Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Transient Astronomy

Swinburne University of Technology

Vacancy closed!

Unfortunately this vacancy is no longer open. Please contact a member of staff if you require assistance.

Academic Level A6 to A8 $87,603 - $93,896 + 17% superannuation
Reference #
Closing Date
Full time, 3-year fixed term position at our Hawthorn campus

About the Job
We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with expertise in time domain astronomy, with a focus on fast-evolving transients. This is a 3-year position at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, in collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

The Fellow will help progress the Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) program that explores fast (millisecond-to-hours duration) multi-wavelength time domain science along with pursuing their own research. DWF is a Swinburne-led program involving over 70 multi-wavelength (radio through gamma-ray) and particle detector observatories worldwide and in space for coordinated simultaneous real time fast transient detection, rapid and later-time follow up, and very early detection of slower evolving events.

The appointee will help lead DWF coordinated operational runs, further develop our multi-wavelength database and citizen science program, produce DWF-related science publications, with a generous fraction of their time available to pursue their own research. If interested, the Fellow is welcome to pursue additional DWF-related opportunities, such as progressing advanced data visualisation techniques, including our virtual and augmented reality data analysis project, helping to progress our data sonification tools for fast data verification and to enable data access and analysis to the blind and visually-impaired community, and to participate in Swinburne-led instrumentation projects underway aimed at progressing fast transient astronomy.

Skills and Experience
To be successful in this role you will require a PhD in observational astrophysics with research interests and experience in time domain astronomy. Demonstrable research skills in transient astronomy are essential, as evidenced by publications and/or technical skills through community code development.

Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
The Centre, located in Melbourne, ranks among the best in the world and is one of Australia’s largest astronomy research institutes, hosting over 20 faculty, 20 post-doctoral researchers, 50 PhD students and many visiting international researchers. Swinburne is one of the few universities in the world with guaranteed access to the W.M. Keck Observatory telescopes in Hawaii. In addition, our astronomers have access to ESO and Australian telescopes, and regularly obtain time on HST, VLT, Magellan, AAT, ATCA, Parkes, ASKAP and many other major facilities. Swinburne hosts the headquarters of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave discovery (OzGrav) and the next generation Australian Supercomputer for Theoretical Astrophysics (OzSTAR), with petaflops performance and state-of-the-art 2D and 3D visualisation facilities.

Living in Melbourne
Melbourne is top ranked for its quality of life and as a destination for working abroad (ranked #1 or #2 in the world since 2010). Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a mild climate and plenty of sunshine, with ocean, mountains, and wildlife nearby. The city offers a diverse range or nightlife, restaurants, entertainment, festivals, and culture, while featuring numerous parks, open spaces and excellent public transportation.

Swinburne University provides generous superannuation (typically 17%) and paternity, maternity, annual, and sick leave provisions. Swinburne is committed to encouraging a balanced workforce, by providing equity, diversity, and inclusion, family-friendly policies and work practices, part-time roles, solutions to ‘two-body’ problems where possible, and career development.

How to apply and further information
See the full position description here and follow the instructions to apply online. Applications must include a cover letter, CV with publications and skills listed, and a 2-page research plan that describes the research you would like to pursue as part of the OzGrav team. Three letters of reference are to be submitted independently by the referees to Jeff Cooke at by the application closing deadline. For further information about this position, contact A/Prof Jeff Cooke on +613 9214 5392 or via email at

Should you require further support for an interview due to special needs or consideration, please contact Jessie Macintyre, Director (Employee Experience), on For support or queries related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, please contact

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Recruitment team on

Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation. We are proud of our commitment to equity and inclusion through key initiatives such as our Charter of Cultural Diversity, Pride@Swinburne Strategic Action Plan, Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Action Plan and our Reconciliation Action Plan. Equity and diversity are integral to our 2025 vision to be a world class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation. 

Applications close at 5pm on 30 June 2020

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