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Positions available

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Positions available within the VICI project the Final Parsec
At the moment we have several vacancies (closeing date 1 November 2009)
PhD student (4 years)

Background information:
We have received extensive funding for starting an challenging research project, called "the Final Parsec". Successful candidates will become an essential part in our research team, which consists of a senior researcher, several programmers, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. We collaborate internationally with researchers of all nationalities in particular across the EU, Japan and the US. There will be ample of opportunity to visit the collaborating research teams and international conferences or to participate in workshops and advanced schools. Within the research group you will be exposed to researchers in grid computing, commodity and high-performance computing, gravitational stellar dynamics, stellar evolution and cosmology.

The objective of the Final Parsec project is to study the merging of super-massive black holes in the central regions of galaxies throughout the process in which two galaxies merge. Our theoretical understanding of the circumstances under which super-massive black holes (SMBHs) coalesce is poorly developed, in particular if the host galaxies contain little gas. The research will be conducted using hierarchical and hybrid simulation environments with wide variety of gravitational N-body solvers. Our objective is to study the circumstances under which the two SMBHs coalesce as a result of a galaxy merger. The calculations will be run on a cluster graphical processing units, the building and utilization of which is part of the project.

You are invited to submit your application (CV, bibliography and cover letter) and include a 1-page vision on how your unique expertise will help realizing the objected research project. In addition you will have to provide the names and contact infromation of 3 persons who are willing to write a reference letter for your application.

How to apply:
Submit resumes to: J. Drost
Sterrewacht Leiden,
Leiden University
P.O. Box 9513
2300 RA Leiden
the Netherlands
email: drost@strw.leidenuniv.nl
Please, mention VICI in the subject heading.

URL: http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/~spz (P.I. Homepage)
Or read the Final Parsec proposal summary

Position requirements::
We are looking for several PhD students. The candidate should have an advanced degree in computational science, astrophysics or a related field. Experience in software development and programming in Python or C/C++ are an advantage. You will be working as a problem solver in an international research team. The candidate need to perform on a scientific level.

An interest in astrophysics and numerical applications is an advantage, as is experience in any of the astronomical applications (stellar dynamics, stellar evolution, hydrodynamics or radiative transfer). Are you interest in research and would like to use your unique skills to support the development of our problem solving environments this may be the job for you.

Details of appointment:
The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years s. The salary will be in accordance with the University regulations for academic personnel (Collective Labor Agreement) and is fixed for the PhD student, 2042Euro (first year) to 2612Euro (final year) gross per month based on a full-time (38 hours/week) appointment. The salary will be increased with 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus.


For additional information you can contact spz@strw.leidenuniv.nl