Postdoctoral position on Neutral hydrogen in nearby galaxies
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy & Operations
  • Hours
  • Closing date

MeerGas is a project to study how galaxies acquire their neutral hydrogen gas. Using the new MeerKAT radio synthesis telescope in South Africa, we are obtaining ultra-deep observations of the neutral hydrogen in 30 nearby galaxies (as part of the MeerKAT MHONGOOSE Large Science Project). We will use these to find and characterise signs of low-column density gas accreting onto these galaxies. MeerGas is funded by the European Research Council.

To build the MeerGas team, here we invite applications for a


Job description:
As part of the MeerGas team, you will help with acquiring, reducing and analyzing the MeerKAT MHONGOOSE radio data. You will help expand the capabilities of the data reduction and analysis pipelines. You will explore novel techniques to explore this unique MeerKAT data set, also through participation in the ASTRON Science Data Centre. You will lead one of the science projects within MeerGas with the ultimate goal to determine the nature of cold gas accretion in galaxies.

You will be part of and help build a team consisting of a number of postdocs and students. You will collaborate with the MHONGOOSE team, consisting of many international experts on spectral-line and multi-wavelength observations. You will also work with the MeerKAT team in South Africa. The position will be full-time (38 hours per week). ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.

Job requirements:
• A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related discipline
• A solid background in radio astronomy spectral line imaging
• Experience with software for radio astronomy
• Solid publication experience in refereed scientific journals
• Good planning and organizational skills
• Very good communications skills in English
• A team player
• A joyful motivation for scientific discovery

We offer:
• An initial contract for two years, plus a one-year extension given good performance
• A pleasant and stimulating work environment
• Ample support for computing, conference travel and work visits
• 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 the north of The Netherlands. 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.

MeerGas is funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant.

More information about ASTRON can be found on our websites and For 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 Erwin de Blok, MeerGas and MHONGOOSE PI, e-mail: More information on the MHONGOOSE survey can be found at

You can apply for this job via the ‘Apply now’ button below on or before October 1, 2020. 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 Interviews, remote and/or in person, will be scheduled in late October / early November.
Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Word of a staff member
Andre Gunst
Group leader

My work at ASTRON is very interesting! Mainly because I can solve many challenging and complex problems. To solve these problems, I use the latest technologies. I think it’s important that I help astronomers to unravel the puzzle of the universe. The most inspiring of my work is that I work together with colleagues from […]

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