CATAC Update on the Thirty Meter Telescope

By Michael Balogh (CATAC Chair)
(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)

In July, the hearing officer considering the contested case hearing regarding TMT’s site permit on Mauna Kea issued her decision, that the permit should be granted under a number of conditions. The full report is available at This was welcome news. The next step is for the Board of Land and Natural Resources to receive written and oral responses to these recommendations, and finally issue a decision on whether or not to approve the permit. This decision is expected in October. The decision may be appealed directly to the Hawaii Supreme Court within a 30-day window; if the Court decides to hear the case, they must give the matter priority and issue a decision within one year.

The only other pending legal issue is an appeal related to the vacating of consent for the UH-TIO sublease. A ruling on the appeal could come before the end of the year.

There is a generally optimistic sense that the prospects for construction in Hawai’i have greatly improved. There are still remaining issues, but the climate for resolving them has become much more constructive. The election of Harry Kim as mayor of Hawai’i County has changed the political dynamic. His vision of Maunakea as a “World Peace Park” is providing an opportunity for all interested parties to come together.

With the Project expected to obtain all necessary approvals for construction on ORM, as a backup site in the case Maunakea construction proves impossible, the site selection seems likely to be settled by early 2018. It remains true that the Project does not yet have sufficient committed funds to complete construction, a situation that has not been helped by the delay in the start of construction. At the CASCA meeting in May 2017, several people expressed a desire to learn more about the Project’s plans for managing this shortfall, and what the implications are for completion of construction. In response to this, we have invited Ed Stone (TIO Executive Director) and Gary Sanders (Project Manager) to address the CASCA community directly, via a 2 hour Webex session. This will take place at 3:30- 5:30pm, EDT, on September 26. All CASCA members are invited to participate. If you have previously participated in a CATAC Webex session, you will automatically receive an invitation to this discussion. If you would like to be added to the list of participants, please email Slides will be made available to registered participants prior to the meeting; the presentation itself will be limited to ~30 minutes to leave plenty of time for your questions.

CATAC would like to remind you of the TMT Science Forum happening in Mysore, India Nov 7-9, 2017. The main purpose of this meeting is to discuss concepts for the next instrument to be built for TMT, after the first light instruments. The International Science Development Teams (ISDTs) will be leading these discussions, and we would like to thank ACURA for making funds available to help offset travel costs for Canadian University-based ISDT members and invited speakers. This activity is expected to continue after the Forum, culminating in a series of white papers that will be presented to the SAC, who will make a recommendation for funding studies of the next TMT instrument. The white papers will focus on the science aspects of possible capabilities, and will be due in March of next year. CATAC hopes to play a role here in consulting with the community to present our SAC members with a Canadian perspective. This is a critical activity for Canada and we welcome community engagement. Please contact CATAC (, your SAC representatives (Tim Davidge, Bob Abraham, Stan Metchev, Doug Welch) or any of the ISDT members for more information.

Finally, CATAC member Christine Wilson (McMaster) has resigned from CATAC to make best use of the research time afforded by her recent Killam fellowship. We are grateful for her dedicated service and advice during her term on CATAC. We expect to appoint a replacement in short order.

Michael Balogh
Chair, CATAC

BRITE-Constellation Mission Update

By/par Gregg Wade, Canadian PI for BRITE
(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)


BRITE-Constellation is an international space astronomy mission consisting of a fleet of 20x20x20 cm nanosatellites dedicated to precision optical photometry of bright stars in two photometric colours. The mission continues in full science operations, with 22 data releases to BRITE target PIs having already taken place, and many datasets available in the public domain from the BRITE public archive.

The BRITE mission is a collaboration between Canadian, Austrian and Polish astronomers and space scientists. The Canadian partners represent University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, Bishop’s University, and Royal Military College of Canada. The mission was build and is operated by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Lab (UTIAS-SFL). The Canadian Space Agency funded the construction of the Canadian satellites, and continues to fund mission operations.

3rd BRITE Science Conference

The 3rd conference devoted to presentation of BRITE-Constellation science and technical results took place from 7-11 August 2017 at Auberge du Lac Taureau in Québec, Canada. Thirty-two participants attended and delivered oral and poster presentations. The proceedings will be published by the Polish Astronomical Society.


There are five operating BRITE satellites in the Constellation, collecting data on various sky fields in a coordinated programme to obtain well-sampled, longterm continuous (~6 months) light curves in both red and blue bandpasses.

As this issue of Cassiopeia went to press, here was the status of the sky assignments for the BRITE cubesats:

  • BRITE Toronto (Canada): Toronto observes with a red filter. It is currently observing the Lac/Cyg field.
  • BRITE Lem (Poland): Lem observes with a blue filter. It is observing the Sagittarius (III) field. As implied by the numeral III, this is BRITE-Constellation’s 3rd revisit to this field.
  • BRITE Heweliusz (Poland): Heweliusz observes with a red filter. This satellite is observing the Pegasus field.
  • BRITE Austria (Austria): BRITE Austria observes with a blue filter. It is also observing the Sagittarius III field, along with the Cassiopeia II field.
  • UniBRITE (Austria): UniBRITE observes with a red filter. This satellite has been suffering from unpredictable resets of its on-board computer for several weeks, and is currently not acquiring observations.

The BRITE Constellation observing programme from early 2017 through early 2019 has been planned by the BRITE Executive Science Team (BEST), and details are available on the BRITE photometry Wiki page.

Recent Science Results

The variability of the BRITE-est Wolf-Rayet binary, γ2 Velorum I. Photometric and spectroscopic evidence for colliding winds” (Richardson et al. 2017, MNRAS 471, 2715):
Richardson et al. report the first multi-colour precision light curve of the bright Wolf-Rayet binary γ2 Velorum, obtained over six months with BRITE-Constellation. Combining these data with a huge new database of high-resolution optical spectra of the system, the authors revise the spectroscopic orbit and constrain the bulk properties of the colliding winds. We report a dependence of both the light curve and spectral line excess emission properties that scale with the inverse of the binary separation. Based on their analysis of the spectroscopic properties in combination with the photometry, they conclude that the phase dependence is caused only by excess emission in the lines, and not from a changing continuum. They also detect a narrow, high-velocity absorption component from the He I λ5876 transition, which appears twice during the orbit. Using smoothed-particle hydrodynamical simulations of the colliding winds (Fig. 1), the authors accurately associate the absorption from He I to the leading and trailing arms of the wind shock cone passing tangentially through the line-of-sight. The simulations also explain the general strength and kinematics of the emission excess observed in wind lines such as C III λ5696.

Fig. 1: Density (left), temperature (center), and line-of-sight velocity (right) of the hydrodynamic simulation of the colliding winds in γ2 Vel. The plane shown is rotated and inclined from the orbital plane such that the observer is directly to the right of the frame. At this phase, the WR star is on the right. The orbital motion is counterclockwise. From Richardson et al. (2017).

Fig. 1: Density (left), temperature (center), and line-of-sight velocity (right) of the hydrodynamic simulation of the colliding winds in γ2 Vel. The plane shown is rotated and inclined from the orbital plane such that the observer is directly to the right of the frame. At this phase, the WR star is on the right. The orbital motion is counterclockwise. From Richardson et al. (2017).

Short-term variability and mass loss in Be stars III. BRITE and SMEI satellite photometry of 28 Cygni” (Baade et al. 2017, A&A, in press):
Baade et al. report that, for decades, 28 Cyg has exhibited four large-amplitude frequencies: two closely spaced frequencies of spectroscopically-confirmed g modes near 1.5 c/d, one slightly lower exophotospheric (Štefl) frequency, and at 0.05 c/d the difference (∆) frequency between the two g modes (See Fig. 2). This top-level framework is indistinguishable from other Be stars, including η Cen. The circumstellar frequency is the only one that does not seem to be affected by the ∆ frequency. The amplitude of the ∆ frequency undergoes large variations; around maximum the amount of near-circumstellar matter is increased, and the amplitude of the Štefl frequency grows by some factor. During such brightenings dozens of transient spikes appear in the frequency spectrum, concentrated in three groups. Only eleven frequencies were common to all years of BRITE observations. They conclude that Be stars seem to be controlled by several coupled clocks, most of which are not very regular on timescales of weeks to months, but that function for decades. The combination of g modes to the slow ∆ variability and/or the atmospheric response to it appears significantly nonlinear. Like in η Cen, the ∆ variability seems the main responsible for the modulation of the star-to-disc mass transfer in 28 Cyg. A hierarchical set of ∆ frequencies may reach the longest timescales known of the Be phenomenon.

Fig. 2: BRITE frequency spectrum (in arbitrary units) of 28 Cyg. Top: 2015 (BRITE-Toronto and UniBRITE), bottom: 2016 (BRITE-Toronto). Arrows mark the identified frequencies. The dashed lines represent the local sum of mean power and 3 × σ (calculated after removal of the significant frequencies). Between 3.5 c/d and the nominal Nyquist frequency near 7.2 c/d, there is virtually no power. Frequency groupings occur at the approximate ranges 0.1-0.5 c/d, 1.0-1.7 c/d, and 2.2-3.0 c/d.

Fig. 2: BRITE frequency spectrum (in arbitrary units) of 28 Cyg. Top: 2015 (BRITE-Toronto and UniBRITE), bottom: 2016 (BRITE-Toronto). Arrows mark the identified frequencies. The dashed lines represent the local sum of mean power and 3 × σ (calculated after removal of the significant frequencies). Between 3.5 c/d and the nominal Nyquist frequency near 7.2 c/d, there is virtually no power. Frequency groupings occur at the approximate ranges 0.1-0.5 c/d, 1.0-1.7 c/d, and 2.2-3.0 c/d.

Conferences, Resources and Social Media


As mentioned above, the 3rd BRITE Science Conference took place from 7-11 August 2017 at Auberge du Lac Taureau in Québec, Canada. Planning is underway for future meetings of the BRITE Executive Science Team (BEST) and the BRITE International Advisory Science Team (BIAST).


The BRITE Public Data Archive, based in Warsaw, Poland, at the Nikolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, can be accessed at

The mission Wiki (including information on past, current and future fields) can be accessed at

BRITE Constellation is now on Facebook, at @briteconstellation

The BRITE International Advisory Science Team

The BRITE International Advisory Science Team (BIAST), which consists of BRITE scientific PIs, technical authorities, amateur astronomers, and mission fans, advises the mission executive on scientific and outreach aspects of the mission. If you’re interested to join BIAST, contact Canadian BRITE PI Gregg Wade:

ALMA Matters


From/de Gerald Schieven
(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)

Cycle 5 Proposal Statistics

Observations for Cycle 5 begin October 1, 2017. A record 1661 proposals were submitted for Cycle 5 requesting almost 16,000 hours of 12-m Array time and more than 14,000 hours of ACA time. With approximately 7000 hours of available time (4000 for the 12-m Array), this yields an overall oversubscription rate of 4.3, similar to previous cycles. Thirty-nine proposals were submitted by Canadian PIs, which fared extraordinarily well in Cycle 5; nearly 10% of the 12-m Array time allocated to North American proposals had a PI or co-PI from a Canadian institution. Including both 12-m Array and ACA allocations, the fraction was over 24% of North American time.

Snow Impacts Cycle 4

The ALMA Observatory experienced back to back severe winter storms in May/June, making it difficult to recover the 12-m array for PI observations. This has had an even more detrimental impact on the relocation to long baselines. Many roads were blocked with 2 meters of snow, high winds often returned snow to the cleared locations, and snow often compacted into ice covering antenna pads. By early July ALMA had returned to routine observations utilizing the 7-m and Total Power Arrays, and 12-m Array PI observations resumed later in the month. By August long baseline observations had begun, though the largest configurations were further delayed to September due to a damaged power cable on the south arm.

Dissertation: Investigating Brown Dwarf Atmospheres: Gravity, Dust Content, Cloud Structure and Metallicity

(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)

by Kendra Kellogg
Thesis defended on July 13, 2017
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Western University
Thesis advisor: Dr. Stanimir Metchev

Brown dwarfs are the lowest mass products of star formation. Their low masses don’t allow them to sustain, or sometimes even begin, the thermonuclear processes that provide stars with internal energy and the thermal pressure necessary to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium. Thus, their radii and effective temperatures decrease as they age, continually changing their spectral classification. However, it is now a well-known fact that the spectral appearance of ultra-cool dwarfs is governed by more than just temperature. Factors such as gravity, metallicity and cloud distribution play an important role in the structure and composition of ultra-cool dwarf atmospheres and ultimately their spectra.

Pinning down the effects of some of the contributing factors to the structure and evolution of brown dwarf atmospheres has been the goal of my thesis research. Through a joint positional and colour cross-match of optical, near-infrared and mid-infrared all-sky surveys, I have identified 20 new brown dwarfs with “peculiar” photometric colours which are candidates for having unusual atmospheric properties. I have determined that a number of these objects have atypical surface gravities and/or atmospheric dust content using near-infrared spectroscopic observations. I have also determined the timescales for the various peculiarities by comparing these objects to the population of “normal” objects. In addition, I have studied in detail a few of the most peculiar objects in order to understand how conditions on individual objects affect their atmospheric structure and composition.

Dissertation: Lights in Dark Places: Inferring the Milky Way Mass Profile using Galactic Satellites and Hierarchical Bayes

(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)

by Gwendolyn Eadie
Thesis defended on July 18, 2017
Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
Thesis advisor: Dr. William Harris

Despite valiant efforts by astronomers, the mass of the Milky Way (MW) Galaxy is poorly constrained, and not known within a factor of two. A range of techniques have been developed and different types of data have been used to estimate the MW’s mass. One of the most promising and popular techniques is to use the velocity and position information of satellite objects orbiting the Galaxy to infer the gravitational potential, and thus the total mass. Using these satellites, or Galactic tracers, presents a number of challenges: 1) much of the tracer velocity data are incomplete (i.e. only line-of-sight velocities have been measured), 2) our position in the Galaxy complicates how we quantify measurement uncertainties of mass estimates, and 3) the amount of available tracer data at large distances, where the dark matter halo dominates, is small. The latter challenge will improve with current and upcoming observational programs such as Gaia and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), but to properly prepare for these data sets we must overcome the former two. In this thesis work, we have created a hierarchical Bayesian framework to estimate the Galactic mass profile. The method includes incomplete and complete data simultaneously, and incorporates measurement uncertainties through a measurement model. The physical model relies on a distribution function for the tracers that allows the tracer and dark matter to have different spatial density profiles. When the hierarchical Bayesian model is confronted with the kinematic data from satellites, a posterior distribution is acquired and used to infer the mass and mass profile of the Galaxy.

This thesis walks through the incremental steps that led to the development of the hierarchical Bayesian method, and presents MW mass estimates when the method is applied to the MW’s globular cluster population. Our best estimate of the MW’s virial mass is M(vir) = 0.87 x 1012 Solar masses with a 95% credible range of (0.67 – 1.09) x 1012 Solar masses. We also present preliminary results from a blind test on hydrodynamical, cosmological computer-simulated MW-type galaxies from the McMaster Unbiased Galaxy Simulations. These results suggest our method may be able to reliably recover the virial mass of the Galaxy.

Dissertation: The Effects of Environment on the Atomic and Molecular Gas Properties of Star-Forming Galaxies

(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)


by Angus King Fai Mok
Thesis defended on July 31, 2017
Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
Thesis advisor: Dr. Christine Wilson

Where a galaxy is located has a strong effect on its properties. The dense cluster environment is home to a large population of red, quiescent elliptical galaxies, whereas blue, star-forming, spiral galaxies are common in lower-density environments. This difference is intricately linked to the ability of the galaxy to form new stars and therefore ultimately to the fuel for star formation, the atomic and molecular gas. In this thesis, I use two large JCMT surveys to explore the effects of environment on the atomic gas, molecular gas, and star formation properties of a large sample of nearby gas-rich galaxies.

From the NGLS and follow-up studies, I select a sub-sample of 98 HI-flux selected spiral galaxies. I measure their total molecular gas mass using the CO J=3-2 line and combine this data with measurements of their total atomic gas mass using the 21-cm line and star formation rate using attenuation-corrected H-alpha luminosity. I find an enhancement in the mean H2 mass and a higher H2-to-HI ratio for the Virgo Cluster sample. Virgo Cluster galaxies also have longer molecular gas depletion times (H2/SFR), which suggests that they are forming stars at a lower rate relative to their molecular gas reservoirs than non-Virgo galaxies.

Next, I collect VLA 21 cm line maps from the VIVA survey and follow-up VLA studies of selected galaxies in the NGLS. I measure the surface density maps of the atomic gas, molecular gas, and star formation rate in order to determine radial trends. I find that the H2 distribution is enhanced near the centre for Virgo Cluster galaxies, along with a steeper total gas (HI + H2) radial profile. I suggest that this is due to the effects of moderate ram pressure stripping, which would strip away low-density gas in the outskirts while enhancing high-density gas near the centre. There are no trends with radius for the molecular gas depletion times, but the longer depletion times for the Virgo Cluster sample is still present.

Finally, I use 850 micron continuum observations for 105 star-forming galaxies and CO J=2-1 line observations for 35 galaxies in the initial data release (DR1) of the JINGLE survey. I match the JINGLE galaxies to a SDSS group catalogue and measure environmental parameters such as the host halo mass, environment density, and location in phase space. I find that the molecular gas masses estimated from the 850 micron and CO J=2-1 line observations are well-correlated. The H2-to-HI ratio and the molecular gas depletion times do not appear to vary with stellar mass. I did not find any significant variation with environment in the DR1 sample, but I will apply this framework to the full JINGLE sample once the complete dataset is available.


The Department of Physics is seeking applications for a full-time
tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in astrophysics.


The appointed candidate will be expected to teach at all three levels of
the curriculum, supervise graduate students, engage in ongoing research
and publication, and contribute to the academic life and reputation of the


– Ph.D. in physics, with a specialization in astrophysics.
– A record of outstanding research achievements in the field.
– Strong commitment to teaching at all levels.
– The appointed candidate will be expected to pursue a vigorous
research program in Astrophysics and contribute to the activities
of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group of the Department.
Candidates from all fields of astronomy and astrophysics are
encouraged to apply. However, priority will be given to candidates
with research interests aligned with those present in the
Department: stellar and exoplanet astrophysics, solar physics,
extragalactic astronomy, high energy astrophysics, and astronomical
– Proficiency in the French language within a reasonable period*


The Université de Montréal offers competitive salaries and a full range of

Starting Date

On or after June 1, 2018


The application must include the following documents:

– a cover letter
– a curriculum vitæ
– copies of recent publications
– the candidate’s proposed research program

Three letters of recommendation are also to be sent directly to the
department chair by the referees.

Application and letters of recommendation must be sent to the Department
Chair by December 5, 2017, at the following address:

M. Richard Leonelli, directeur
a/s de Mme Peggy Lareau
Département de physique
Faculté des arts et des sciences
Université de Montréal
C. P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (QC) Canada H3C 3J7

or by e-mail at:

For more information about the Department, please consult its Web site at:


* Language Policy:

Université de Montréal is a Québec university with an international
reputation. French is the language of instruction. To renew its teaching
faculty, the University is intensively recruiting the world’s best
specialists. In accordance with the institution’s language policy,
Université de Montréal provides support for newly-recruited faculty to
attain proficiency in French


The Université de Montréal application process allows all regular
professors in the Department to have access to all documents unless the
applicant explicitly states in her or his cover letter that access to the
application should be limited to the selection committee. This restriction
on accessibility will be lifted if the applicant is invited for an

Equal Access Employment Program:

Université de Montréal promotes diversity in its workforce through its
Equal access to employment program. It encourages members of visible and
ethnic minorities as well as women, Aboriginal people, persons with
disabilities and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities
to apply.

Immigration Requirements:

We invite all qualified candidates to apply at UdeM. However, in
accordance with immigration requirements in Canada, please note that
priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Assistant Lecturer in the Physical Sciences at York University

The Division of Natural Science invites applications for a tenure-track, alternate stream (teaching-focused) Assistant Lecturer appointment to commence July 1, 2018.

The Division of Natural Science is a unit within the Department of Science & Technology Studies in the Faculty of Science that specializes in developing and delivering high quality undergraduate general education science courses to non-science university students. We are seeking candidates with a PhD in a Physical Science to teach Natural Science courses, with a strong preference for those also able to teach courses in the Department of Chemistry. The applicant must be interested in a teaching-focused position, and should have experience teaching science to university-level non-science students.

The candidate should demonstrate excellence or the promise of excellence in teaching; a dedication to using sound pedagogical techniques (including evidence-based strategies); and a strong interest in pedagogical development. Experience with different delivery formats (e.g., lecture, blended, online), teaching classes of varying sizes, and effective utilization of undergraduate laboratories are assets. Pedagogical innovation in high priority areas such as experiential education and technology enhanced learning is an asset.

For further information regarding the Division of Natural Science please see; for the Department of Chemistry, see Inquiries regarding the position should be sent to Julie Clark, Director of the Division of Natural Science, at

All positions at York University are subject to budgetary approval. York University is an Affirmative Action (AA) employer and strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community. The AA Program, which applies to Aboriginal people, visible minorities, people with disabilities, and women, can be found at or by calling the AA office at 416-736-5713. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

Deadline of receipt of complete applications is December 4, 2017. Applicants must arrange for three signed letters of reference to be sent directly to the address below. Complete applications will also include: a curriculum vitae, a teaching dossier (including a statement of teaching philosophy), and a summary of publications (if applicable), and a summary of relevant activities sent to Chair, Natural Science Search Committee, Division of Natural Science, 218 Bethune College, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3, Email: Applicants wishing to self-identify can do so by downloading, completing and submitting the form found at:

Dunlap Postdoctoral Fellowships in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Application Submission:

Closing Date for Receipt of Applications: November 1, 2017

Email Address for Inquiries:

The University of Toronto invites applications for Dunlap Postdoctoral Fellowships within the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. This growing unit pursues groundbreaking research in experimental astrophysics, in close collaboration with Toronto colleagues in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA), the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) and the Centre for Planetary Sciences (CPS).

Dunlap Fellows are expected to conduct a program of original research either independently or in collaboration with others at the University, and will be offered professional development and mentoring across a range of areas relevant to a scientific career. Candidates will be selected on the basis of potential for innovative research in instrumentation, software, or observations, and on their ability to further the goals and activities of the Dunlap Institute. Fellows have access to laboratories, computing clusters and fabrication facilities, and can propose for additional internal support for their experimental or computational plans. Dunlap Fellows are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Institute’s outreach and training initiatives. The range of activities and opportunities in research, outreach and training can be seen in the annual reports on the Dunlap Institute’s web site.

The Dunlap Institute, DAA, CITA and CPS together host over 130 staff and students in astronomy, who conduct a diverse research program across instrumentation, observation, computation and theory. The Dunlap Institute is located on a beautiful 19th century campus in the heart of one of the world’s great cities. Rated as having one of the highest standards of living in the world, Toronto offers a huge range of indoor and outdoor pursuits, outstanding food and music, and a vibrant and diverse cultural community.

The Dunlap Institute is committed to an inclusive and flexible workplace. We encourage applications from qualified applicants of all sexual orientations and gender expressions, members of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and potential two-body hires. Subject to immigration regulations, successful candidates will be given the option to take up their Fellowships as part-time appointments (such a request need not be made as part of a candidate’s initial application and will not be disclosed to the selection committee).

Appointments are initially for three years, with a subsequent possibility of extension for one further year subject to outstanding performance in public outreach and education activities. Dunlap Fellowships include an annual salary of CAD $69000 plus generous benefits, a research allowance of CAD $18000 per year, relocation assistance, and the opportunity to request additional research funds from the Dunlap Institute.

The approximate expected starting date is September 1, 2018. Applicants must have earned a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related field at the time of appointment. Only applicants with a PhD awarded on or after January 1, 2013, will be considered, except in the case of career interruption or other extenuating circumstances.

All application materials must be submitted online by November 1, 2017. Applicants should submit a 300-word anomymised summary of their proposed research program via the online form; plus (in a single file in PDF format) a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a publication list, and a 3-page detailed description of their proposed research program. Applicants should also ask three referees to send letters directly to the Dunlap Institute via email to by November 1, 2017.

The normal hours of work are 40 hours per week for a full-time postdoctoral fellow (pro-rated for those holding a partial appointment) recognizing that the needs of the employee’s research and training and the needs of the supervisor’s research program may require flexibility in the performance of the employee’s duties and hours of work. Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement. This job is posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

To apply online, please go to