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Requisition Number 17-0107
Post Date 9/22/2017
Title Postdoctoral Fellow - Active Galaxies and Multi-Messenger Astronomy
Position Type Full Time
Work Hours 40 hpw
City Morgantown
State WV
Description Summary
The postdoc will carry out collaborative and independent research in multi-wavelength and multi-messenger searches/studies of binary and recoiling supermassive black holes, the physical processes of active galactic nuclei, and/or the evolution of galaxies. Exceptional candidates interested in supermassive black hole source population modelling, observational limits on cosmic strings, and other areas of nanohertz-band gravitational wave astrophysics will also be considered.

Duties & Responsibilities
1) Research on the source populations of gravitational waves; primarily supermassive black holes in recoiling or binary systems.
2) Applying gravitational wave limits from pulsar timing arrays as a constraint on binary evolution and AGN astrophysics.
3) Independent/self-directed research that will further the goals of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology.
4) Attend research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current research findings.
5) Identify and assist with acquisition of funding from public, private, and governmental sources.
a. Assist with development of novel research proposals for sponsor submission.
b. Write proposals, papers, and abstracts to attract research funds.
6) Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for research goals.
7) Perform activities according to protocol.
a. Independent experimental data analysis.
b. Maintain detailed logs of work related activities, including accurate laboratory records and data on research methods, procedures, and results.
8) Oversee research facilities and personnel..
a. Assure compliance with research protocols and safety requirements.
b. Oversee and direct undergraduate and graduate researchers in the completion of experiments.
c. Maintain lab equipment; keep accurate inventory of lab assets; monitor and assure proper use and conditions of lab equipment.
9) Write and present research/study status reports for review and use of the Principal Investigator.
10) Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation to colleagues and the sponsor; at professional/technical conferences; and/or, for publication in scientific journals, as directed.

Supervisory/Lead Role
This position reports to the Principal Investigator.

Physical Demands
Work is generally sedentary in nature. Activities are predominantly non-manual.

Work Environment
Work is performed in a standard office atmosphere with shared space and equipment. The incumbent is responsible to know and comply with all safety procedures.
Requirements Requisite Qualifications
Education and/or Experience
1) PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, or a related discipline.
2) Experience in observational astronomical data analysis

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities
1) Knowledge and familiarity with the use of standard astronomical data reduction software.
2) Ability to work with Unix-based systems and software.
3) Skilled at using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
4) Skilled at identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
5) The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
6) Ability to document and present the results of research.
7) Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format as well as use original or innovative techniques or style due to the nature of the scientific content of the material being presented.
8) Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to technical and non-technical audiences
9) Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems.
10) Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, etc.).
11) Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.
12) Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form.
13) Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.
14) Ability to meet deadlines, as well as prepare, present and report results effectively.
15) Ability to collaborate effectively with a multidisciplinary team of co-investigators from diverse disciplines, orientations, and organizations.
16) Ability to do strategic planning for program development.

Behavioral Competencies
1) Technical skills – Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; pursues training and development opportunities; assess strengths, weaknesses, and shares expertise with others.
2) Problem solving – Gathers and analyzes information, identifies problems, develops alternatives, uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics and works well in groups and resolves matters timely.
3) Interpersonal Interactions in the Workplace – Manages difficult or emotional matters with objectivity and openness; responds promptly to needs and requests for service and assistance; meets commitments and dates, notifies others if change occurs; provides, solicits and applies feedback; and builds goodwill through balanced contributions, positive approach, respect and support of others.
4) Communications – Demonstrates group presentation skills, participates in meetings, listens and gets clarification, is responsive and speaks clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations. Writes and edits clearly and informatively, varies style to meet needs, presents numerical data effectively, and able to read and interpret written information.
5) Organizational Support – Aligns work and develops strategies to meet organizational goals; seeks to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; and upholds organizational expectations and values.
6) Self-Management – Responds to management direction; resourcefully adapts to changes in work environment and circumstances; responds well under pressure and manages competing demands; takes calculated risks, asks for and offers help when needed; exercise discretion and sound judgment; is tactful and responsible for own actions. Adheres to work schedule and complies with leave management responsibilities.

Preferred Qualifications & Credentials
Education and/or Experience
1) Skills in multi-messenger data analysis, particularly using gravitational waves.
2) A record of successful proposals to multi-wavelength observational facilities.
3) Ability to automate computational procedures through common programming or scripting languages.
4) Experience in multi-wavelength AGN observation and/or supermassive black hole binary evolution.
  • AA/EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/E-Verify Compliant Employer.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information.
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