Un contrato predoctoral BiD4BEST 2020 / One Predoctoral contract BiD4BEST 2020 (PS-2020-006)

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The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC, Tenerife, Spain) invites applications for one PhD pre-doctoral contract within the framework of the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action “Big Data applications for Black hole Evolution STudies” (BiD4BEST - H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019) led by Prof. Francesco Sharkar. This Innovative Training Network (ITN) will provide doctoral training to a core group of young researchers in one of the most fascinating and crucial open questions in Astrophysics, the formation of supermassive black holes and their impact on the evolution of galaxies. The ITN includes leading experts in the field of AGN/galaxy co-evolution with strong and highly cited publication records and extensive experience in the supervision of young researchers at various career stages. All academic participants have leading and/or influencing roles in large collaborative research programmes related to specific observational data (e.g. J-PAS, COSMOS, NuSTAR, the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS - GTC), simulations (e.g. EAGLE) or space missions (e.g. eROSITA, Athena).

The selected candidate will develop her/his PhD thesis at the IAC having Dr. Cristina Ramos Almeida (PI of the IAC research group “Activity phenomena in galaxies”) as advisor. The mentors at other institutions participating in this particular project within the ITN will be M. Brusa (UNIBO, Italy), J. Schaye (UL, The Netherlands), N. Fanidakis (BASF, Germany) and M. Karouzos (Springer Nature, UK). All the PhD students hired as part of this ITN are expected to attend the workshops organised at the network-wide level.

Research topics at the IAC cover most fields of astrophysics, including solar physics, exoplanets and solar system, stars and interstellar medium, formation and evolution of galaxias, and cosmology and astroparticle physics. These fields are supported by an ambitious instrumentation programme. In 2015, the IAC was granted by the Spanish Government the status of Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence for research; it is the second time that this prestigious honour has been awarded to the IAC as a leading Spanish research centre. For further information on the IAC's research programme, observatories, and the GTC 10.4m telescope consult the IAC's website (http://research.iac.es). The appointed candidate will benefit from the research environment at the IAC, which hosts one of the largest and most active Extragalactic groups in Europe. The group covers theory, observations and instrumental development.

The IAC welcomes and supports the Recommendation of the European Commission 2005/251/EC of March 11, 2005 on “The European Charter for Researchers” and “The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” adopted by the European Commission. Both documents are nowadays key elements of the European Union policy for making research an attractive career and stimulating economic growth and employment in Europe. During 2017, IAC has made a deep analysis about the "HR Strategy for Researchers" (HRS4R) fostered by the European Commission and its possible implementation at the IAC. HRS4R is a mechanism to support the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C). The outcome of that process is a GAP-Analysis and Action Plan for 2018-2019. After this process, the IAC has been awarded the "HR Excellence in Research" logo and recognition by the European Commission. We are now in the Implementation Phase of the Action Plan.

This call takes into account the principle of equal treatment between men and women in terms of access to employment, in accordance with article 14 of the Spanish Constitution, Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22 and Resolution of November 26, 2015, of the Secretary of State for Public Administrations, by which the Agreement of the Council of Ministers of November 20, 2015 is published, approving the II Plan for Equality between women and men in the General State Administration and its public bodies.

Topic: This PhD research project aims at investigating AGN feedback and the role that plays on galaxy evolution. The recruited student will perform a multi-phase characterisation of quasar-driven outflows on different spatial scales using X-ray/optical/infrared spectroscopy and integral field observations from state-of-the-art European facilities available to the network (XMM-Newton, VLT/MUSE & KMOS, GTC/EMIR & FRIDA). Using these data the student will quantify the impact of the multi-phase outflows on the host galaxies by exploring the spatial distribution of star formation and also performing a comparison with zoom-in simulations with AGN feedback. 

Qualification requirements: To be considered, applicants must have a degree in Physics or Mathematics. The degree must satisfy the admission requirements of the University of La Laguna (ULL) to the PhD Programme in astrophysics, in which the selected student must register. Applicants must have met these requirements by March 31, 2020. The ULL requirements are satisfied by applicants with an MSc, as well as by those students with an Undergraduate Degree who have already obtained at least 300 credits (ETCs) of which at least 60 credits should correspond to an MSc Degree (other ways to fulfil the ULL requirements are possible; see the ULL website for details). The undergraduate or MSc degree required to register in the ULL PhD Programme must have been obtained after January 31, 2017.

Mobility requirements: To be considered, applicants are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. The researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start of the contract. In addition, the candidates should not have more than four years of research experience.

Duration: The starting date can be June 1, 2020, although the exact date can be negotiated. The duration of the contract will be three years, subject to annual revisions.

Remuneration: Pre-doctoral yearly contract (up to three years) has a totoal cost of 44,634.96 Euros including mobility and family allowance, so the monthly salary for the selected candidate will be 2.844,70 € if the candidate has a dependant family, and 2.457,70 € if he/she has not a dependant family.

Research travel funds: The contract includes all the travel expenses needed for the successful development of the PhD thesis (meetings, workshops, observations, collaborations, etc.).

Relocation allowance: : This call includes a relocation allowance (for the selected candidate only) comprising: the cost of the flight ticket (booked and issued by the IAC), temporary accommodation for up to two weeks (organized by the IAC) and per diem expenses for up to two weeks, and cannot exceed the amount of 2,500 Euros.

Non-UE citizens: If you are citizen of a country not belonging to the European Union, you can apply for this position, but if selected, you will not be allowed to sign the contract with the IAC until you obtain the compulsory documentation required to live and work in Spain (NIE card). 

How to apply: use the online application system, http://www.iac.es/ensenanza/solicitudes, including the required information and documents. Alternatively, follow the instructions in the official announcement (only in Spanish).

The required documentation must be submitted using the online application system and received by the application deadline: March 31, 2020, 23:59h (Canarian Local Time, same as London).

Applicants must go to: http://www.iac.es/ensenanza/solicitudes, and:

1.- Attach a pdf file with the following documents:

a) Application Form (Annex III) completed and signed (applications not including this form will be automatically excluded)

b) Photocopy of your passport

c) Photocopy of the University Degree

d) Academic Certificate containing:

  • Official Stamp.
  • Date when studies were complete
  • List of subjects studied during the whole Degree programme
  • Marks and dates obtained

The qualification obtained in each subject should be presented on a scale of 0-10. If your University uses a different scale, then convert your qualification to this scale in each of the subjects studied and indicate the method applied.

In the case of certificates issued by non-Spanish institutions, the candidates must specify the maximum and minimum qualifications within the corresponding evaluation system and what mark corresponds to the minimum pass grade.

If the certificate is issued in a language other than Spanish or English, it must be accompanied by its translation into either of these languages.

e) Curriculum vitae, in which the applicant includes all the previous fellowships, the corresponding results, grants and recognized merits.

f) Photocopy of certificate of B1 level in English language (or declaration of English speaker), as detailed in the Common European Frame of Reference (CEFR).

g) Documents and certificates proving the merits listed in Annex I and which the applicant wants to have taken into consideration. Any fellowship, contract, course, seminar, conference or merit listed must be supported by an appropriate document in order to be evaluated by the members of the selection committee.

h) Annex V signed by the applicant (stating that de degree obtained by the applicant gives access to the doctorate programme of the University of La Laguna)

i) Declaration that the applicant has not been contractually linked with the IAC in the past nor enrolled in an equivalent organisation under the kind of contracts listed in Annex V of this call for applications.

j) Photocopy of valid passport (if not a Spanish citizen).

k) Certificate of disability (if applicable).

l) Certificate of dependent child/children under 6 years; 2.3.2 b (if applicable).

2.- Add in detail to the on-line application form any information required and up to three Referee contact information

Once you have submitted all the information related to your academic qualifications on-line, it is NOT necessary to submit it also by post or present it personally at the IAC General Register Office.

Late applications or those, which do not include the mandatory application form (Annex I), will not be considered for admission.  Incomplete applications will have a period of five (5) days, starting from the day after publication of the provisional list of accepted and excluded candidates, to provide the missing documentation.


The selection process consists of two phases: merit assessment and interview.

1.- First phase: MERIT ASSESSMENT

The Selection Panel will verify and rate the merits documented by the applicants. The maximum score that can be awarded in this phase is 80 points, calculated as the sum of the scores obtained in each of the following sections.

a)  Accredited academic degree (degree, master, etc.)

The academic record of the candidate will be assessed, up to a maximum of 60 points, especially taking into account:

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate subjects of the degree or qualifications relevant to the contracts offered.
  • Number of academic courses and calls invested in obtaining the degree. Those interruptions duly justified will be taken into account by the Committee so that they are not penalized.
  • Number of credits passed.

b)  Scholarships and Specialization

Up to a maximum of 10 points, the scholarships obtained in competitive calls, associated with the performance of a job or activity of initiation to the research activity, as well as the skills in techniques or specialties related to the contract, acquired outside the degrees already valued in section 1, and participation in research projects or other equivalent merits

c)  Publications

In this section, publications in specialized journals and the contribution to publications and comparable works are valued up to a maximum of 10 points.

2.- Second phase: INTERVIEW (maximum score 20 points)

  • Candidates who have obtained at least 30 points in the first phase will be invited to an interview. The interview may be given in either Spanish or English (as chosen by the candidate) and take place either in person at the IAC headquarters or using internet communication software (Zoom) that allows voice and image transmission.
  • During the interview, the candidate will present, for a maximum of 10 minutes, his/her vision about the suitability of his/her profile to the position and the planned activity if awarded the contract. The presentation may be followed by questions by the Selection Committee.

Of the maximum 20 points to be awarded:

  • Up to 10 points correspond to the suitability of the candidate’s profile to the position
  • Up to 10 points correspond to the candidate's vision for their future activity within the project.

To pass the second phase a minimum score of 10 points will be necessary.

To pass the selective process, a minimum of 50 points must be reached. If there is a draw in the score of two or more candidates, priorities will be set according to the Equality Plan of the IAC.

Contact: For scientific inquiries, please contact Dr. Cristina Ramos Almeida (cra [at] iac.es (cra at iac.es)). Any other information can be directed to secens at iac.es

Selection committee