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Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Published on: Mar 5, 2010
The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics is an autonomous institution opens up by the University Grants Commission of India to develop the nucleation and growth of vigorous groups in astronomy and astrophysics at various Indian universities. IUCAA goals to be a centre of excellence within the university sector for teaching, research and development in astronomy and astrophysics.

IUCAA's functions fall under two wide programmes i.e. core academic programmes and visitor academic programmes. Basic academic programmes include basic research, the PhD programme, advanced research workshops and schools, the giant metre-wave radio telescope and guest observer programmes. Visitor academic programmes comprise the visitor and associates programme refresher courses for teachers and helping the nucleation and growth of astronomy and astrophysics at Indian universities.

IUCAA is a centre of excellence within the university sector for teaching, research and development in astronomy and astrophysics. The centre at present consists of about 50 academic members, including core faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. IUCAA has a dynamics visitor programme, involving short and long term visits of scientists from India and abroad. The centre has about 80 visiting associates from universities and colleges, who visit periodically and participate in all its activities. More information can be obtained from the IUCAA website.

Facilities at IUCAA include a network of high-tech computers, high performance computing groups, high speed internet connections, mirror sites of important databases, a very well equipped instrumentation laboratory and a library with exhaustive collections of books and periodicals. One 2m optical telescope has been installed at the place which is about 80 kms from IUCAA campus and there will be special opportunities for optical astronomy and related instrumentation. IUCAA has recently obtained a share in the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), which is suited to imaging of high red shift galaxies and the spectroscopy of faint objects. IUCAA has a vigorous observational programme in several areas. Support is available for guest observing from international facilities.

There is no M.Sc or B.Sc programme at IUCAA. However, IUCAA faculty are involved in teaching the Astronomy and Astrophysics, Papers I and II of the third and fourth semesters of the M.Sc programme in Physics at the University of Pune. Astronomy and Astrophysics is an optional course for M.Sc (Physics) students. Normally, about 10 students are admitted to this course. (Admission to the course is done by the Department of Physics, University of Pune.

To join IUCAA as a PhD student, candidate must take either the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) or the IUCAA-NCRA Admission Test (INAT).

PhD Programme

The IUCAA-NCRA graduate school (conducted jointly with the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune) is meant for the PhD students of IUCAA and NCRA. Coursework is divided into two semesters (four terms) spread over one year. Each term is of roughly seven weeks duration. Students are taught relevant advanced courses in physics and are also introduced to courses in astronomy and astrophysics.

IUCAA offers challenging opportunities to young research workers in theory, observation and instrumentation in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Recently, IUCAA has acquired a share in the 10 m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), and operates the IUCAA Girawali Observatory (IGO) with 2 m optical telescope. Both the telescopes are with imaging, spectroscopic and polarimetric capabilities. IUCAA also has a high performance computational facility, and a good library.

Post-Doctoral Fellowships

IUCAA offers challenging opportunities to highly qualified young researchers in a wide range of fields. One of the attractions of IUCAA's post-doctoral fellowships is that they are renewable up to five years. There is also the possibility of converting them to a tenure-track faculty position. On-campus accommodation will be available to all post-doctoral fellows.

Research areas covered at IUCAA include:Classical and quantum gravity

  • Cosmic magnetic fields
  • Cosmology and large scale structure
  • Galactic and extragalactic astronomy
  • Gravitational waves
  • High energy astrophysics
  • Instrumentation for astronomy
  • Interstellar medium
  • Optical astronomy
  • Radio astronomy
  • Solar system and stellar physics
  • Virtual observatory

Applicants for post-doctoral fellowships should send curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and a list of publications, and should also arrange for three confidential reference letters to be sent independently. All material should reach The Coordinator, Core Programmes, IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Pune 411 007, India by the first week of October. Candidates will be informed of the result by the end of November. The position will normally commence during the following year.

Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)

(An autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission)
Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind
Pune 411 007, Maharashtra
Web: http://www.iucaa.ernet.in
Phone: (020) 25604100, Fax (020) 25604699
E-mail: vch@iucaa.ernet.in

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