Archive for Astrophysics

Final Reminder – Professorial Position in Observational Astrophysics or Cosmology at Maynooth!

Posted in Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on July 1, 2022 by telescoper

With just a few days to go to the deadline (3rd July), I thought I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Maynooth University has a Chair (i.e. Full Professor) position in Astrophysics or Cosmology under the Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). I blogged about this scheme here and announced this Chair position originally here.

You can find the full announcement of the competition for all the SALI positions here; you can apply for the position at Maynooth here. The position is now also advertised on the AAS Jobs Register here.

As I said, the deadline for applications is 3rd July 2022, and the provisional start date is January 2023 (although this is flexible). As well as a good salary (starting at €124,683 at current rates, rising by annual increments to €157,611) the position comes with membership of the Irish public service pension scheme, a defined benefit scheme (comparable to the older version of the UK’s USS which has now been scrapped).

The key rationale for these SALI positions is clear from the statement from Simon Harris, the Minister responsible for Third Level education in Ireland:

“Championing equality and diversity is one of the key goals of my department. The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) is an important initiative aimed at advancing gender equality and the representation of women at the highest levels in our higher education institutions.

We have a particular problem with gender balance among the staff in Physics in Maynooth, especially in Theoretical Physics where all the permanent staff are male, and the lack of role models has a clear effect on our ability to encourage more female students to study with us.

The wider strategic case for this Chair revolves around broader developments in the area of astrophysics and cosmology at Maynooth. Currently there are two groups active in research in these areas, one in the Department of Experimental Physics (which is largely focussed on astronomical instrumentation) and the other, in the Department of Theoretical Physics, which is theoretical and computational. We want to promote closer collaboration between these research strands. The idea with the new position is that the holder will nucleate and lead a new research programme in the area between these existing groups as well as getting involved in outreach and public engagement.

It is intended that the position to appeal not only to people undertaking observational programmes using ground-based facilities (e.g. those provided by ESO, which Ireland recently joined), or those exploiting data from space-based experiments, as well as people working on multi-messenger astrophysics, gravitational waves, and so on.

Exciting as this position is in itself, it is part of wider developments and we are expecting to advertise further job opportunities in physics and astronomy very soon! I’d be happy to be contacted by any eligible person wishing to discuss this position (or indeed the general situation in Maynooth) on an informal basis.

Professorial Position in Observational Astrophysics or Cosmology at Maynooth!

Posted in Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on May 30, 2022 by telescoper

With about a month to go to the deadline, I thought I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Maynooth University has a Chair (i.e. Full Professor) position in Astrophysics or Cosmology under the Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). I blogged about this scheme here and announced this Chair position originally here.

You can find the full announcement of the competition for all the SALI positions here; you can apply for the position at Maynooth here. The position is now also advertised on the AAS Jobs Register here.

The deadline for applications is in July 2022, and the provisional start date is January 2023 (although this is flexible). As well as a good salary (starting at €124,683 at current rates, rising by annual increments to €157,611) the position comes with membership of the Irish public service pension scheme, a defined benefit scheme (comparable to the older version of the UK’s USS which has now been scrapped).

The key rationale for these SALI positions is clear from the statement from Simon Harris, the Minister responsible for Third Level education in Ireland:

“Championing equality and diversity is one of the key goals of my department. The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) is an important initiative aimed at advancing gender equality and the representation of women at the highest levels in our higher education institutions.

We have a particular problem with gender balance among the staff in Physics in Maynooth, especially in Theoretical Physics where all the permanent staff are male, and the lack of role models has a clear effect on our ability to encourage more female students to study with us.

The wider strategic case for this Chair revolves around broader developments in the area of astrophysics and cosmology at Maynooth. Currently there are two groups active in research in these areas, one in the Department of Experimental Physics (which is largely focussed on astronomical instrumentation) and the other, in the Department of Theoretical Physics, which is theoretical and computational. We want to promote closer collaboration between these research strands. The idea with the new position is that the holder will nucleate and lead a new research programme in the area between these existing groups as well as getting involved in outreach and public engagement.

It is intended that the position to appeal not only to people undertaking observational programmes using ground-based facilities (e.g. those provided by ESO, which Ireland recently joined), or those exploiting data from space-based experiments, as well as people working on multi-messenger astrophysics, gravitational waves, and so on.

Exciting as this position is in itself, it is part of wider developments and we are expecting to advertise further job opportunities in physics and astronomy very soon! I’d be happy to be contacted by any eligible person wishing to discuss this position (or indeed the general situation in Maynooth) on an informal basis.

New Professorial Position in Astrophysics or Cosmology at Maynooth!

Posted in Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on March 31, 2022 by telescoper

You may recall that back in November 2021 we received word that Maynooth University had been awarded one of ten new senior professorial positions under the Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). I blogged about this scheme here. The position we have been awarded is a Chair (Full Professorship) in Observational Astrophysics or Cosmology; you can find Maynooth University’s official response to the original announcement here.

The wheels have turned fairly slowly since the announcement but today at last the applications opened for the new Chairs, including the one in Maynooth. You can find the full announcement of the competition for all the positions here; you can apply for the position at Maynooth here. I think the advertisement will appear on a number of the standard job platforms (such as the Times Higher) too, although this is all being managed centrally. The deadline is in July 2022, and the provisional start date is January 2023 (although this is flexible).

Update: you can find an advertisement for the position on the Times Higher website here. A more complete advertisement can be found here.

The key rationale for these SALI positions is clear from the statement from Simon Harris, the Minister responsible for Third Level education in Ireland:

“Championing equality and diversity is one of the key goals of my department. The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) is an important initiative aimed at advancing gender equality and the representation of women at the highest levels in our higher education institutions.

We have a particular problem with gender balance among the staff in Physics in Maynooth, especially in Theoretical Physics where all the permanent staff are male, and the lack of role models has a clear effect on our ability to encourage more female students to study with us.

The wider strategic case for this Chair revolves around broader developments in the area of astrophysics and cosmology at Maynooth. Currently there are two groups active in research in these areas, one in the Department of Experimental Physics (which is largely focussed on astronomical instrumentation) and the other, in the Department of Theoretical Physics, which is theoretical and computational. We want to promote closer collaboration between these research strands. The idea with the new position is that the holder will nucleate and lead a new research programme in the area between these existing groups as well as getting involved in outreach and public engagement.

It is intended that the position to appeal not only to people undertaking observational programmes using ground-based facilities (e.g. those provided by ESO, which Ireland recently joined), or those exploiting data from space-based experiments, as well as people working on multi-messenger astrophysics, gravitational waves, and so on.

Exciting as this position is in itself, it is part of wider developments and we are expecting to advertise further job opportunities in physics and astronomy very soon! I’d be happy to be contacted by any eligible person wishing to discuss this position (or indeed the general situation in Maynooth) on an informal basis.

P. S. For those of you reading this from outside Ireland the job includes a public service pension, a defined benefit scheme way better than the UK’s USS.

Great News for Astrophysics & Cosmology at Maynooth!

Posted in Education, Maynooth, Science Politics, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on November 29, 2021 by telescoper

I couldn’t resist a quick post in reaction to the announcement by the Irish Government of ten new senior professorial positions under the Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). I blogged about this scheme here. Among the positions just announced is a new Chair in Observational Astrophysics or Cosmology at Maynooth University. You can find Maynooth University’s official response to the announcement here.

The pandemic has played havoc with my sense of the passage of time so I had to check my documents folder to see when we completed the application. It turns out to have been January this year; the deadline was 29th January 2021. It has taken much longer than expected to for the outcome of this, the second, round to emerge but I suppose it’s better late than never!

The key rationale for these SALI positions is clear from the statement from Simon Harris, the Minister responsible for Third Level education in Ireland:

“Championing equality and diversity is one of the key goals of my department. The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) is an important initiative aimed at advancing gender equality and the representation of women at the highest levels in our higher education institutions.

We have a particular problem with gender balance among the staff in Physics in Maynooth, especially un Theoretical Physics where all the permanent staff are male, and the lack of role models has a clear effect on our ability to encourage more female students to study with us.

The wider strategic case for this Chair revolves around broader developments in the area of astrophysics and cosmology at Maynooth. Currently there are two groups active in research in these areas, one in the Department of Experimental Physics (which is largely focussed on astronomical instrumentation) and the other, in the Department of Theoretical Physics, which is theoretical and computational. We want to promote closer collaboration between these research strands. The idea with the new position is that the holder will nucleate and lead a new research programme in the area between these existing groups as well as getting involved in outreach and public engagement.

The next step will be to launch a recruitment campaign, and more details will be available when the position is formally advertised. Let me just say for now that we intend the position to appeal not only to people who have their own observational programmes (e.g. using facilities provided by ESO, which Ireland recently joined) but also working on data from space missions, multi-messenger astrophysics, gravitational waves, and so on.

A Free Online Course in Cosmology from SISSA

Posted in Education, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on November 25, 2021 by telescoper

The nice people at the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (known to its friends as SISSA for short) have made available a free online course in cosmology. You can get all of it on Youtube.

The course comprises 16 professionally edited video-lectures delivered by lecturers of the SISSA Astrophysical and Cosmology and Astroparticle PhD Programs and some of their collaborators. I know some of the participants personally, including Paulo Salucci (who introduces the course though I haven’t met him in person for ages so it was nice to see him on camera.

Cosmology is a big subject, of course, and a short-ish course can’t cover everything so there is an emphasis on the research topics covered by SISSA scientists. I haven’t watched all the videos but those I have seen are pretty good. There are actually 17 videos in the playlist below but that includes a very short prelude to introduce the series. The others are between about 25 and 45 minutes in length so you probably don’t want to watch them all in one sitting!

Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass – The Video!

Posted in Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff, YouTube with tags , , , on November 15, 2021 by telescoper

As promised here is the video recording of the Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass we held by Zoom last Friday.

That Was The Masterclass That Was

Posted in Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on November 12, 2021 by telescoper

This morning we did the Astrophysics and Cosmology Masterclass advertised here. I think it went quite well. Apparently we had over sixty schools registered – at least one in every County – about a 1,000 schoolkids altogether. Certainly there were lots and lots of questions, which is a good sign!

Here is a screen grab of part of the event. I didn’t realize my camera was a bit wonky!

In case anyone is interested here are the slides I used for my part of the talk:

I’ll post a recording of the whole event when it becomes available. Here is the recording of the workshop:

I had to leave before the end to go to a vector calculus lecture that was interrupted by the arrival of the Power Rangers, but that’s a different story…

Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass at Maynooth!

Posted in Biographical, Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on November 4, 2021 by telescoper

Regular readers of the blog – both of them – may remember that, after a couple of postponements due to Covid-19, we presented a Masterclass in Astrophysics & Cosmology in Maynooth on March 25th 2021. Well, owing to popular demand, we’ve decided to do a re-run of the event on Friday 12th November 2021 ahead of the forthcoming CAO cycle. That’s a week tomorrow!

This will be a half-day virtual event via Zoom. It’s meant for school students in their 5th or 6th year of the Irish system. There might be a few of them or their teachers who see this blog so I thought I’d share the news here. You can find more information, including instructions on how to book a place, here.

Here is the updated official poster and the programme:

I’ll be talking about cosmology early on, while John Regan will talk about black holes. After the coffee break one of our PhD students will talk about why they wanted to study astrophysics. Then I’ll say something about our degree programmes for those students who might be interested in studying astrophysics and/or cosmology as part of a science course. We’ll finish with questions either about the science or the study!

I’m told that with a week still to go we already have over 750 science students based in schools from An Daingean to Arranmore Island, from Monaghan to Mayo and many counties in-between. Fortunately it is online so no travelling is involved. Unfortunately the participants don’t get to see the wonderful campus so here’s a gratuitous picture!

(And at 12 noon I don’t turn into a pumpkin but do have to run off to give a lecture on vector calculus..)

Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass at Maynooth!

Posted in Biographical, Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on September 28, 2021 by telescoper

Regular readers of the blog – both of them – may remember that, after a couple of postponements due to Covid-19,  we presented a Masterclass in Astrophysics & Cosmology in Maynooth on March 25th 2021. Well, owing to popular demand we’ve decided to do a re-run of the event on Friday 12th November 2021 ahead of next year’s CAO cycle.

This will be a half-day virtual event via Zoom. It’s meant for school students in their 5th or 6th year of the Irish system. There might be a few of them or their teachers who see this blog so I thought I’d share the news here. You can find more information, including instructions on how to book a place, here.

Here is the updated official poster and the programme:

I’ll be talking about cosmology early on, while John Regan will talk about black holes. After the coffee break one of our PhD students will talk about why they wanted to study astrophysics. Then I’ll say something about our degree programmes for those students who might be interested in studying astrophysics and/or cosmology as part of a science course. We’ll finish with questions either about the science or the study!

(And at 12 noon I don’t turn into a pumpkin but do have to run off to give a lecture on vector calculus..)

That was the Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass that was

Posted in Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on March 25, 2021 by telescoper

I’m a bit late getting round to writing something on the blog today because it has been yet another hectic day. Between my usual lecture this morning and Computational Physics Laboratory session this afternoon we also had our long-awaited Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass (held via Zoom).

This event had been delayed twice because of Covid-19 so we were glad that it went ahead today at last!

We were a little nervous about how well it would go but as it happened I think it was a success. We had approaching a hundred schools tuning in, from Wicklow to Tralee, Longford to Monaghan, Donegal to Cork and many places between. The level of engagement was excellent. We held a question-and-answer session but were a little nervous in advance about whether we would actually get any questions. As it turned out we got a lot of questions with some very good ones among them. Reaction from students and teachers was very good.

For those who couldn’t make it to this morning’s session we did record the presentations and I’ll make the video available via YouTube in due course.

Now, I’ve been Zooming and Teaming (with a bit of Panopto thrown in) all day so if you don’t mind I’ll now go and vegetate.