Postdoctoral position on Radio transients and gravitational-wave-events
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Astronomy group
  • Hours
  • Closing date

ASTRON has recently started ARGO, the Apertif Radio – Gravitational wave Observatory. ARGO uses the novel, wide-field Apertif detectors we have recently commissioned to discover and study afterglow and prompt radio emission from gravitational-wave events. Through precise radio localizations, essential for our multi-frequency follow-up, we aim to shed light on the astrophysics driving these exotic events. We here invite applications for a:




 Job description:

We are looking for a post-doc (f/m) to help lead ARGO, with the potential to push forward the frontier of astrophysics.

You will spearhead the instrument design, commissioning, and scientific exploitation of ARGO.  A background in radio astronomy is desirable, in imaging and/or time-domain. Experience with optical/multi-frequency follow-up of transients is a plus. In ARGO we respond, in real-time, to incoming GW triggers. You will oversee the design and implementation of the strategy behind this ARGO follow-up.

You will be a founding member of a team of about 8 staff, post-docs and students that design and run ARGO. Our team, led by Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, works closely with the other imaging and fast-transient groups for Apertif. We have strong ties to the University of Amsterdam, where the ARGO PhD students are primarily located. Our general interests range from binary neutron-star evolution and gravitational-wave detection, to HI in galaxies, to instrumentation and pulsar/fast transient searches.

Job requirements:

  • A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related discipline
  • Experience with radio astronomy (imaging and/or time-domain) 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 world’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 enables ARGO. 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.

ARGO is funded by a Vici grant from NWO, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, to ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam. Both 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 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 Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen, ARGO PI, e-mail:


You can apply for this job (reference number 2018-11-043) via the ‘Apply now’ button below on or before December 13, 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 by the deadline. Interviews, remote and/or in person, will be scheduled in January. Offers will be made early February. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Word of a staff member
Bram Veenboer
PhD researcher

After studying computer science I wanted to continue in the direction of my master: High Performance Computing. Besided, I wanted to get my doctorate, so I ended up at ASTRON. At ASTRON there was a nice position available within the Dome project. At Dome I can apply the theory into practice and I can immerse […]

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And a great article in Dutch by @nrc about this discovery!…

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