Solar Science with SKA precursors

Post-Doctoral Fellowships

The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), at Pune, India, is seeking a post-doctoral fellow to work on solar science, with a strong focus on observations in the radio bands. The successful candidate will work with Prof. Divya Oberoi and collaborators.

The Solar physics group at NCRA has been pioneering solar and heliospheric science with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a SKA-Low precursor. Our recent work includes the detection and characterisation of mSFU-level ubiquitous nonthermal impulsive detections from the quiet corona. These are by far the weakest non-thermal solar radio emissions and form a very exciting development from a coronal heating perspective. The high time and frequency resolution polarimetric solar radio images from our imaging pipelines represent the current state-of-the-art and form the basis of our science explorations. Other recent aspects of our work include detailed gyrosynchrotron modeling of emission from energetic electrons trapped in coronal mass ejections; studies of a variety of solar bursts - types I, II and III; studies of propagation effects as metrewave radiation traverses the magnetised inhomogeneous turbulent coronal medium. We have an ongoing long-term effort aimed at enabling space weather predictions by detection and modeling of heliospheric Faraday rotation. More recently we have initiated an effort to enable solar observations with MeerKAT, a SKA-Mid precursor. We are also pursuing projects based on coordinated observations with spacecraft like Chandryaan-2, Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, radio facilities like the uGMRT, and hope to soon add Aditya-L1 to this list. Our work includes development of both algorithms and software analysis tools for solar studies with the MWA data and science-focussed investigations. We also expect to initiate projects with focus on HPC/Cloud computing and exploring the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) for solar radio-specific problems.

The candidate is expected to contribute about 60% of their time to the ongoing projects in the group and the rest can be used for their independent research. Areas of research in broad alignment with the group are strongly encouraged. This project will suit a candidate with a background in multi-wavelength solar physics and experience and/or interest in numerical data analysis techniques. Prior knowledge of the theory and practice of radio interferometry is desirable.

The MWA is a low radio frequency array located in Western Australia. Its high dynamic range, high fidelity, and spectroscopic imaging capability with high frequency and time resolution provide an unprecedented match for the needs of solar imaging. These data have opened new phase space and are leading to novel and interesting science. Large volumes of archival solar data spanning a decade are available and new data continue to be acquired. MeerKAT is located in South Africa and operates in the frequency range 580 - 3500 MHz. With its 64 dishes, 39 of which lie within one km, it offers unprecedented snapshot spectroscopic imaging performance at these frequencies and very exciting solar science potential.

Research activities at NCRA-TIFR  are centred on low frequency radio astronomy, with faculty members pursuing research in diverse areas of astrophysics (see http://www.ncra.tifr.res.in). NCRA-TIFR operates two large observational facilities, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope and the Ooty Radio Telescope.

Applications containing a curriculum vitae, a research plan, and the names and e-mail addresses of three or more referees should be sent to the Dean, NCRA-TIFR Faculty, at the e-mail address dean_nf@ncra.tifr.res.in, by November 30, 2023. Applicants should also request their referees to send in recommendation letters by the same deadline. All enquiries should also be made to this e-mail address. All applicants will automatically be considered for all available Post-Doctoral Fellowships at NCRA-TIFR.

The monthly salary of Post-Doctoral Fellows at NCRA-TIFR depends on experience after the doctoral degree. Candidates are required to have at least a provisional Ph.D. degree when taking up the position. For candidates who have received their doctoral degrees, the monthly salary ranges from INR 47,000 to INR 54,000, depending on experience. Post-doctoral fellows are also entitled to a contingency grant of INR 40,000 per year. All positions are tenable for a maximum of 3 years, with continuations subject to a yearly review.

Post-doctoral Fellows at NCRA-TIFR are provided a travel grant of INR 3,00,000 over the course of the fellowship to enable them to travel for international conferences or for research collaborations. They are also entitled to a house rent allowance, and medical coverage under NCRA-TIFR's medical scheme.

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