gaia data", the student will participate in the Gaia data processing for future data releases, and more specifically be involved in improving the calibration models as well as characterizing the quality of the catalogue. Specific topics could include the accuracy of the Gaia reference frame and the parallax zero point, spatial systematic errors and proper motion patterns. Deviations in proper motions of sources between different catalogue releases can be used to indicate the presence of binary or exoplanet systems. Exploitation of the Gaia results for Galactic dynamic studies using insights into the expected correlated errors among the astrometric data is encouraged. This will be especially important when combining data for many stars (for example in clusters), where even small correlations, if not taken into account, may lead to severe underestimation of the actual uncertainties of the results.

More information on both positions can be found here and here. Deadline for applications is 1 December 2018.


ESA funding sources

Research Fellowships
ESA's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme is aimed at providing young scientists and engineers, holding a doctorate or the equivalent, with the means of doing research in space science and space applications. The Fellowships are open to nationals of ESA Member States and Canada (associated member). Fellows are hosted at one of the ESA establishments. All Fellowships in ESA's Science Support Office (SRE-S) at ESTEC belong to this category. More details are available from the Research Fellowship website.
Young Graduate Trainees
ESA's Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) programme offers recently graduated men and women, a one-year non-renewable training contract designed to give valuable work experience and to prepare for future employment in the space industry and/or research. More details are available from the ESA website.
Student placements
ESA's Internship Programme assists young people within its Member States interested in space and related areas. It helps them to meet their university requirements to carry out an internship as part of their degree course, and promotes their academic and professional development by placing them under the guidance of experienced professionals. More details are available from the ESA website.

General funding sources

European Commission: The Marie Curie Actions
In the Framework Programme of the Human Resources and Mobility initiative the European Commission provides funding to researchers and research organisations with a view to promoting new skills and participation in multinational research teams. More details on eligability and application procedures are available on the Marie Curie Actions website.
European Researcher's Mobility Portal
This web portal links to a full range of organisations offering training, mobility and career development opportunities for researchers across Europe. A special section is devoted to Fellowships and Grants.