Postdoctoral position on fast radio transients
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy group
  • Hours
  • Closing date

ASTRON has recently started ALERT, the Apertif Lofar Exploration of the Radio Transient Sky. ALERT aims to identify the highly compact astrophysical explosions powering Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). We are looking to build out our excellent group of enthusiastic, dedicated astronomers, and invite applications for a:




Do you want to work at an international scientific institute that combines world-leading research in radio astronomy, with state-of-the art observational and supercomputing facilities, all in a single stimulating work environment?

Job description:

We are looking for a post-doc to help lead ALERT. You will become part of the ALERT team, based at ASTRON and The University of Amsterdam. We consist of 4 PhD students, 5 post-docs, plus a dozen instrumentation engineers and astronomy staff members, led by Dr Joeri van Leeuwen.

In this team, you would ensure the scientific exploitation of the ALERT survey with Westerbork. You will join us in planning and carrying out this all-Northern Sky survey. It should find tens of FRBs and many new pulsars. Specific tasks could include running part of the ALERT survey; being in charge of coordination and execution of multi-frequency afterglow follow-up; mentoring and co-supervising PhD students; and/or improving the ALERT online (FRB) and offline (pulsar) detection systems.

Job requirements:

  • A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related discipline
  • Experience with radio astronomy and/or instrumentation
  • Solid publication experience in refereed scientific journals
  • Good planning and organizational skills
  • Very good communications skills in English, and a team player

We offer:

  • An initial contract for two years, plus a one-year extension given good performance
  • A position with leadership potential, in a cutting-edge astronomy survey
  • A pleasant and stimulating work environment with access to the worldโ€™s best observational and computational systems, and ample travel support for conferences, or work visits
  • Time and support for the pursuit of own, independent research
  • A generous package of benefits including collective health insurance, pension accrual, and several weeks of annual paid vacation
  • Flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation
  • Generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation

The organization:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. ASTRON hosts a vibrant research environment with strong technical expertise and influence in the new generation of emerging radio facilities. ASTRON currently develops and operates LOFAR, a new generation low-frequency multi- field aperture array telescope. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) with Apertif (the APERture Tile in Focus), the phased array feed upgrade that significantly expands its field of view and enable ALERT, the new, deep pulsar/FRB survey of the northern hemisphere. As the NL national radio astronomy institute, ASTRON also plays a leading role in several of the consortia contributing to the scientific and technical design of the SKA. ASTRON also currently hosts JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC.

ALERT is funded by grants from the ERC, NWO, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC). Both ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam are world-class institutes with many top-rated groups in related fields of astrophysics, such as radio and x-ray pulsar timing, gravitational-wave detection, and high-energy astrophysics.


For more information about ASTRON look on our website and More information about this vacancy please contact Erika Timmerman, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail: For more information on the content of this vacancy, please contact Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, ALERT PI, e-mail:


You can apply for this job ( 2018-11-041) via the ‘Apply now’ button below on or before January 4, 2019. Applications should include an introduction letter, curriculum vitae, and a description of research interests. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Word of a staff member
Roelof Boesenkool
Head ICT

ASTRON is a good and fine employer for me. I get many opportunities to develop myself both personally and professionally. That is one of the reasons I started working at ASTRON. You can give direction to your career if you know how to seize the opportunities. In addition I find it nice to work in […]

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