English version

Observational Stellar Astrophysics: Massive Stars

(Ref. BAP-2017-46)

Tewerkstelling : Voltijds
Duur : Bepaalde duur verlengbaar
Plaats : Leuven
Solliciteren tot en met : 01/04/2017
The Institute of Astronomy of the KU Leuven (Belgium) seeks a highly motivated and excellent PhD candidate ready to take on an important role in a new project aiming to investigate the roles and consequences of multiplicity on the pre-supernova evolution of massive stars. Applications are invited for one PhD position financed through a prestigious Odysseus II grant from the Flemish Scientific Organization (FWO). The selected students will work under the supervision of Prof. Hugues Sana and as part of an international collaboration network to obtain crucial observational constraints needed to test theories of massive star binary evolution and to guide their future development. The specific PhD topics is Time resolved photometry and spectroscopy of young clusters

Observational Stellar Astrophysics: Massive Stars

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) of Leuven University in Belgium is a young and vibrant research group of some 50 scientists, engineers, and administrative staff (fys.kuleuven.be/ster), including 6 full-time and 3 part-time professors. The institute is an expertise centre in stellar physics and is active in several international consortia and collaborations, involving telescopes at observatories worldwide and in space. Members of IoA have access to parallel computing facilities at Leuven University. The IoA is responsible for the organisation of the 2-year Master in Astronomy & Astrophysics of the Faculty of Science and owns the 1.2m Mercator telescope at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma Observatory, Canary Islands. The institute has a long tradition in instrumental, observational, and theoretical studies of stellar evolution, with specific emphasis on stellar variability.


The project builds upon novel data obtained at the William Herschel Telescope, as well as with the KULeuven Mercator telescope at La Palma. Further data will be sought at the William Herschel and at the European Southern Observatory during the course of the PhD allowing the PhD student to participate into the data acquisition. 


Applicants must hold a M.Sc. degree in physics, astrophysics or mathematics or else own an equivalent diploma; the degree must be dated at the latest one month before the position can be taken up. Expertise in observational astrophysics, data reduction/analysis, numerical simulations and/or massive star science is an asset but not a requirement. Good proficiency in English is assumed required. The application package should be sent as one single PDF containing (i) a curriculum vitae with a full publication list, (ii)a list of all master courses with their number of study points and the scores obtained, (iii) a statement of interest (max. one page) and (iv) a summary of their research experience (e.g. master thesis; also max. 1 page). Applicants must also provide the names and contact details of two reference persons who would be prepared to send confidential recommendation letters should they be requested to do so. The selection committee will send out requests for such letters for those applicants on the short-list after an initial ranking. The short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview (live or via Skype).


The successful applicant( will) have to register at and comply with the regulations of the Arenberg Doctoral School of the Leuven University. Good command of the English language is a requirement to be approved by the doctoral school. The successful applicants will follow a doctoral programme including personal training in management, science communication, and teaching. As part of the doctoral requirements, the students will have to take up a teaching task of at maximally 4 hours per week in one of the Bachelor (in Dutch) or Master (in English) programmes. PhD students at IoA are also required to perform at least one Mercator observing run of 10 nights per year for the pooled IoA long-term monitoring programmes.


The selected PhD students will be offered a 2-year contract, once renewable with 2 more years after positive evaluation. The salary will be commensurate to the standard scale for PhD students in Belgium; it includes social and medical insurance as well as pension rights. The starting date shall be between 1 August September 1st and1 November 1st 2017. In their application, candidates are invited to state their preferred starting date. 


The application material should be sent by e-mail to hugues.sana@kuleuven.be with subject MSPHD- at the latest by April 1st 2016.

Interviews will be held in April and selected candidates will be contacted by the end of May at the latest.

Complete applications received by April 1st 2016 will be considered. Information on the PhD position may be obtained by contacting Prof. Hugues Sana by email (Hugues.Sana@kuleuven.be) or phone (+32-16-37.43.61).

You can apply for this job no later than April 01, 2017 via the

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