LSST Postdoctoral Fellowship Position

The Astronomy group at UWC ( based in Cape Town, South Africa, is internationally recognised for its research in cosmology with MeerKAT, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO), the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) and other radio and optical/IR telescopes.

In 2021, the UWC Astro Group consists of 25 PhD/ MSc students, 13 postdoctoral fellows and 9 faculty: Ed Elson, Lerothodi Leeuw, Michelle Lochner, Roy Maartens, Siya Matshawule, Carolina Odman, Mario Santos, Russ Taylor and Mattia Vaccari. Visiting faculty include Romeel Davé (University of Edinburgh), Matt Jarvis (Oxford University), David Bacon (University of Portsmouth), Stefano Camera (University of Turin), Phil Bull, Chris Clarkson and Alkistis Pourtsidou (Queen Mary University of London). The Astro group is closely linked to IDIA (Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy) at UWC: see

The project:

We are seeking an outstanding individual to join this vibrant group as a postdoctoral fellow, with a focus on LSST, working with Dr. Michelle Lochner. Dr. Lochner has a broad range of research interests, particularly focused on developing novel machine learning and statistical methods for astronomy and cosmology. Dr. Lochner is a South African LSST PI and an active member of the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC), which the successful candidate will have the opportunity to join (as well as other science collaborations if desired). The research interests of Dr. Lochner’s group include: anomaly detection in large datasets with machine learning, optimising LSST observing strategy, machine learning for transient classification and statistical methods for multiwavelength cosmology and extragalactic astronomy (particularly combining MeerKAT/SKA and LSST).

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other members of the group and participate in group activities. They will also have the opportunity to gain supervising and teaching experience, and contribute to our active outreach programmes, should they wish.

The salary is competitive and tax free. Additional funding is available for equipment and travel. The position is for 2 years, with a possible third year, subject to satisfactory progress.

How to apply:

Applicants should email a single PDF document containing:

  • a CV (including full publication list)
  • a research proposal, relevant to the research areas described above, covering the following (no more than 3 pages):

➢ why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
➢ why and how you wish to complete the project
➢ what makes you suitable for the project in question

Applicants should also arrange for 2-3 reference letters to be sent directly to Dr. Lochner by referees.

Email address:
Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin in September 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Eligibility: A PhD in Astrophysics or a relevant field is required before appointment. Applicants should be within 5 years from the date of PhD at the start of the position and may not have held a full-time permanent academic or professional post. The appointment is subject to the rules and approval of the University of the Western Cape and the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

Cover image credit: Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA –