PhD Student (R1)

Job Reference



PhD Student (R1)

Closing Date

Saturday, 16 December, 2023
Reference: 279_23_CS_PPC_R1
Job title: PhD Student (R1)


About BSC
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, was a founding and hosting member of the former European HPC infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), and is now hosting entity for EuroHPC JU, the Joint Undertaking that leads large-scale investments and HPC provision in Europe. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 900 staff from 55 countries.

Look at the BSC experience:
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We are particularly interested for this role in the strengths and lived experiences of women and underrepresented groups to help us avoid perpetuating biases and oversights in science and IT research.
Context And Mission
The study of transient phenomena (e.g., supernova), so-called time-domain astronomy, is currently addressed by realizing full surveys of the sky (e.g., Pan-STARRS, SkyMapper, CRTS). The main challenge is to define the proper cadence, i.e., when and where to look in the sky to catch new events early and so observe as much of the phenomena as possible. The upcoming commissioning of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will allow to cover the entire available sky over a few nights. While observing from the ground provides great levels of sensitivity, it may involve complications like weather at the observing site or a particular region of the sky, hence limiting the possibility of evenly sampling all regions of the accessible sky.

The PErsistent All-sky Survey from Space (PEASS) project will mitigate such issues considering small scale in orbit telescopes to complete a survey of the sky in the optical wavelengths at high cadence. The concept relies on the ability to deploy a small constellation of nano-satellites equipped with a high sensitivity COTS camera and a compact refracting telescope to perform wide field imaging of patches of the observable sky. Subpercent level photometric accuracy on each image using such apparatus have already been demonstrated for detecting exoplanets in project Panoptes. PEASS will further mitigate the limited pointing stability of a nanosatellite to enable long enough exposures and maximize sensitivity by integrating energy efficient processing units within the nanosatellite. Furthermore, to accomplish the main goal of searching for rare and weak signals at the detectability limit, the data produced at high cadence (typically one image every minute maximizing single exposure time) has to be processed on-board (overlapping several unit fields of view to minimize false alarms) and compressed to deliver science products that can be sent to the ground stations for further analysis and exploitation.

The PEASS project is a collaboration between the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), with wide expertise in computing systems, and the Observatoire de Paris (OdP), with wide expertise in the astronomy domain. The project is envisioned as a PhD thesis, and will count on the cooperation of advisors from BSC, OdP and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Key Duties
  • The PhD thesis will:
    i. Select the data-analytics pipelines (e.g. instantaneous photometry -computation bounded- versus access to catalogs -IO intensive-), and so the payloads needed to address the selected science topics, which are (1) exoplanet identification (computation bound), (2) rare transient events such as supernova (IO bound), and (3) NEO detection (combination of both).
    ii. Down-select the technology in terms of compute - I/O, storage, and energy budgets capacity according to nano-satellite limitations to be integrated in each analytics payload.
    iii. Analyze and adapt/parallelize the data processing algorithms on the selected computing units.
    iv. Implement the runtime techniques needed for the execution of flexible and/or reconfigurable pipelines on-board, depending on the targeted processor technology.
    v. Evaluate the performance of the data processing algorithms to asses mission profiles and narrow science cases, in collaboration with the astronomy community.
  • Education
    • Masters in Computer Sciences or similar
  • Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Linux (0-2 years)
    • Programming fluently in at least one of the following: C/C++, Python (0-2 years)
  • Additional Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Knowledge on parallel systems, including hardware (multi-cores, GPUs) and software (OpenMP, CUDA, OpenCL)
    • Background on physics will be valued
  • Competences
    • Candidates shall be proactive and self-motivated, with positive work attitude
    • Fluent English both written and spoken
    • Ability to take initiatives, prioritize tasks and work under set deadlines
    • Ability to work both independently and within a team
    • Analytical thinking, problem-solving and result-oriented attitude
  • The position will be located at BSC within the Computer Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract (37.5h/week), a good working environment, a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible working hours, extensive training plan, restaurant tickets, private health insurance, support to the relocation procedures
  • Duration: Open-ended contract due to technical and scientific activities linked to the project and budget duration
  • Holidays: 23 paid vacation days plus 24th and 31st of December per our collective agreement
  • Salary: we offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate and according to the cost of living in Barcelona
  • Starting date: 01/09/2023
Applications procedure and process
All applications must be made through BSC website and contain:
  • A full CV in English including contact details
  • A Cover Letter with a statement of interest in English, including two contacts for further references - Applications without this document will not be considered

    In accordance with the OTM-R principles, a gender-balanced recruitment panel is formed for every vacancy at the beginning of the process. After reviewing the content of the applications, the panel will start the interviews, with at least one technical and one administrative interview. A profile questionnaire as well as a technical exercise may be required during the process.

    The panel will make a final decision and all candidates who had contacts with them will receive a feedback with details on the acceptance or rejection of their profile.

    At BSC we are seeking continuous improvement in our recruitment processes, for any suggestions or feedback/complaints about our Recruitment Processes, please contact recruitment [at] bsc [dot] es.

    For more information follow this link
The vacancy will remain open until a suitable candidate has been hired. Applications will be regularly reviewed and potential candidates will be contacted.
OTM-R principles for selection processes
BSC-CNS is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission and the Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment principles (OTM-R). This is applied for any potential candidate in all our processes, for example by creating gender-balanced recruitment panels and recognizing career breaks etc.
BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.
For more information follow this link
This position is reserved for candidates who meet the requirements and have the legal status of disabled persons with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%. In case there are no applicants with disabilities that meet the requirements, the rest of the candidates without declared disability will be evaluated.


Application Form

please choose one of this and if needed describe the option : - BSC Website - Euraxess - HiPeac - LinkedIn - Networking/Referral: include who and how - Events (Forum, career fairs): include who and how - Through University: include the university name - Specialized website (Metjobs, BIB, other): include which one - Other social Networks: (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube): include which one - Other (Glassdoor, ResearchGate, job search website and other cases): include which one
Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CV
Files must be less than 3 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx.
Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CoverLetter
Files must be less than 3 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx zip.
Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_OtherDocument
Files must be less than 10 MB.
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** Consider that the information provided in relation to gender and nationality will be used solely for statistical purposes.