2016 Grants for Summer Interns iREx

The institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), recently created at Université de Montréal, brings together professors, researchers and students specialized in the detection and characterization of exoplanets and low-mass objects, young stars and protoplanetary disks. They are engaged in a variety of observational, theoretical and instrumental projects. More details on the scientific program of iREx are available on http://www.exoplanetes.umontreal.ca/?lang=en.

The institute is offering excellence grants at all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD and postdoctoral). At this time, iREx is calling for applications to Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns. The summer internships last 4 months (May-August). They are a unique occasion for students at the BSc level to join iREx’s dynamic team and get involved in cutting-edge research in astrophysics. Interns will be able to participate actively to breakthrough scientific programs related to exoplanets and related thematic issues.  The researchers who are available to supervise interns this summer are the following professors: Nick Cowan (NC), Andrew Cumming (AC), René Doyon (RD), David Lafrenière (DL), Pierre Bastien (PB), and the researchers Étienne Artigau (EA), Loic Albert (LA) and Julien Rameau (JR). Internships in the following topics are offered:

1 – The NIRISS Optical Simulator (NOS) – Acquisition and analysis of infrared images obtained in the laboratory (LA and JR);
2 – Space Telescopes in Service of Exoplanets: constructing and testing high-fidelity detector models to enable atmospheric characterization (NC)
3 – A search for distant planets in archival SPITZER images (EA and JR);
4- Data analysis related to brown dwarfs and exoplanets companions of young stars (EA, DL, JR);
5- Algorithms development to search for young stars (DL, RD, JR);
6- Age determination of the candidate target stars of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) (RD);
7- Data simulations for the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), related to the study of exoplanets using transit spectroscopy and direct imaging (LA, EA, RD, DL);
8- Development in the laboratory of an optical simulator for NIRISS, one of the instruments of JWST, related to the study of exoplanets using transit spectroscopy. (LA, EA, RD);
9- Numerical simulations for the performance of SPIRou, a  infrared spectropolarimeter dedicated to the research of terrestrial exoplanets via high-precision radial velocity (EA, RD);
10 – Observations and analysis of data obtained with POMM, the new high-precision polarimeter at Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM), for the plausible targets of GPI survey (PB).

The interns could also participate to one or more observing missions at OMM during the summer. The 3,000$ Trottier Excellence Grant for Summer interns can be combined with NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) for a total amount of 7,500$. For non-bursary students, professors will complete iREx’s Trottier Excellence Grant to provide a total amount of 6,000$ for the internship. All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in physics or astrophysics in a Canadian university are eligible to apply. The internship will take place at Université de Montréal. Four Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer interns will be attributed in 2016.

Interested candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, an academic transcript and a short statement of interest (a few paragraphs at most) in which they explain their motivation to obtain the internship, and their preferred thematic. The applications must be submitted by email at irex@astro.umontreal.ca before January 12th, 2016. The successful candidates will be contacted by the end of January.

Bourses 2016 pour stagiaires d’été iREx

L’Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes (iREx), récemment créé à l’Université de Montréal, regroupe des professeurs, chercheurs et étudiants spécialisés dans la recherche et l’étude des exoplanètes, les corps de faible masse, les étoiles jeunes et les disques proto-planétaires. Les chercheurs de l’iREx sont activement engagés dans une variété de projets scientifiques observationnels, théoriques et instrumentaux. Plus de détails sur la programmation scientifique de l’iREx sont disponibles sur http://www.exoplanetes.umontreal.ca/.

L’iREx offre des bourses d’excellence à tous les niveaux (BSc, MSc, PhD et postdoctoral). Plus particulièrement, l’iREx ouvre dès maintenant un concours pour des bourses de niveau BSc pour les stages d’été.D’une durée de quatre mois (mai-août), ces stages constituent une excellente occasion pour les étudiants de se joindre à une équipe dynamique et de s’initier à la recherche de pointe en astrophysique en participant activement à des programmes scientifiques d’avant-garde liés aux exoplanètes et autres thématiques connexes. Les chercheurs disponibles pour superviser des stagiaires cet été sont les professeurs Nick Cowan (NC) René Doyon (RD), David Lafrenière (DL), Pierre Bastien (PB), Andrew Cumming (AC) et les chercheurs Étienne Artigau (EA), Loic Albert (LA) et Julien Rameau (JuR). Des stages dans les thématiques suivantes sont offerts :

1 – The NIRISS Optical Simulator (NOS) – Le simulateur en laboratoire de l’instrument NIRISS (NOS) : acquisition et analyse d’image de transit d’exoplanète grâce à NOS (LA);
2 – Recherche de planètes distantes dans les archives du satellite SPITZER (EA, JuR);
3 – Les télescopes spatiaux au service de exoplanètes: construire et tester des modèles de détecteurs de haute fidélité permettant la caractérisation atmosphérique des exoplanètes (NC);
4 – Analyse de données liées à la recherche de naines brunes et exoplanètes autour d’étoiles jeunes (EA, DL, JuR);
5 – Développement d’algorithmes liés à la recherche d’étoiles jeunes (DL, RD, JuR);
6 – Détermination de l’âge des étoiles candidates du relevé Gemini Planet Imager (RD);
7- Simulations de données du futur télescope spatial James Webb liées à l’étude des exoplanètes par spectroscopie de transit et par imagerie directe (LA, EA, RD, DL);
8- Développement d’un simulateur optique de l’instrument NIRISS du JWST en laboratoire lié à l’étude des exoplanètes par spectroscopie de transit (LA, EA, RD);
9- Simulations numériques des performances de SPIRou, un spectropolarimètre infrarouge de haute précision dédié à la recherche de planètes terrestres par vélocimétrie de haute précision (EA, RD);
10- Observations et analyse de données avec POMM, le nouveau polarimètre de haute précision de l’Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM). Cibles : étoiles candidates du relevé Gemini Planet Imager (PB)

Les stagiaires pourraient aussi participer à une ou plusieurs missions d’observations à l’OMM durant l’été. La bourse, au montant de 3 000 $, peut être cumulée avec celle du CRSNG (BPRC) pour un montant total de 7 500 $. Pour les étudiants non boursiers du CRSNG, les professeurs s’engagent à compléter la bourse iREx pour un montant total de 6 000 $. Tout étudiant inscrit dans une université canadienne dans un programme menant à l’obtention d’un diplôme de baccalauréat en physique ou en astronomie est éligible aux bourses. Le stage doit avoir lieu à l’Université de Montréal. Pour l’été 2016, quatre bourses d’excellence Trottier de niveau BSc seront attribuées.

Les candidats intéressés sont invités à soumettre un curriculum vitae, un relevé de notes ainsi qu’une courte lettre de présentation (au plus quelques paragraphes) expliquant leurs motivations à obtenir ce stage et leurs préférences parmi les thématiques proposées pour les stages. Les dossiers doivent être soumis électroniquement à l’adresse suivante : irex@astro.umontreal.ca au plus tard le 12 février 2016. Les résultats seront communiqués vers la fin du mois de janvier.

Observatory Software Engineer

Prof. Stanimir Metchev at the University of Western Ontario Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration invites applications for an observatory software engineer.  The successful applicant will be expected to aid with the installation and automation of a robotic array of small-aperture telescopes equipped with rapid-imaging cameras. Depending on interest and qualifications, additional opportunities for collaborations with Metchev’s team exist in the fields of
exoplanets, brown dwarfs, or circumstellar debris disks.

Candidates must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent in Computer Science, Physics, Astronomy, Applied Mathematics, or a related field.  Strong computer programming expertise is required. Background in systems automation, data management, or image analysis would be advantageous.  The start date is flexible, but preferably no later than April 1, 2016.

Required Skills:
– experience with Linux and Windows Operating Systems
– experience with TCP/IP communication
– experience writing software interfaces to hardware devices
(e.g., temperature controllers, CCD devices, etc.)
– experience with a scripting language (python, Perl) is a plus
– experience with XML is a plus
– ability to learn new software languages / systems quickly

Candidates should submit a resume, a brief statement of experience and interests, and the names and contacts of three references directly to Prof. Metchev.  The position is open until filled. For full consideration, complete applications should be received by February 1, 2016.

For more information, please contact Prof. Metchev (smetchev@uwo.ca).

Postdoc in substellar/exoplanetary and/or time-domain astronomy

Prof. Stanimir Metchev at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) Centre
for Planetary and Space Exploration (CPSX) invites applications for a
Postdoctoral Fellow in the fields of substellar objects, exoplanetary
systems, and/or time-domain astronomy.  The successful applicant will
lead aspects of an on-going Exploration Science program with the Spitzer
Space Telescope on the variability and atmospheric properties of brown
dwarfs. Depending on interest, opportunities also exist for the design
and automation of a robotic telescope array for time-domain astronomy.
The candidate will be expected to actively pursue additional
ground-based observations in support of one or both of the above
programs.

Metchev leads the Weather on Other Worlds international collaboration,
and is a member of the GPI Exoplanet Survey and the CFHT/SPIRou Planet
Search Legacy Survey teams.  Other research at UWO CPSX spans the fields
of planetary science, astrophysics, and astrobiology.  Collaborative
opportunities exist with members of these teams and disciplines. UWO has
access to all Canadian national telescopes, including Gemini, the CHFT,
ALMA, and a slew of 1-2 metre-class telescopes.  Metchev’s team also
regularly uses other facilities, including Hubble, Magellan, NOAO
telescopes, NASA/IRTF, and McDonald Observatory.

Candidates must have a doctoral degree in Astronomy or a related field.
Background in precision photometry, spectroscopy, or time series
analysis would be advantageous.  The start date is flexible, but
preferably no later than April 1, 2016.

Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, a brief statement of
research experience and interests, and the names and contacts of three
references directly to Prof. Metchev.  The position is open until
filled. For full consideration, complete applications should be received
by February 1, 2016.

Postdoc in substellar/exoplanetary and/or time-domain astronomy

Prof. Stanimir Metchev at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) Centre
for Planetary and Space Exploration (CPSX) invites applications for a
Postdoctoral Fellow in the fields of substellar objects, exoplanetary
systems, and/or time-domain astronomy.  The successful applicant will
lead aspects of an on-going Exploration Science program with the Spitzer
Space Telescope on the variability and atmospheric properties of brown
dwarfs. Depending on interest, opportunities also exist for the design
and automation of a robotic telescope array for time-domain astronomy.
The candidate will be expected to actively pursue additional
ground-based observations in support of one or both of the above
programs.

Metchev leads the Weather on Other Worlds international collaboration,
and is a member of the GPI Exoplanet Survey and the CFHT/SPIRou Planet
Search Legacy Survey teams.  Other research at UWO CPSX spans the fields
of planetary science, astrophysics, and astrobiology.  Collaborative
opportunities exist with members of these teams and disciplines. UWO has
access to all Canadian national telescopes, including Gemini, the CHFT,
ALMA, and a slew of 1-2 metre-class telescopes.  Metchev’s team also
regularly uses other facilities, including Hubble, Magellan, NOAO
telescopes, NASA/IRTF, and McDonald Observatory.

Candidates must have a doctoral degree in Astronomy or a related field.
Background in precision photometry, spectroscopy, or time series
analysis would be advantageous.  The start date is flexible, but
preferably no later than April 1, 2016.

Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, a brief statement of
research experience and interests, and the names and contacts of three
references directly to Prof. Metchev.  The position is open until
filled. For full consideration, complete applications should be received
by February 1, 2016.