Fundamental Physics with Radio Telescopes

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and National Research Council Canada (NRC) are pleased to announce two postdoctoral fellowships for outstanding young scientists working on theory, data analysis, or innovative instrumental development related to radio astronomy. This new initiative is a collaboration between Perimeter and NRC’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), the site of Canada’s revolutionary CHIME Telescope.

The next few years will be transformative for radio astronomy, as instruments like the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) with unprecedented statistical power, come online. They will open new windows onto fundamental physics, including dark matter, gravity and neutrinos, and help to resolve puzzles such as the origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs). These instruments present new challenges in experiment, data analysis and high-performance computing. The Perimeter-DRAO partnership will combine theorists, data analysts, and instrumentalists at the leading edge of this very exciting field.

Scientists at the Perimeter Institute are part of the CHIME, CHIME/FRB, HIRAX (Hydrogen Intensity and Real-time Analysis Experiment), and EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) collaborations among others. Perimeter researchers associated with these initiatives include Avery Broderick, Ue-Li Pen, Will Percival, Daniel Siegel, Kendrick Smith, and Neil Turok.

Perimeter is the world’s largest centre for foundational theoretical physics.  Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the Institute offers an exceptional research environment with 40 full-time and part-time faculty members, 54 Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs, 55 Postdoctoral Researchers and 92 graduate students pursuing Masters and PhD degrees. Perimeter hosts more than 1,000 visitors and conference participants each year.

DRAO, operated by the National Research Council of Canada, is located in Penticton, British Columbia.  In addition to hosting CHIME and several other radio telescopes, DRAO features laboratories and specialized equipment for design and construction of all aspects of radio-frequency instrumentation, from highly sensitive antennas and receiver systems to high-speed digital signal processing hardware and software. This national facility is home to astronomers, astrophysicists, engineers, and technologists, as well as visiting researchers and students from universities and astronomical observatories around the world.  DRAO staff are deeply involved in design and prototyping work for next-generation instruments like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Local staff include Brent Carlson, Dean Chalmers, Roland Kothes, Gordon Lacy, Tom Landecker, Mike Pleasance, Tim Robishaw, Michael Rupen, Sonja Vrcic, and Bruce Veidt.

One of the fellows will be based at DRAO and one at Perimeter: they will both be encouraged to spend time at the other institution to help grow the partnership.

For full consideration, applications for these fellowships should be received before January 31, 2019. However, applications may still be considered after this date. Applicants must submit: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and a list of publications. They must also arrange for at least three letters of reference to be submitted on their behalf. Applications (including recommendation letters) must be submitted through Perimeter Institute's online application form. In order to ensure your application is properly categorized, under "Field of Research" please choose "Cosmology" as your Primary Research Area.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents will be given priority. Applications are encouraged from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible minorities, native peoples and persons with disabilities. Applicants who require special accommodation in order to complete their application/interview are encouraged to contact accessibility@perimeterinstitute.ca for assistance.