Traineeship in science operations with massive arrays
  • Expertise
    Radio Astronomy
  • Section
    Radio observatory
  • Hours
  • Closing date

The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE) have two positions available for a


Traineeship in science operations with massive arrays



The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE) announce the availability of a limited number of grants for their first Traineeship in Science Operations with massive arrays.  The programme enables astronomers (post doc, PhD or graduate student level) to spend a trimester (12 weeks) at the institute in Dwingeloo in the Netherlands. Under the supervision of Telescope Scientists, they will develop fundamental skills and novel experimental methods on systems using technologies that produce cutting-edge science now and contribute to the development of the SKA. ASTRON & JIVE are committed to increasing their staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from all traditionally under-represented groups.

This programme will be sponsored by ASTRON and the Joining Up Users for Maximising the Profile, the Innovation and the Necessary Globalisation of JIVE (JUMPING JIVE) which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730884.

As this first call is co-founded through the JUMPING JIVE programme, the available positions are open to applicants from African countries and future African VLBI Network host countries. Future ASTRON/JIVE traineeship opportunities will be open to all applicants.


Successful candidates will be appointed to a mentor and will acquire a deep/inside knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the operations of world-class instruments. Moreover, they will strongly benefit from the daily interaction with our scientists, engineers, and support staff, who all work in close collaboration at our institute.

The 12 week programme of the traineeship will consist of two parts: 11 weeks to involve the full exposure to LOFAR operations, and 1-week training at JIVE.

At the beginning of the LOFAR training, the applicant will be initiated to the capabilities of the hardware and the software pipelines and their data products. She/He will be exposed to the active complex array science operations, learning how to master them independently. The involved procedures will include:

  • Proposal preparation and submission
  • Planning and conducting observations
  • Monitoring of the observing system
  • Handling multi terabyte Cycle projects data
  • Data quality assessment
  • Full-day activities in the LOFAR control room
  • Handling operational challenges
  • Communication and co-operation with engineers, developers, and users
  • Involvement in commissioning of new functionalities
  • Organization and chairing operational meetings and activities
  • Data processing tutorials (depending on available time)

The JIVE training will involve the exposure to VLBI operations and data acquisition and processing. Specifically, these will include:

  • Planning and conducting VLBI observations
  • VLBI systems & Correlations
  • Theory and practice of phase referencing

Students will attend EVN observations/correlation of user experiments.

The traineeship programme will also include lectures and activities with the support groups such as visit to the LOFAR core, to the LOFAR and JIVE/EVN correlators; production cluster sites; and one of the LOFAR Long-Term Archive site.

The Organization

ASTRON operates the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a cutting-edge, low-frequency, multi-field aperture array telescope that is using transformational technologies and novel software approaches to explore the Universe between 10-240 MHz. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) which is equipped with the new APERTIF phased array feeds, greatly increasing the survey speed of the telescope.

JIVE is the main data processor centre of the European VLBI Network (EVN) and is leading the development of real-time e-VLBI in Europe.

These traineeship grants will provide successful candidates with accommodation at the locality of the institute in Dwingeloo, a modest stipend for up to 12 weeks, and full travel reimbursement. We expect the traineeship programme to start during the first trimester of year 2018. The final dates will be set based on the availability of the selected applicants.


For more information about ASTRON and JIVE see the institutes’ websites,  and For more information about the traineeship, please contact Roberto Pizzo, Head of Science Operations & Support at ASTRON, e-mail: or phone: +31 (0) 521595783.


You can apply directly for this programme via the ‘Apply now’ button below. All applications should include curriculum vitae and cover letter stating your motivation. Contacts of 2 potential referees should be provided. These will be contacted by the selection committee for the short-listed candidates. All applications received before the deadline of 31 January 2018 will be considered in full by the selection panel.

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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