Mt Kent Observatory’s MINERVA-Australis exoplanet search and characterization facility has achieved first light with its CCD imager and photometer and spectrograph, with early tests indicating it meets or exceeds the required specifications. The MINERVA-Australis project is led by A/Prof Rob Wittenmyer with key team members including Dr Duncan Wright, Dr Matthew Mengel and Dr Brett Addison. Further updates will be provided in coming months.
As of 2018 August 5 the USQ Astrophysics Group has become the University of Southern Queensland Centre for Astrophysics, with the Centre part of a new Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences. More details will be advised in coming months.
For more information see http://www.usq.edu.au/jobs or
PhD Scholarships – Astronomical and Space Sciences, USQ
The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is calling for PhD scholarship applications from Domestic and International students to join the USQ Astrophysics Group.
Our research aims to advance understanding of the shared evolution of stars and planets, and the implications for life. We use observational and computational approaches to discover and characterise exoplanets, investigate the formation and evolution of our Solar system, and study young, active stars and their planetary systems. USQ’s Astrophysics Group has grown rapidly and now comprises 14 staff, over 20 PhD students and a global network of over 20 adjuncts, working collaboratively with leading astronomical institutions worldwide.
USQ operates Mt Kent Observatory at a Darling Downs dark-sky site with multiple modern remote-access telescopes and high-speed Internet access. USQ is constructing a dedicated leading-edge planet finding facility called MINERVA-Australis that will provide dedicated follow-up to NASA’s TESS mission launching in 2018. Staff and students also access major Australian and international observatories for their research, and extensive eResearch facilities are provided, including a modern High Performance Computing cluster and supported access to national computing infrastructure.
USQ offers a choice of two locations for prospective students. Toowoomba is a pleasant and affordable regional city some 90 minutes drive from Brisbane, and offers direct flights to capital cities. Alternatively, USQ’s new Springfield campus offers a modern setting under 40 minutes by train from central Brisbane and excellent road access to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
The Astronomical and Space Sciences PhD Scholarship is available for Domestic (Australian citizen or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens) and International students as follows:
- Domestic students, on-campus or external studying full-time: Successful applicants will be allocated a Research Training Program (RTP) place with funds covering the payment of tuition fees, and the provision of a living allowance of AUD$30,000 per annum. The period of support is 3 years.
- International students, on-campus studying full-time: Successful applicants studying on-campus full-time will have their tuition fees paid for, and receive a living allowance between AUD$20,000 to AUD$30,000 per annum. The period of support is 3 years.
- International students, studying external full-time or part-time: Successful applicants receive a scholarship that covers the full payment of tuition fees for the standard duration of the PhD program.
Living allowance (stipend) payments are made fortnightly.
Funds for travel, computing, publishing and other relevant needs are available, and opportunities exist for income supplementation via casual teaching duties.
Research student professional development is supported through USQ’s ReDTrain program and its engagement in the professional support and development offered by the Astronomical Society of Australia.
To be eligible applicants must:
- have a qualification regarded by USQ to be equivalent, or at higher level to a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours
- be an International or domestic student (Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident)
- be eligible to be enrolled full-time in the PhD program at USQ. Part-time enrolment is available for International students studying externally
- not be in receipt of similar funding from the Australian Government.
Applications including all supporting documentation must be received by the closing date.
Scholarships are not transferable to other students in any circumstances.
The scholarship will be forfeited if the recipient cancels his or her enrolment in the program, or fails to enroll.
Subject to student visa conditions, a student is permitted to undertake paid work however this must not interfere with the student’s study program.
The Astronomical and Space Sciences PhD scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and relevance of your research topic.
How to apply
To apply for this scholarship, applicants must scan and forward as one PDF attachment the following documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Astronomical and Space Sciences PhD scholarship application form
- a Preliminary Research Thesis Topic Proposal (DOC 78KB)
- a curriculum vitae
- education qualifications (testamur and academic transcripts for all undergraduate and postgraduate awards)
- documentation confirming citizenship
- a list of any research publications.
To ensure your scholarship application is assessed, scanned copies of the above documentation must be forwarded as one attachment to the Office of Research Graduate Studies (ORGS): email@example.com.
The ORGS also recommends that applicants commence the admission process. For admission instructions, please refer to Application steps.
Applications close Friday 29 September 2017.
For more information and contact details please visit us online at http://astrophysics.usq.edu.au
The information on this page is subject to change.
USQ is offering a new BSc (Astronomical and Space Sciences) major as of Semester 1, 2018.
This is the latest addition to USQ’s already wide range of astronomy study options.
Some of the courses available are astronomy, physics, modern physics, astronomical techniques, optics, planetary & exoplanetary science, quantum mechanics, solar & stellar astronomy, photonics, and galactic & extragalactic astronomy.
Complementary studies are also offered in areas such as mathematics, science, and computing.
For more information please see the USQ astronomy program website at:
and the Flyer
USQ’s Festival of Astronomy and Space is happening 3- 10 October 2017 at USQ Toowoomba, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and USQ Springfield.
The schedule has talks by leading researchers on a wide range of topics, and all events are free.
For more information see the website at: https://www.usq.edu.au/festival-of-astronomy