Reference : UMR9012-SOPHEB-033
Workplace : ORSAY
Date of publication : Monday, August 1, 2022
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 November 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2743€ grossly month
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : Indifferent
Gravitational waves (GWs) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are powerful tools to observe
and study extreme astrophysical phenomena in the universe, like the coalescence of
neutron stars and the collapse of stellar cores. The simultaneous observation of a GW
and a GRB from the same phenomenon allows us to maximise the amount of
information we can obtain from it. So far, only one such joint observation has been
possible: the GW and GRB signals GW170817 and GRB 170817A, produced by the
coalescence of two neutron stars and observed by the LIGO and Virgo GW detectors
and the Fermi and INTEGRAL satellites. Despite the unprecedented amount of science
that has been carried out with that single event, much remains to be understood about
neutron stars. Their coalescences, and the associated signals, are powerful ways to do
The LIGO and Virgo interferometers will carry out a new observational campaign in
2023, “O4”, with unprecedented sensitivity, and will likely discover a few GW signals
produced by the coalescence of neutron stars. At the same time, the Fermi and Swift
satellites will continue to monitor the gamma-ray sky for GRBs. It is likely that these
observations will be joined by a new GW detector, KAGRA, and by a new satellite
carrying gamma-ray instruments, SVOM. These new instruments will have to be
properly utilised to expand the observational capabilities of the observing network and
maximise our chance of making new joint GW-GRB observations of neutron star
The postdoctoral researcher will join IJCLab's GW group under the supervision of T. Dal
Canton and N. Leroy, with the goal of developing data analysis methods for SVOM's
gamma-ray instruments and performing joint analyses of data from LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA,
the GBM instrument on Fermi and the GRM and ECLAIRS instruments on SVOM.
The fellow will be in charge of the following activities:
● Ensuring that the existing infrastructure for the rapid and automatic detection of
coincident GW and GRB events can be applied to GRBs reported by SVOM.
● Develop methods to analyse SVOM data on the ground, enabling the detection of
the weakest GRBs which cannot be detected onboard.
● Perform a joint analysis of 2023 data from LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA, Fermi and
SVOM, with the goal of discovering neutron star mergers via their GW and GRB
● Contribute to the characterization and astrophysical interpretation of any such
● Present the methods and results of the above activities in journals and talks.
These activities are interdisciplinary, as they involve various aspects of astrophysics,
statistics, and scientific computing.
The candidate should have a recent research experience related to the analysis of GW
data, gamma-ray data, or both, including publications in relevant peer-reviewed
journals. Previous work with astrostatistics, scientific programming in Python, Unix
environments and the LaTeX typesetting language is highly recommended. The
candidate should be fluent in English and should have demonstrated a good team work
spirit within international collaboration.
Desired work experience: less than 2 years after PhD
The project will be carried out at the « Laboratoire de Physique des 2 infinis Irène
Joliot-Curie » (IJCLab), which is a mixed research unit (UMR) of the CNRS (IN2P3), the
University of Paris-Saclay, and the University of Paris. It is located 20 km south of Paris
on the Orsay campus and is easily accessible by public transport (RER) within 35
minutes from the centre of Paris. IJCLab was created in 2020 from the merger of five
laboratories (CSNSM, IMNC, IPN, LAL, and LPT). It has about 220 permanent and 200
non-permanent scientists, including 120 doctoral students, and 340 engineers,
technicians and administrative staff. The research fields of the laboratory are nuclear
physics, high energy physics, theoretical physics, astroparticles, astrophysics and
cosmology, particle accelerators, energy and environment, and health physics.
The GW group of the IJCLab currently hosts 8 researchers or teacher-researchers and
3 PhD students. The topics covered by the group range from the analysis of
LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA data, the development of new experimental techniques for GW
detectors, the follow-up of GW alerts in the electromagnetic spectrum and the detection
of GRBs with SVOM.
The researcher will have the opportunity to join the Virgo collaboration in order to have
rapid access to the recently-acquired GW data, and will collaborate with scientists from
the Fermi, Swift and SVOM missions.
Constraints and risks
Short periods of travel within France and abroad should be expected.
The candidate should submit a covering letter and CV without any break in date
showing diplomas, titles and work and professional experience.
Applications will be considered until 1 September 2022.
As IJCLab is subject to ZRR (Zone à Régime Restrictif) military regulation, hiring
choices must be approved by the Haut Fonctionnaire Securité Défense (HFSD).
Therefore, the date of employment written above should be understood as provisional,
and may need to be delayed.
We talk about it on Twitter!