Reference : UMR5299-FREPIR-001
Workplace : MONTPELLIER
Date of publication : Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 November 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : between 2700 and 3800 monthly gross, according to work experience
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : 1 to 4 years
The post-doctoral fellow will contribute to the scientific exploitation of the SVOM multi-wavelength observatory [1,2]. He/she will work under the supervision of Frédéric Piron within the EMAC team (Experiences and Modeling for Astroparticle physics and Cosmology) at LUPM (Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier) [3,4].
SVOM is a Chinese-French project dedicated to the study of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) and to the search for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave (GW) sources. It will be an important player in multi-messenger astrophysics, a provider of alerts and a versatile observatory for the transient sky monitoring. The launch of the satellite is scheduled in mid-2023, for a nominal operation of three years. The post-doctoral fellow will join the project several months before launch to help prepare the scientific operations, and major results are expected immediately after the launch. In particular, this period will overlap with the O4 observing run of the LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA GW detectors.
Since 2015, LUPM has been involved in the preparation of the SVOM GRB analyses with the ECLAIRs (4-150 keV) and GRM (0.05-5 MeV) onboard instruments. The ECLAIRs coded-mask telescope will monitor the sky to detect and localize precisely transient sources in real time. The GRM is a wide field of view monitor which will extend the spectroscopy to the MeV range. Together, ECLAIRs and GRM will detect about 100 GRBs per year as well as GW sources, with spectroscopic performances at least similar as those of Fermi-GBM , provided that the instrumental responses are properly inter-calibrated. In partnership with the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, LUPM is in charge of the software suite and pipelines of the French Science Center (FSC, hosted at the IN2P3 computing center) that will produce all the high-level scientific products of these instruments after each GRB alert (light curves, emission durations, broad-band spectra, fluxes, energetics, spectral lags, etc).
Before the launch of the SVOM satellite, the post-doctoral fellow will contribute to the final technical developments (software and pipelines) and to the preparation of the scientific analyses. During the commissioning phase, he/she will contribute to the inter-calibration of ECLAIRs and GRM and to the optimization of the analysis tools. More importantly, he/she will participate in the scientific operations and in the exploitation of the mission, with the analysis and interpretation of the first observations of high-energy transient sources.
- Contribution to the preparation of the scientific exploitation (before launch): validation and optimization of the software and pipelines for the analysis of GRBs with ECLAIRs and GRM.
- Contribution to the inter-calibration of ECLAIRs and GRM (during and after the commissioning phase): calculation of response corrections in different orbital configurations, in particular by measuring the spectrum of known bright sources around 100 keV.
- Contributions to science operations:
* Instrument Scientist shifts for the ECLAIRs-GRM system: improvement of the pipeline automatic results for each alert, and diffusion to the worldwide GRB community (VOEvent, GCN).
* SVOM Burst Advocate shifts: validation of alerts, optimization of multi-wavelength follow-up observations, supervision of real-time analyses at FSC (pipelines and instrument scientists), point of contact for the worldwide GRB community (GCN).
- Participation in the analyses and publications of the first high-energy transient events (GRBs, GW sources).
- Multi-wavelength study of the most interesting events by combining the ECLAIRs-GRM system with other SVOM instruments (from near IR / visible to X-rays); integration of data from other observatories (e.g. Fermi, Swift) in case of a joint detection.
- Contribution to the physical interpretation: application of GRB emission models by multi-wavelength fitting of SVOM, Swift, Fermi, H.E.S.S. data, etc.
Desired experience: less than 4 years after the thesis.
The post-doctoral fellow should have a strong background in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. The following skills will be required or considered advantageous:
- Required: excellent Python programming skills.
- Desirable: expertise in statistical analysis of GRB high-energy gamma-ray data (keV/MeV and/or GeV) and mastery of standard techniques and software in the field (XSPEC, 3ML, Fermi tools, etc).
- Modeling skills for the interpretation of GRB observations (prompt emission, afterglow) will be considered as a plus.
LUPM is a laboratory of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics (IN2P3), one of the ten institutes of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which coordinates research activities in these fields at the French national level. LUPM is a joint research unit (UMR5299) between the CNRS/IN2P3 and the University of Montpellier. It includes about sixty researchers, faculty staff, engineers, technicians, administrative staff, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Organized in three main teams, its research topics cover stellar astrophysics, cosmology, particle and astroparticle physics, and high-energy astrophysics. The EMAC team (Experiments and Modeling for Astroparticle physics and Cosmology), which includes about 20 researchers, is specialized in the study of galactic sources (supernova remnants, pulsar wind nebulae, massive star clusters) and transient sources (gamma-ray bursts, supernovae). It is involved in the international collaborations Fermi, H.E.S.S., CTA, LSST and SVOM.
Constraints and risks
Short trips will be planned to France and China for SVOM consortium meetings.
Applicants shoud hold a PhD in astronomy, high-energy astrophysics, or equivalent, since less than 4 years. The post-doctoral position will start early November, 2022, for a duration of two years.
The application must be submitted through the CNRS job portal. It will include a cover letter explaining the interest in the job, a detailed resume describing the personal research experience, and a list of publications. Letters of recommandation must be sent directly to Frédéric Piron (piron_at_in2p3.fr), as well as any complementary questions on the position.
 Wei, J., Cordier, B. et al. (SVOM consortium), The Deep and Transient Universe: New Challenges and Opportunities - Scientific prospects of the SVOM mission (2016), arXiv:astro-ph/1610.06892.
 Bernardini, M. G., Xie, F., Sizun, P., Piron, F. et al., Scientific prospects for spectroscopy of the gamma-ray burst prompt emission with SVOM, Experimental Astronomy 44, 113 (2017).
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