Call for Applications

Australia’s University of Southern Queensland is a top 100 Young University Rankings multi-campus institution whose flagship top rated astronomical and space sciences research is supported by the Centre for Astrophysics within the Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences. Please see the list of current opportunities below to work for our department.

PhD Postions

The Centre for Astrophysics at University of Southern Queensland is seeking applications for two fully-funded scholarship full-time on campus PhD positions, to begin as soon as possible.  The stipend totals $32,000 AUD per year for 3 years, plus an allowance for computing and travel.  Details on the PhD process can be found on our study page under the PhD tab.

For this special call, the funding comes from an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, and the students will be expected to work in the following areas pertaining to the characterisation of planets outside our Solar System.

Shared Skies Partnership

HDR Project 1

This project will focus on the data acquisition and processing necessary for obtaining the highest
precision transit photometry. Research will include:

  1. Developing and optimising an observing strategy for the prioritised list of TESS small planet candidates.
  2. Apply a suite of sophisticated data reduction and analysis techniques to extract the challenging small signals in the resulting photometry.
  3. Perform the transit light-curve modelling necessary to validate the small planets using TESS and MINERVA-Australis data.

Photo: A MINERVA-Australis telescope on Mt Kent by USQ Photography

Shared Skies Partnership

HDR Project 2

This project will focus on Transit Timing Variation (TTV) analysis of small planets from TESS. Research will include:

1. Choosing the most suitable TESS planetary systems for TTV analysis, and perform the necessary
observations over 1-2 seasons.
2. Modelling the transit photometry and measuring the precise transit times of these systems.
3. Perform dynamical modelling and derive mass measurements for the planetary systems.

Photo: Artists interpretation of TESS searching for exoplanets by NASA

Interested candidates should send a CV and contact details for one reference to Professor Rob Wittenmyer by April 15th for full consideration. USQ is committed to enhancing diversity in astrophysics, and we particularly welcome applicants from women and traditionally under-represented groups.
To learn more about the exoplanet research in the Centre for Astrophysics, please visit our research page.