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PhD Position in Astrophysics of AGNs

Applications are invited for two Ph.D. scholarship positions in astrophysics at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (NCAC) of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland.

One is for two years, the other for three years.  Both scholarships are connected with the NCN-BEETHOVEN CLASSIC research grant, titled "eROSITA’s Window into the X-ray-Transient Sky: AGN Accretion in the Era of Big Data" (2018/31/G/ST9/03224), and financed by the Polish National Science Centre and led by Dr Alex Markowitz. This grant is a bilateral effort in partnership with the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and with Prof Dr Joern Wilms at Remeis Observatory/ECAP/FAU, Germany, and Dr Mirko Krumpe at AIP, Germany.

The starting date is 1/1/2020 (non-negotiable).


We will use all-sky X-ray monitoring data from the newly-launched eROSITA telescope aboard Spectrum X/Gamma to identify new changing-state and changing-obscuration events in AGN.  We will initiate multi-wavelength campaigns for selected events, including X-ray followup and optical spectroscopic observations, on accretion ignition/depletion events to monitor how the accretion disk, BLR, and X-ray corona evolve.  We will also perform X-ray studies on cloud eclipse events to determine the distribution and physical origin of circumnuclear matter and constrain clumpy-torus models.


The successful candidates will participate in identification of new extreme accretion/occulation events, participate in X-ray followup observations, perform X-ray spectral reduction, participate in obtaining, reducing, and analyzing ground-based photometry and spectorscopy, and perform SED modeling.


One position is for two years, and concentrates on circumnuclear matter and clumpy-torus model cosntraints. The other position is for three years, and concentrates more on the extreme-accretion events.


The scholarships are intended for prospective Ph.D. students at NCAC. Candidates should hold (or expect to obtain before the start of the position) a university degree (master or equivalent) in the field of astrophysics, astronomy, or physics.


Additional MINIMUM qualifications include: prior experience in modeling Seyfert corona/disk emission, familiarity with observing at ground-based optical facilities and reducing optical photometric data, familiarity with X-ray data reduction and spectral fitting of AGN e.g., with XSPEC or ISIS, prior experience in modeling stochastic (red noise) variability processes in AGNs, familiarity with timing analysis statistics methods commonly used to study AGN, and programming in S-Lang, Fortran, Python, and R (or any equivalent).


Candidates should submit an application including a CV, a copy of the master's diploma including the list of course grades, as well as information on research experience (participation in research projects, publications, awards, etc) and research interests, a scan of signed GDPD form - available from: (NCN DGPD documents). They should also include at least one recommendation letter.


Applications should be sent in PDF format at: recruitment(at) before December 18, 2019, 11:59 CEST.



Any questions about the competition can be sent to: almarkowitz(at)


This competition is independent from the recruitment for Ph.D. studies at NCAC (