Postdoctoral Researcher in Astrophysics : spatially resolved properties of galaxies and low-surface brightness structures

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 Jun 2023

19 May 2023
Job Information


Research Field

Astronomy » Astrophysics
Researcher Profile

Established Researcher (R3)
Leading Researcher (R4)

Application Deadline

16 Jun 2023 - 14:00 (Europe/Madrid)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Offer Starting Date

19 May 2023
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

European Union / Next Generation EU
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The "Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón" (CEFCA) invites applications for one tenure track position of Researcher in Astrophysics in the analysis of spatially resolved (2D) properties of galaxies and/or low-surface brightness structures.

CEFCA is a research institution located in Teruel, Spain, in charge of the operation, data management and scientific exploitation of the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ) , an astronomical facility specifically suited for carrying out large astronomical surveys with very large field-of-view (FoV) telescopes: the 2.5m Javalambre Survey Telescope (JST250; 3deg diameter FoV) and the 83cm Javalambre Auxiliary Survey Telescope (JAST80; 2deg diameter FoV).

JST250 is equipped with JPCam, a ~1.2Mpix panoramic camera consisting of a mosaic of 14 CCDs of ~9.2k x 9.2kpix. The JPCam/JST250 system provides a 4.7 deg2 FoV and hosts a complete new set of 54 filters of ~140A width, covering the whole optical spectral range plus two broader filters at the blue and red ends. During the next years, JPCam/JST250 will be mostly devoted to carry out the Javalambre Physics of the accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) , which will produce photo-spectra of hundreds of millions of astronomical objects with a wide range of applications in Astrophysics and Cosmology.

JAST80 is equipped with the panoramic camera T80Cam, hosting one CCD identical to those in JPCam. The T80Cam/JAST80 system provides an effective FoV of 2 deg2 . Since 2016, it is primarily devoted to conduct the Javalambre Photometric Local Universe Survey (J-PLUS) , whose third data release, amounting ~3200deg2 was public in December 2022.

The OAJ is a Spanish ICTS (Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructure). As such, CEFCA offers 20% of OAJ Open Time to competitive P.I. projects, including Legacy Surveys with the JAST80 .

CEFCA is also a core institution of the ARRAKIHS consortium, the first F-class ESA space mission led by a Spanish institution. The mission ARRAKIHS (Analysis of Resolved Remnants of Accreted galaxies as a Key Instrument for Halo Surveys) aims to test our current understanding about dark matter by observing a hundred Milky Way-like galaxies reaching unprecedented low-surface brightness limit, sufficient to detect the faint tidal tails predicted by current galaxy formation theories.

The OAJ data is reduced, calibrated and released by the Unit for Data Processing and Archiving (UPAD) at CEFCA. In addition, the data from the main CEFCA surveys like J-PAS and J-PLUS is validated and exploited at scientific level by the Research Division at CEFCA. The knowledge gathered in the last decade has highlighted the great importance of building value added catalogues (VACs) in modern astrophysical surveys. As an intermediate step between photometric catalogues and breaking scientific results, the estimation of high-level astrophysical parameters ensures an optimal analysis and a well controlled data flow. Because of the transversal nature of the OAJ surveys, the VACs aim to cover a broad range of Astrophysical topics, like moving objects of the Solar System, atmospheric parameters and variability of Milky Way stars, star formation and stellar populations of spatially resolved and distant galaxies, Supernovae detection and characterization, photometric redshifts, clusters and the environment of galaxies, the properties of accreting supermassive black holes along cosmic time, etc.

In this context, CEFCA is seeking one post-doctoral researcher in Astrophysics with an excellent research record in the analysis of spatially resolved (2D) properties of galaxies and/or low-surface brightness structures. The experience in massive data analysis will be an asset. The successful candidate will join the Research Area at CEFCA to have a leading role in the scientific exploitation of the present and future OAJ surveys. As such, the awarded candidate will become a full member of the J-PLUS and J-PAS collaborations.

Research Field
Astronomy » Astrophysics
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

  • Excellent research record in the topic of resolved properties of galaxies and/or low-surface brightness.
  • Experience in the analysis of 2D properties and/or low-surface brightness structures using optical data, with special value to medium and narrow band photometry.
  • Experience in the use and exploitation of large astronomical datasets.
  • Experience in Python programming. Knowledge of programming in other languages like C, C++, or Fortran, will be an asset.
  • Experience in the implementation of software in a structured environment, in particular in the use of control version software like Git.

Specific Requirements

As members of the Research Department at CEFCA, the successful candidate will have the following duties:

  • Perform research in Astrophysics.
  • Development of scientific codes to compute and validate VACs in the topic of 2D properties in galaxies and low-surface brightness structures.
  • Lead the estimation of PSF magnitudes for point-like sources and model magnitudes (based on fitting profiles, CHEFS, etc.) for extended objects.
  • Participate in the scientific tasks of ARRAKIHS with contribution from CEFCA.
  • Implementation of own and third-party codes in the UPAD pipelines for VAC estimation.
  • Scientific exploitation of the estimated VACs in the context of J-PLUS, J-PAS, ARRAKIHS, and other current / future OAJ surveys.
  • Participation in the outreach activities carried out by CEFCA and GALÁCTICA.


Research Field
Astronomy » Astrophysics

Additional Information
Selection process

Applications shall include: 1) CV; 2) brief statement of research interests, with emphasis on J-PLUS, J-PAS and/or ARRAKIHS, and the requested 2D properties / low-surface brightness profile; and 3) two reference letters. To be submitted via email (Subject: "Ref.0113. Tenure Track 2D”) to .

The committee, which will be constituted by several staff CEFCA members, will first evaluate the suitability of the candidates on the basis of their CVs, research statements and reference letters. The best candidates will move to a short list for a final interview.

Being aware of the impact of family leaves (maternity, paternity, adoption, or leaves to take care of family members with serious health conditions) on scientific careers, properly justified family leaves will be taken into consideration during the evaluation process.

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Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Postal Code
Plaza San Juan 1

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