Vacancies

PhD positions

Joint PhD position in exoplanets at Geneva and Grenoble: Searching for exo-earths in the habitable zones of M dwarfs

Joint PhD Position in Exoplanetary Sciences at University of Geneva and University of Grenoble Alpes

Searching for exo-earths in the habitable zones of M dwarfs with NIRPS and ExTrA
 
Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD position at the University of Grenoble Alpes Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble (IPAG) and at the University of Geneva Department of Astronomy (Geneva Observatory). The successful applicant will work with Dr Xavier Bonfils at IPAG and Prof. François Bouchy at Geneva Observatory to find new habitable-zone transiting exo-Earths amenable to characterization. The project relies on two newly-installed infrared instruments: ExTrA and NIRPS. The infrared sensitivity of these instruments is critical to boost the efficiency of planet search around cool low-mass stars, which emits most of their light at infrared wavelengths. The Near-InfraRed Planet Searcher (NIRPS) is an infrared Doppler spectrograph that will significantly enhance the reach of the famous planet-hunting spectrograph HARPS (which is limited to the visible) at the 3.6-meter telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The Exoplanets in Transit and their Atmospheres (ExTrA) experiment is an array of three 60-cm telescopes capable of infrared photometry. Both instruments are located in La Silla, Chile. They will be key to follow-up exoplanets detected with TESS, a NASA mission poised to discover thousands new transiting planets around bright stars.
 
The position is expected to start on September 1st, 2019 for 18 months at IPAG in Grenoble, followed by 18 months at Geneva Observatory. The successful applicant will play a key role in this ambitious planet search by managing observing programs to search for exoplanets around low-mass stars, analyzing the collected data, and interpreting the results of their analysis. 
 
Start date : September 2019
 
Duration : 3 years
 
Salary : ~ 21’000 € / year gross salary in Grenoble and ~ 50’000 CHF / year gross salary in Geneva, according to respective university rules
 
Deadline : candidates are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience and no later than June 14th
 
Requirements:
  • master of science (MSc) degree in astronomy, physics, or related fields;
  • good command of programming languages (Unix, Python, C);
  • proficiency in scientific English (written and spoken).
Further inquiries and applications should be sent to both xavier.bonfils(at)univ-grenoble-alpes.fr and francois.bouchy(at)unige.ch.
 
The applications should include:
  • curriculum vitae;
  • cover letter listing 2 names of references / referees. Up to 2 reference letters can be sent separately by the referees themselves;
  • diploma and grades for the previous 2 years;
  • written products of previous research experiences are welcome: manuscripts, reports, presentation(s), pieces of code, or other relevant materials.

Postdoctoral research positions

Postdoctoral research positions in exoplanets

Four postdoctoral research positions on exoplanetary science

 
The exoplanet team of the University of Geneva has an opening for four postdoctoral researchers to work on detection 
and characterization of exoplanets through high-precision radial velocity measurements. Focusing on the low-mass range 
of exoplanets and using the high-precision spectrographs CORALIE, HARPS, HARPS-N, ESPRESSO, SPIROU, and NIRPS, 
our team is strongly involved in blind radial velocity surveys as well as in the follow-up of transiting candidates from the NGTS, K2 
and TESS photometric surveys. The selected applicants are expected to work on: the optimization of the data-reduction, 
calibration and RV-extraction from both visible and near-infrared high-resolution spectrographs; the mitigation of the stellar activity; 
the combination of RV data with photometric, astrometric and direct imaging measurements, including dynamical developments for 
the characterization of multi-planetary systems. They will be strongly involved in the science exploitation of large programs and 
guaranteed observing time of aforementioned spectrographs and in the development of specific tools for the Data and Analysis 
Center for Exoplanets (DACE; dace.unige.ch) for validation and combined analysis of exoplanets.
 
The Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva offers a modern and vibrant work environment, with a wide range of 
activities including theory, numerical simulations, observations and instrumental developments in the domains of exoplanets, 
stellar physics, galactic dynamics, observational cosmology and high-energy astrophysics. Our exoplanet team is renowned for its strong involvement in exoplanet detection, the determination of the planet physical properties, the characterization of exoplanetary 
atmospheres, and the development of world-class instrumentation. We are also co-leading the Swiss-wide National 
Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS (www.nccr-planets.ch), dedicated to the study of the origin, evolution, and characterization of planets inside and outside our Solar System, providing the applicants with opportunities to develop collaborations with members of the large PlanetS community.
 
Applicants are expected to have experience in observation, data reduction and analysis, especially of high-precision radial velocities. 
The duration of the postdoc contract is 2 years, with possible extension to a third year depending on available funds. Candidates 
should be less than 3 years after obtaining their PhD at start of the employment. The positions are funded by Swiss National Science 
Foundation with a gross salary around 80,000 CHF and are open for immediate start.
 
Interested candidates can contact Prof. Stéphane Udry (stephane.udry(at)unige.ch), Prof. Francesco Pepe (francesco.pepe(at)unige.ch), or Prof. François Bouchy (francois.bouchy(at)unige.ch)
 and send their application to Dr. Sophie Saesen (sophie.saesen(at)unige.ch). The application should contain *in a singe pdf file*:
- a curriculum vitae;
- a publication list;
- a motivation letter;
- a short research statement describing past achievements and future projects.
Applicants should arrange for up to two letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address. The deadline is 15 March 2019 but applications will accepted until the positions are filled.
 

François Bouchy
francois.bouchy(at)unige.ch / Phone: +41 22 37 92 460

Francesco Pepe
francesco.pepe(at)unige.ch / Phone +41 22 37 92 396

Stéphane Udry
stephane.udry(at)unige.ch / Phone +41 22 37 92 467

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