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Three research assistant positions in the field of extragalactic distance scale


Applications are invited for 3 research assistant positions  (equivalent to a PhD position) at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CAMK PAN), in Warsaw, Poland, in the field of cosmic distances and extragalactic distance scale.


Successful candidates will work with prof. Grzegorz Pietrzynski on the near-infrared photometry and high resolution spectroscopy of distance indicators. The project will aim on improvement of calibration  of several distance indicators and applying them to measure precise and accurate distances to nearby galaxies. The new distances will allow to improve the determination of the Hubble constant and verify the Hubble constant tension often claimed in the literature. Successful applicants will work as members of the Araucaria Group (https://araucaria.camk.edu.pl/) planning and executing observations (including those at Cerro Armazones Observatory), reducing and analyzing the obtained photometric data.


Successful applicants are expected to develop software necessary to achieve the project goals, as well as to regularly present and publish their work results. Experience in observations, analysis of observational data, modern statistical methods and high-level programming languages knowledge (Python preferred) will be considered as assets.



The positions will be funded from the European Research Council Synergy grant, agreement no 951549  “Sub-percent calibration of the extragalactic distance scale in the era of big surveys” - UniverScale.  The persons employed will constitute members of the international Araucaria Group (https://araucaria.camk.edu.pl/) with guaranteed access to many telescopes.  Observing expeditions and extended research visits to our partner institutions in Chile, France and Germany will be possible.  Furthermore, CAMK PAN operates a collection of small telescopes located at Cerro Armazones Observatory in Chile, just in front of the construction place of the E-ELT. Exceptional weather conditions make this observatory an excellent tool for implementing research projects. CAMK PAN plans to significantly expand this observatory by building 4 new telescopes (0.6 – 2.5 m), from which the biggest one, the 2.5 m telescope is planned to be constructed within the framework of the UniverScale project. Therefore successful candidates with observing / instrumental skills would find an excellent environment for their scientific development.


CAMK PAN is the leading astrophysical institute in Poland, hosting about 50 staff researchers and 30 PhD students. CAMK PAN scientists participate in many international projects. The research lines in CAMK, possibilities to develop career for young researchers, and life at the institute are presented in three movies available here.


CAMK PAN is an equal-opportunity employer and supports equal opportunities and diversity in its personnel policy.

Successful applicants will be offered an employment contract with excellent salary and working conditions. The employment contract embraces social security, public medical care and participation in national pension scheme as well as access to non-public medical care and sports activities co-financed by the employer. They can also profit from the relocation costs reimbursement scheme according to CAMK PAN internal rules.

Successful applicants who are not citizens of a member country of the European Union must keep in mind that, prior to signing the contract, they must obtain a residence and work permit or visa (according to rules established between Poland and the country of the applicant origin).


Position and requirements description

Three research assistant positions are offered for 1 year each with a possibility of extension.  The preferred starting date for the positions is May 1st  , 2022, but it is to some extent negotiable.  

Number of available positions: 3

Time and form of engagement: 1 year with a possibility of extension, employment contract.

Place of employment: CAMK PAN, Warsaw, Poland


Requirements to be met by candidates include the following:

1)      master degree in physics or astronomy;

2)      proven publication record;

3)      experience in working in the field of pulsating stars/binary stars and stellar astrophysics;

4)      very good programing skills;

5)      good command of English to enable efficient communication with the team and preparation of scientific reports and publications;

6)      additional assets: enthusiasm for work, independence, high personal culture, ability to work in a team.


The selection criteria include (equally weighted):

1)      qualifications;

2)      professional experience (including informally acquired experience);

3)      mobility related to scientific and organizational experience.


Applying candidates should submit the following documents (in pdf format):

1)      a copy of the Master degree diploma;

2)      a scientific curriculum vitae detailing research, teaching (if applicable) and organisational activities and a list of publications including the most important ones;

3)      scan of printed and signed information clause  available here (PDF format);

4)      other documents proving the fulfilment of the competition criteria;

5)      short statement of research achievements and scientific plans including the PhD thesis subject.


The above mentioned documents  should be submitted by e-mail with a subject “UniverScale Research assistant position 3” to recruitment@camk.edu.pl  by April 5th , 2022, 23:00 CET as the latest.

Questions about the position can be sent to: prof. Grzegorz Pietrzynski pietrzyn@camk.edu.pl (PI of the project) and/or Ksenia Kempa  kkempa@camk.edu.pl the coordinator of the project.


The selection of candidates will be executed by a 3-member selection committee in accordance with the “Resolution of the Scientific Council of the Copernicus Astronomical Centre of the Polish Science Academy (CAMK PAN) on establishing the regulations for the competition for positions of scientific employees at CAMK PAN”. Shortlisted candidates can expect an invitation for a zoom interview.


The review of applications will begin soon after the deadline and continue until the position is filled.

Complaints on the competition results shall be presented by e-mail to recruitment@camk.edu.pl within 2 days after receiving the information on the outcomes of the recruitment process and they will be taken up by the selection committee right after this deadline.