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Project Associate Position for ILMT Project

The International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) has been jointly installed at the Devasthal campus of ARIES, Nainital in collaboration with the University of Liège in Belgium, the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciencES (ARIES) in India. The mercury mirror of the ILMT has a 4.0m diameter and will perform zenith mode observations in SDSS g’, r’ and i’ filters. A 4Kx4K CCD camera is installed at the prime focus of the ILMT. The ILMT will be used for continuous monitoring of the zenith sky within a narrow strip of 22 arcmin at the latitude of +29° 22’ 26” for a duration of at least 5 years (or more). The facility will generate around 10 GB of data each night.

The ILMT achieved its first light in April - May 2022. The data obtained so far is being used to test and optimize the astrometric, photometric and image subtraction pipelines which are under development. For operating the telescope and developing, testing, and upgrading the pipelines, we anticipate long-term dedicated manpower typically for a one-year duration with possible extensions.


Project Associate : Operations/Maintenance of the ILMT and Software Development


Number of Posts:

One or more as per the requirement

Essential Qualification:

Master's degree in Physics/Astronomy/Astrophysics

Additional Requirements:

Prior experience in astronomy/astrophysics and efficiency in the Python programming language are mandatory. Desirable knowledge of astronomical image analysis, database management systems, and full-stack development will be considered.

Description of the job and Responsibilities:

  • Regular maintenance activities of the ILMT, including careful and critical manipulation of mercury
  • Participation in night observations with the telescope
  • Assessing the quality of the observed data and performing steps to improve the quality
  • Performing data reduction and analysis  of the ILMT data like pre-processing, photometric reduction, etc., but not limited to these tasks
  • Debugging a database related to the storage and access of the ILMT photometric and astrometric calibrated data
  • Developing a database related to the storage and access of the ILMT photometric and astrometric calibrated data
  • Developing GUI for data display, data request and data dissemination

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Tenure: Initially for One (01) year.
  2. Monthly Emolument: Based on the relevant work experience and the interview performance, the candidate may be offered Project Associate-I or Project Associate-II positions. The monthly emolument for Project Associate-I will be Rs. 25,000 + HRA, and for Project Associate-II will be Rs. 28,000 + HRA. Service conditions shall be governed as per the Institute’s norm & DST guidelines, as amended from time to time.
  3. Upper Age Limit: 35 years
  4. Termination: Director ARIES reserves the right to terminate the engagement/contract at any stage in case of impropriety, misconduct, breach of conditions, irregular attendance, or poor performance quality.
  5. Posting: The selected candidate will be posted at ARIES's Devasthal/Nainital campuses, depending on the requirement.
  6. All other Terms & conditions shall be governed as per the Institute norms.


All enquiries related to this position can be made to