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Job Advertisement: Closing Date 31st March 2016

A call is ongoing for a PhD project on the "Detection and 
characterization of planets orbiting oscillating red-giant stars with 
NASA's TESS mission". An abstract of the proposed PhD project can be 
found below. Details on the application procedure can be found at 
http://phd-space.iastro.pt/?page_id=835. This PhD project has been made 
available in the context of the PhD::SPACE Program, funded by the FCT PD 
Program Initiative (Portugal). The deadline for applications is the 
31st of March 2016.

The successful candidate would be spending 1/3 of their time at the 
University of Birmingham (UK) under the supervision of Dr. Tiago 
Campante, while the remaining 2/3 would be spent at IA-U.Porto 
(Portugal) under the supervision of Dr. Margarida Cunha and Dr. Nuno 
Santos. Upon satisfactory completion, this project will lead to a PhD 
degree issued by the University of Porto.

Further information on the project can be directly obtained from Dr. 
Tiago Campante ([log in to unmask]).

Abstract: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA 
space mission with scheduled launch for late 2017 that will perform a 
wide-field survey for planets transiting bright nearby stars. 
Furthermore, TESS's excellent photometric precision, combined with its 
fine time sampling and long intervals of uninterrupted observations, 
will enable asteroseismology (i.e., the study of stars by the 
observation of their natural oscillations) of solar-type and red-giant 
stars. Asteroseismology is proving to be particularly significant for 
the study of red-giant stars while quickly maturing into a powerful tool 
whose impact is being felt more widely across different domains of 
astrophysics. A noticeable example is the synergy between 
asteroseismology and exoplanetary science. TESS hence offers the 
exciting prospect of conducting asteroseismology on a significant number 
of evolved exoplanet-host stars. The main goal of this project will be 
to use TESS photometry to systematically detect and characterize 
transiting planets orbiting oscillating red-giant stars. To that end, we 
propose an end-to-end PhD project that will provide the student with 
skills in (i) transit photometry analysis, (ii) asteroseismic data 
analysis and stellar modeling, and (iii) radial-velocity/spectroscopic 
techniques. The implications of this project are far-reaching. The 
proposed systematic search for transiting planets orbiting oscillating 
red-giant stars is expected to provide new insights into some of the 
outstanding problems in exoplanetary science, namely, (i) on the planet 
occurrence rate as a function of stellar mass/evolutionary state, (ii) 
on the correlation between stellar metallicity and planet occurrence 
around evolved stars or (iii) on the structural aspects of gas-giant 
planets.

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