Apply For A Postdoctoral Position In Astronomy And Astro-tourism For Development At The University of Namibia

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The University of Namibia (UNAM) seeks a resourceful, innovative Ph.D. astronomer with experience and motivation in public outreach, education and development activities. This postdoctoral position, with a specific focus on Astro-tourism for development, is supported by an award from the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to the University of Oxford. The aim of this GCRF project is to develop human capacity in Namibia across the areas of science, education, and astronomy-related tourism.

Tourism and the environment are identified as priority research areas in the National Programme on Research, Science, Technology, and Innovation. Namibia has some of the clearest and darkest skies in the world. The combination of a mild climate and low population density means that Astro-tourism has huge potential in Namibia, with a minimum environmental impact even if tourist numbers substantially increase.

Presently, Namibia has a small, very professional, community of “astrofarms” which attracts high-end amateur astronomers, but the majority of tourism is focussed on wildlife and the terrestrial environment.

This position will entail diversifying Astro-tourism in a sustainable manner to ensure economic benefit spreads to previously disadvantaged sectors of Namibian society. This will entail working across government, non-governmental organizations and development agencies with support from UNAM, Oxford and the Office of Astronomy for Development.

The post has a gross salary of NAD 346,950 per annum with healthcare and social benefits included. It will be based at UNAM main campus, with funds available for travel to international meetings and collaboration with the OAD and other regional centres. The position is available immediately and will run until 31 March 2021.

How to Apply

Candidates should have completed a Ph.D. in any area of astrophysics before commencing the post. Applicants should send a CV (two pages) and description of relevant experience in astronomy public outreach, education and/or development along with a statement of research interests (three pages in total) to Ashling Gordon (ashling.Gordon@physics.ox.ac.uk) and arrange for two confidential reference letters to be sent to the same address.

Consideration of applications will begin on the 30th of November, 2019 and will continue until the post is filled. This post is one of several available under the UNAM-Oxford GCRF project and is in addition to the posts recently advertised in high-energy astrophysics. Candidates who applied unsuccessfully for the high-energy astrophysics posts are encouraged to apply again.

For further inquiries, click here or email Prof Garret Cotter (garret.cotter@physics.ox.ac.uk), Dr. Michael Backes (mbackes@unam.na) and Dr.  Eli Kasai (ekasai@unam.na). The University of Namibia is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion.

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