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Post-doctoral position in astrophysics of Cepheids

Applications are invited for one postdoctoral position at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Science Academy (CAMK PAN), in Warsaw, Poland, to study the astrophysics of Cepheids through the novel analysis of Cepheids in binary stars.


A successful applicant will work with Dr. Bogumił Pilecki on the project “Understanding Cepheids: physical and empirical basis for our main tool for distance determination in the Universe”. The position will be funded from a Polish National Science Center (NCN) SONATA BIS research grant (UMO-2020/38/E/ST9/00486). This position is offered for up to 2.5 years (1 year basic contract + possible extension).


Classical Cepheids are successfully being used to measure distances in the Universe for over a century and are essential for the determination of the Hubble constant, but our understanding of their physical properties and evolution is still very limited. At the same time the measurement precision of 1% or less is necessary to solve the most pressing problems in astrophysics (e.g. the Hubble tension).


Our knowledge of Cepheid astrophysics has started to improve only recently with the first precise measurements of the masses and radii obtained by our group from the analysis of Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems. However, only a few such measurements are available now, and there are still many open problems to be solved. We want to improve our understanding of these important stars through a detailed investigation of about 60 newly discovered Cepheids in spectroscopic binary systems and Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems. This will consist of measurements of their physical and atmospheric properties (some of them for the first time), and the study of their multiplicity and binary interactions. Photometric observations will be performed in our dedicated observatory located at Cerro Armazones in Chile (now being expanded with 4 new telescopes in the 0.8–2.5m range), while for the spectroscopic observations the best world-class telescopes (Magellan, VLT, etc.) and instruments will be utilized. For the analysis, we will use modern tools and novel methods that were never applied before. The project will be performed within the Araucaria group in a large international collaboration (Chile, France, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Austria, Italy). The group consists of about 15 astronomers in CAMK PAN and about 20 in other countries.


Depending on skills and preference the selected candidate will work on the whole scope of the project or on specific topics related to either Cepheids or their host binary systems. He/she will participate in observations and observational (new and archival) data analysis, and is expected to regularly present and publish the results, as well as to write applications for observing time. Development of new software will be an important part of the project. The selected candidate will have the possibility to work, among others, on spectral analysis (including SED fitting and metallicity determination), modeling of selected Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems, modeling of pulsation properties of Cepheids, and on evolutionary models of Cepheids and their companions. Related personal projects will also be welcome.

Information about this and other related projects on Cepheids in binary systems can be found at


The starting date for the position is negotiable and can be as early as August 2023. The salary of the successful candidate will be competitive to that of Polish researchers at the same career stage, exceeding PLN 8000 gross per month. Generous funding for travel and excellent working environment is also secured.

At the moment of employment, candidates are expected to have a valid Ph.D. degree in astronomy/astrophysics obtained not earlier than 7 years before the date of starting the employment (career breaks such as for maternity/paternity leave can be taken into account).


The selection criteria include:

  1. the candidate's research achievements including publications in prestigious academic press /journals (50% of the final score);
  2. research-related achievements, scholarships, awards and research experience gained in Poland or abroad, research workshops and training courses, participation in research projects (20% of the final score);
  3. the candidate’s competence to carry out specific tasks in the research project (30% of the final score).


Applications should be sent by e-mail with the subject “Post-doc competition in astrophysics of Cepheids” to and they must include (in PDF format):

  1. Copy of the PhD diploma or a binding statement of its date of completion
  2. a CV including the list of publications:
  3. Short statement of research achievements and plans (maximum 2 pages)
  4. a scan of the signed GDPR form (NCN GDPR document available at

Additionally, at least one letter of recommendation should be arranged to be sent directly by the recommending person to the same email address.


Questions about the position can be sent to:

For full consideration, applications should be received by 31 May 2023. The review of the applications will begin soon after this date and short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews.