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Rekrutacja Uzupełniająca 2020/2021

Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center

invites applications for astronomy and astrophysics PhD studies and related fellowship competitions

 

The Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (CAMK PAN), a leading institute of the GeoPlanet Doctoral School, offers the opportunity to carry out graduate studies leading to a PhD degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The PhD studies are related to subjects pursued at the Copernicus Center including observational and theoretical astrophysics as well as cosmology. Our senior scientists participate in the H.E.S.S., CTA, and VIRGO/LIGO projects and are involved in instrumental projects concerning the astronomical satellites INTEGRAL, SPICA and ATHENA. The Copernicus Center represents the Polish astronomical community in the SALT consortium which operates an 11-m optical telescope in South Africa. The Center's scientists are leading participants in the Polish scientific satellite project, BRITE, dedicated to precise stellar brightness measurements, and in the project ARAUCARIA, dedicated to the calibration of the cosmological distance scale. They also operate SOLARIS – a network of southern hemisphere small robotic telescopes committed to stellar astronomy and the search for exoplanets.


Studies last 4 years and begin on October 1, 2020. During the 4 year period, students are required to take specific courses, lectures (including interdisciplinary lectures) and participate in seminars, as well as prepare the doctoral thesis. All seminars and lectures are in English. The regulations of the doctoral school, including the program of the Studies, are posted on the Copernicus Center web page https://www.camk.edu.pl/en/phd/.


An attachment to this announcement contains an information about the proposed research topics and supervisors. Candidates can apply for
up to three topics, but should clearly indicate the preferred one (either in the cover letter or in the motivation letter). For each project, a separate ranking list will be created. Before applying, candidates should contact their potential supervisors to obtain more details on the proposals.


Students in the doctoral school receive a scholarship for the period of 4 years. The minimum amount of scholarship as set in the Law on higher education and science is 2370 PLN/month, gross, before the mid-term evaluation (years 1–2) and 3650 PLN/month, gross, after the positive mid-term evaluation (years 3–4).
The announced projects are related to research grants funded by the Polish National Science Center (NCN) or by the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) and a higher scholarship is available. Details are given in the description of each project. Recruitment for the doctoral school is accompanied by a scholarship competition, according to the specific rules of the project.

Candidates should provide their complete application documents including:

  1. The application for admission to the doctoral school, according to the template available on the CAMK PAN website together with GDPR statement (https://www.camk.edu.pl/en/phd/recruitment/);

  2. Additional GDPR statement, related to scholarship competition, following the template available at https://www.camk.edu.pl/en/about/ochrona-danych-osobowych/ (“NCN GDPR Documents” for projects with NCN funding and “Project Astrocent documents” for projects with FNP funding);

  3. A copy of their Master/University and Bachelor degree diplomas. In case Master degree diploma is not yet available, it must be provided before the candidate is admitted to the school;

  4. A transcript of grades (Bachelor and Master Courses);

  5. A Curriculum Vitae including an education and employment record, list of publications, information on involvement in scientific activities – membership in scientific groups/societies, participation in scientific conferences, internships and training, awards and distinctions;

  6. A letter of motivation containing a short description of the candidate's interests and scientific achievements, and justification of the intention to undertake education at the Doctoral School;

  7. English language certificate(s), if available.


In addition, at least one recommendation letter should be sent directly
by the referee to: phdstudies@camk.edu.pl, before the application deadline. In the case that the Master’s thesis is ready, it can be attached to the application.


All documents should be in the PDF format, including scans. Applications should be addressed to the Center’s Director and should be sent by e-mail to phdstudies@camk.edu.pl, by July 3rd, 2020.

The Recruitment Board will select candidates for the interview, which will take place in
July, 13 – 24th, 2020 (10 am – 3 pm). Decisions about admission will be made at the end of July, 2020 and all the candidates will be notified by e-mail. For additional information contact the coordinator of the doctoral school, Dr. Radosław Smolec (smolec@camk.edu.pl) or the Center’s secretary office (Ms. Katarzyna Morawska, kasia@camk.edu.pl).

 

 Warsaw, June 2nd, 2020

 

 

 

Attachment: Proposed topics of PhD theses:

 

 

 

Subject: Measuring infrasound fields influence on GW detectors

 

Supervisor: Prof. Tomasz Bulik (bulik@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Dr Mariusz Suchenek (msuchenek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The VIRGO detector is a part of the gravitational wave detection network that includes LIGO and KAGRA. It has been involved in the breakthrough detections of gravitational waves from inspiralling compact object binaries. The project is part of the effort to improve the VIRGO sensitivity at low frequency.


The project aims at the construction of an infra-sound sensor working in the frequency range below 10 Hz. The sensor will be the basis for construction of a system to monitor the infra-sound field inside buildings in real time. The second part of the project is the construction of data acquisition system allowing to measure infra-sound from a network of 10-20 sensors and off-line analysis of infra-sound sources. The candidate is expected to have master degree in engineering, physics or astronomy at the starting date.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Design and testing of a new magnetic seismic sensor

 

Supervisor: Prof. Tomasz Bulik (bulik@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Dr Mariusz Suchenek (msuchenek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The VIRGO detector is a part of the gravitational wave detection network that includes LIGO and KAGRA. It has been involved in the breakthrough detections of gravitational waves from inspiralling compact object binaries. The project is part of the effort to improve the VIRGO sensitivity at low frequency.


Construction and optimization of the seismic sensor working on the basis of magnetic compensation of a suspended test mass. The goal is to construct a sensor that will measure the mechanical vibration through the voltage required to maintain the suspended mass at rest. The project involves designing hardware construction as well as software for the hardware and software. The candidate is expected to have master degree in engineering, physics or astronomy at the starting date.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

 

Subject: Object recognition in the seismic signals

 

Supervisor: Prof. Tomasz Bulik (bulik@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Dr Mariusz Suchenek (msuchenek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The VIRGO detector is a part of the gravitational wave detection network that includes LIGO and KAGRA. It has been involved in the breakthrough detections of gravitational waves from inspiralling compact object binaries. The project is part of the effort to improve the VIRGO sensitivity at low frequency.


The goal of the project is to design hardware and software for the seismic signal analysis. The sensors should be configured in an array which will be able to record signal synchronous to other sensor nodes. The main part of the work is related to the development of algorithms to recognize objects in the seismic signal. For this purpose, pattern recognition algorithms should be used. The candidate is expected to have master degree in engineering, physics or astronomy at the starting date.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Development of a seismic sensor for the IoT system

 

Supervisor: Prof. Tomasz Bulik (bulik@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Dr Mariusz Suchenek (msuchenek@camk.edu.pl)

 


The VIRGO detector is a part of the gravitational wave detection network that includes LIGO and KAGRA. It has been involved in the breakthrough detections of gravitational waves from inspiralling compact object binaries. The project is part of the effort to improve the VIRGO sensitivity at low frequency and working on commercial  applications of the resutls of these studies.


The project aims at the construction of a wireless seismic sensor node that will allow working in IoT system. The node should reduce the amount of data being transferred to only those essential to recognize objects. The candidate is expected to have master degree in engineering, physics or astronomy at the starting date.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Development of methods and algorithms for filtering  signals from optical detectors

 

Supervisor: Prof. Tomasz Bulik (bulik@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Dr Mariusz Suchenek (msuchenek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The purpose of the work is to develop a filter that allows increasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal from the optical detector. Knowing the shape of the response signal from the optical detector and the analog front end of the optical system, it is possible to design a matched filter to the response of the optical detector that will improve the signal from the detector. The candidate is expected to have master degree in engineering, physics or astronomy at the starting date.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Automatic methods for quantum neural networks design

 

Supervisors: Dr hab. Piotr Gawron (CAMK PAN, contact: gawron@camk.edu.pl), Dr hab. Michał Bejger (contact: bejger@camk.edu.pl)

Development of the Near Intermediate Scale Quantum computers and many successes of machine learning led to emergence of a new field of quantum machine learning. Recently various concepts of quantum neural networks were proposed, one idea is to employ shallow variational quantum circuits to perform supervised classification. It was already shown that simple classification tasks can be efficiently performed using such shallow quantum circuits. Unfortunately little is known about architecture design of such quantum neural networks, how to mix quantum and classical nodes in such networks, and how to adapt neural networks architectures to the existing quantum computers topologies.


A successful student will work on a selection of the above problems. The goal of this work is to bring quantum neural networks closer to applications. This goal can be reached by applying various analytical and simulation methods. In particular it is interesting to study how reinforcement learning could be applied for designing quantum neural networks architectures. Quantum noise and methods of dealing with it have to be taken into account and studied.

Usability of the implementations obtained during the theoretical part of the study will be investigated on the data collected by the currently-operating gravitational-wave detectors, LIGO and Virgo, as well simulated data of planned future detectors, such as the Einstein Telescope. Specifically, the methods of quantum machine learning will be applied to automatize and speed-up the tasks of detection, classification and parameter estimation of astrophysical signals and detector artifacts in the incoming era of routine gravitational-wave detections.

A potential candidate should have background in computer science, physics or mathematics. She or he should be able to perform analytical calculations, numerical simulations and write programs using machine learning libraries.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Simulations of bright and stable black hole accretion disks

 

Supervisor: Prof. Włodek Kluźniak (contact: wlodek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The successful candidate will be admitted to the PhD program at Copernicus Astronomical Center to work under the supervision of Prof. Wlodek Kluzniak on  computing the structure and properties of stable, luminous, black hole accretion disks through global 3-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations in general relativity, with the inclusion of radiation. The project is relevant to observations of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), as well as black holes in X-ray binaries.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with teams in institutions such as Harvard University in the USA and the Silesian University in the Czech Republic.

The successful candidate will have a record of scholastic achievement in physics or mathematics, some experience with software and  must be capable numerically. The candidate must be willing to travel abroad for collaborative visits.

The PhD student will be receiving a stipend for 48 months, starting at 5000 PLN per month (and growing to 6000PLN/month in the final year), the project being financed by the National Center for Science through an ongoing grant to the PhD advisor, Prof. Wlodek Kluźniak.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition under the aegis of the National Science Center PRELUDIUM BIS project number 2019/35/O/ST9/03965, "Symulacje jasnych i stabilnych dysków akrecyjnych wokół czarnych dziur," Professor Włodzimierz Kluźniak, PI.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: From transitional pulsars to ULXs, radiation, jets and winds in neutron stars

 

Supervisor: Prof. Włodek Kluźniak (contact: wlodek@camk.edu.pl)

 

The student will perform theoretical investigations of neutron stars in X-ray binaries (such as transitional pulsars, atoll and Z sources, ULXs) by performing numerical simulations of accretion onto magnetized neutron stars at various mass transfer rates, using PLUTO, KORAL, or similar codes.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the National Science Center OPUS project, number 2019/33/B/ST9/01564, entitled "From transitional pulsars to ULXs,radiation, jets and winds in neutron stars", Professor Włodzimierz Kluźniak, PI. Scholarship in the total amount of 5000 PLN/month, gross, is available for 30 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Novae with evolved donors

 

Supervisor: Prof. Joanna Mikołajewska (contact: mikolaj@camk.edu.pl)

 

The proposed research is related to the OPUS grant “Life cycles of novae with evolved donors” led by prof. Joanna Mikołajewska and funded by the Polish National Science Centre. The scholarship is available for graduate students with a BSc degree and PhD students in astronomy or astrophysics, fluent in English, with good knowledge of IRAF, especially spectroscopy-dedicated packages, and Virtual Observatory tools. A basic knowledge of numerical methods and programming will be also appreciated.  Any questions concerning the project should be sent to mikolaj@camk.edu.pl.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the National Science Center OPUS project, number 2017/27/B/ST9/01940, entitled "Life cycles of novae with evolved donors", Professor Joanna Mikołajewska, PI. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 12 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 



Subject:  Massive eclipsing binaries as a perfect laboratory measuring cosmic distances and studying stellar evolution

 
Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Pietrzyński (contact: pietrzyn@camk.edu.pl)

Co-Supervisor: Dr Bogumił Pilecki (contact: pilecki@camk.edu.pl)

 
Applications are invited for one PhD position and accompanied scholarship at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (NCAC), in Warsaw, Poland, in the field of extragalactic distance scale. The successful applicant will work with Prof. Grzegorz Pietrzyński on the project “Massive eclipsing binaries as a perfect laboratory measuring cosmic distances and studying stellar evolution” funded by the National Science Centre. The work will include the analysis of high-resolution spectra, optical and near infrared photometry with the aim to measure precise and accurate distances to Galactic and extragalactic objects. Since the team operate a dedicated observatory located at Cerro Armazones (on the same place where E-ELT is building) experience in instrumentation and dedication to observations will be an advantage. The project may also include modeling of the observed eclipsing binary systems and a mass analysis of data. A knowledge of a modern programming language (e.g. Python) and other computer skills will be an asset.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the National Science Center Beethoven Classic project, number 2018/31/G/ST9/03050, entitled "Massive eclipsing binaries as a perfect laboratory measuring cosmic distances and studying stellar evolution", Professors Grzegorz Pietrzyński and Rolf Chini, PIs. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 3 years.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 

Subject: Development of novel wavelength shifters for future dark matter detectors

 

Supervisor: Prof. Leszek Roszkowski (CAMK PAN)
Co-supervisor: Dr Marcin Kuźniak (CAMK PAN, contact: mkuzniak@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Prof. Cristiano Galbiati (Princeton and GSSI, Italy)

 

Liquid argon based dark matter detectors currently taking data (DEAP-3600) or planned (DarkSide-20k, Argo) have a significant potential to discover Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) and will reach the ultimate sensitivity accessible to such searches. In such detectors, wavelength shifter (WLS) materials are used to convert argon scintillation light (at 128 nm) to visible wavelengths, which can be efficiently detected by standard sensors. This project involves comparative study of the most commonly used WLS and its novel alternatives, and selecting the best candidate tailored for specific application in the planned experiments, which would lead to extending their physics reach. Another aspect of this study is the compatibility of such new materials with silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) used by DarkSide-20k, quantifying their impact on the sensitivity of future experiments, and optimizing the light collection with Monte Carlo simulations.
The scope of this work includes R&D shared with collaborating institutions in Poland, Germany, Italy and Canada, and participation in development and installation of SiPM and WLS for the DarkSide-20k veto at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (Italy).
The position is available for up to four years. The candidate is expected to have master degree in physics or astronomy at the starting date.
Note: This project is optionally available as a dual PhD program with Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), leading to two PhD degrees (one in Poland and one in Italy); the successful candidate must satisfy PhD requirements of both CAMK PAN and GSSI. It will possibly involve extended visits to GSSI and Carleton University (Canada).

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 


Subject: Measurement of nuclear recoils in liquid argon for dark matter searches

 

Supervisor: Prof. Leszek Roszkowski (CAMK PAN)
Co-supervisor: Dr Masayuki Wada (CAMK PAN, contact: masayuki@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Prof. Cristiano Galbiati (Princeton and GSSI, Italy)

 

Today, dark matter represents the first evidence for new physics beyond the Standard Model, which is extremely successful to explain all observed phenomena in experimental particle physics, including the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. Currently, DarkSide, a liquid argon-based direct dark matter search experiment, has world-leading sensitivity for light dark matter candidates. The detailed characterization of liquid argon response to nuclear recoils (possible signals from dark matter particles) at low energy is essential to extend the sensitivity to lighter dark matter particles.

This project involves research on different aspects of the liquid-argon Time Projection Chamber (TPC) including designing and building of TPC, handling cryogenic system, simulating detector response using GEANT4, data acquisition, and analysis to draw physics results. Within this project, the obtained results will be used to re-analyze available data from DarkSide-50 experiment, which could lead to the world-best results for light dark matter search.

Note: This project is optionally available as a dual PhD program with Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), leading to two PhD degrees (one in Poland and one in Italy); the successful candidate must satisfy PhD requirements of both CAMK PAN and GSSI. Long-term visits to GSSI will optionally be funded.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 



Subject: Development of ultra-radiopure photodetector and light guides for dark matter direct search and neutrinoless double beta decay experiment

 

Supervisor: Prof. Leszek Roszkowski (Astrocent, CAMK PAN)
Co-supervisor: Dr Masayuki Wada (Astrocent, CAMK PAN, contact: masayuki@camk.edu.pl)
Co-supervisor: Prof. Cristiano Galbiati (Princeton and GSSI, Italy)

 

In rare event search experiments, such as dark matter searches and neutrinoless double beta decay searches, background event rates have to be suppressed below expected signal rates. In order to reach ultimate sensitivities for those searches, background contributions from detector components need to be suppressed. In this project, we focus on the photodetectors (silicon-based photodetector modules and light guides), which is a leading background contributor in both dark matter and neutrinoless double beta decay searches.

This project involves research on different aspects of the photodetector in cryogenic temperature including searching for radiopure components for the photo-detector and light guide, assaying materials, handling cryogenic systems, and optimization of coupling between the photodetector and the light guide. This project also aims to design a photodetector module and to estimate sensitivities for future experiments.

Note: This project is optionally available as a dual PhD program with Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), leading to two PhD degrees (one in Poland and one in Italy); the successful candidate must satisfy PhD requirements of both CAMK PAN and GSSI. Long-term visits to GSSI will optionally be funded.

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the Foundation for Polish Science AstroCeNT project. Scholarship in the total amount of 4500 PLN/month, gross, is available for 33 months.

 

Location: Warsaw

 

 

 


Subject: Chemical enrichment of the distinct Galactic stellar populations

 

Supervisor: Dr hab. Rodolfo Smiljanic (contact: rsmiljanic@camk.edu.pl, http://users.camk.edu.pl/rsmiljanic)

 

Two PhD positions are offered to perform large-scale observational studies in the field of Galactic archaeology. The positions are financed within the Sonata Bis project “Playing CHESS with stars” funded by the Polish National Science Center.
 
Understanding the processes of formation and evolution of the Milky Way is one fundamental goal of modern astrophysics. An essential part of this goal is decoding the details of how the chemical composition of the Milky Way material evolved from the primordial composition (made essentially of hydrogen and helium) to its current level of enrichment.

To contribute in this field, the proposed PhD projects will focus on the determination of multi-elemental stellar chemical abundances of unprecedented quality from high-resolution spectra for a sample of more than 10 000 F-, G-, or K-type stars. The results will be used to study the history of chemical enrichment in the different stellar populations, separating the timescales of each distinct nucleosynthetic process.

One PhD project will focus on the analysis of metal-poor stars while the other will focus on metal-rich stars. Within the projects, the students will help in the development of a new and innovative system for the large scale analysis of stellar spectroscopic data. The "CHEmical Survey analysis System" (CHESS) will combine machine learning ideas with the traditional radiative transfer modeling of stellar spectra. This innovative tool will enable the extraction of complete, precise, and accurate chemical abundances from large samples of stellar spectra.

We seek resourceful, curiosity-driven candidates with strong programming skills. Fluent English is essential. Previous experience with modern statistical methods, machine learning, software engineering, or stellar astrophysics will be an asset.    

 

Funding: This offer is accompanied by a scholarship competition from the National Science Center Sonata BIS project, number 2019/34/E/ST9/00133, entitled "Playing CHESS with stars: decoding the Galactic chemical enrichment history with stellar chemical abundances", dr hab. Rodolfo Smiljanic, PI. Scholarship in the total amount of 5000 PLN/month, gross, is available for 4 years.

 

Location: Warsaw

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