SPOTLIGHT: A commensal survey for Fast Radio Bursts and Pulsars with the GMRT

Post-Doctoral Fellowships

The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), Pune, India, is seeking a Post-Doctoral Fellow to work with Dr Jayanta Roy on the SPOTLIGHT project for building a commensal survey instrument for Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and Pulsars with the GMRT.

Dr Roy and the team are now building a software digital processing system to enable real-time commensal search for FRBs and Pulsars with a PetaFlop system (SPOTLIGHT), funded under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). The instrument will execute real-time HPC and AI applications to ensure simultaneous detection and arc-second localisation capability over the full 300-1460 MHz radio spectrum. The design needs to separate genuine astronomical signals from interference to optimise the number of triggers for baseband recording and imaging localisation. The team at NCRA is working with Prof Wes Armour and his group at Oxford e-Research Centre, the University of Oxford, to develop a multi-beam real-time search pipeline for FRBs and a quasi-real-time search pipeline for Pulsars. The AI team consisting of members from NCRA, NVIDIA and IIT-Palakkad is developing the machine learning/deep learning pipeline under the aegis of NVIDIA AI Technology Center (NVAITC) collaboration. The post-doctoral fellow will work with the HPC and AI team to build the interfaces of the search backend with the correlator+beamformer and the AI modules. This position will be part of a larger project, titled Building Indo-UK Collaborations Towards the Square Kilometre Array funded under the DAE-STFC Technology and Skills Programme 2023 Call. The fellow will participate in all the performance and functional validations of the end-to-end design. In addition, the post-doctoral fellow will also work on data interpretation and visualisation, aiming to discover new events. The fully real-time implementation will enable a piggyback search capability at the GMRT resulting in high-impact discoveries aided by localisation of the bursts to use them as cosmological probes while studying the intergalactic medium. Prior experience in the area of signal processing techniques and pulsars/FRBs would be beneficial for this project.

Research activities at NCRA-TIFR are centered on low-frequency radio astronomy, with faculty members pursuing research in diverse areas of astrophysics. 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. 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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