The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) seeks a technologist for the Virgo gravitational-wave detector, to be part of the Virgo Detector Characterization (DetChar) core team which is currently actively involved in the preparation of the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA observing run 4 (O4) and which lead the Virgo DetChar effort during the O4 run. EGO is a French-Italian consortium founded by INFN and CNRS to foster European collaboration in gravitational wave research. EGO is located in Cascina, near Pisa – Italy, and hosts and operates the gravitational wave detector Virgo, a 3 km-long laser interferometer (ITF). Virgo and the two LIGO ITFs in the US are the most large and sensitive gravitational-wave detecting instruments in the world: in 2017 their joint detection of a binary neutron star merger ushered the dawn of Multi-Messenger Astronomy. The Virgo detector involves the collaboration of about 119 institutions with more than 650 scientists, engineers and technicians in 14 different countries.
As a member of the DetChar core team, the main tasks the successful candidate will be participating in during O4 are the following:
- Ensure a smooth running of the main pillars of the Virgo DetChar framework
- Online data quality
- The vetting of the public alerts, based on the “Data Quality Reports” (DQRs)
- Offline data quality
- Detector characterization
- Global monitoring of the instrument
- Investigate, fix or mitigate quickly any problem that would arise in one of the areas listed in the previous item.
- Participate in the generation of DetChar products suitable for data analysis and detector investigations.
- Organize joint meetings and training sessions.
- Mentor DetChar shifters and following-up on their reports.
- Be among the primary points of contact for liaisons from other groups, both on the instrument and data analysis sides.
- Contribute to ensuring a 24/7 low-latency coverage of DetChar activities during the O4 run — including, but not limited to the participation to rapid response team meetings. This will require working outside regular office hours and be part of an oncall rotation.
Before O4 starts, the successful candidate will be involved in one or more DetChar projects to prepare the data taking run. The spectrum of such projects is very broad:
- from detector-oriented investigations with a direct link to the Virgo detector hardware to software-based developments targeting online or offline data analysis;
- from the study and classification of noise transients — aka “glitches” — impacting the detector duty cycle and sensitivity, such as the gravitational-wave transient searches, to the classification of spectral noise lines that impact continuous signal searches.
- Furthermore, in the case of glitch studies, there will be connections with the citizen-science-based activities carried on within the LIGO-Virgo collaborations.
The post may require the selected candidate work outside of normal working hours, sometimes including nights, weekends and public holidays, and may require shift work and participation in a regular on-call service, ability to adapt quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and constraints. It may happen to cope with technically difficult situations, and to work within strict deadlines.
Essential required qualifications and experience
- Master degree
- 36 months of post-graduate activity in public and private institutions or PhD in Physics or Engineering or Computing;
- Experience in the field of gravitational-wave detection or gravitational-wave data analysis;
- Good knowledge of English;
- No criminal convictions
Desired qualifications and experience
One or more of the following will be an asset:
- Capacity to communicate efficiently with colleagues from different countries, good sense of team spirit and proactive attitude;
- Experience in gravitational-wave data quality analysis or detector characterization studies;
- Working knowledge of Italian and/or French
Place of work
EGO – European Gravitational Observatory – via E. Amaldi 56021 Loc. S.Stefano a Macerata – Cascina (Pisa) ITALY. Given the lack of public transportation to reach EGO, a driving license and a personal vehicle are strongly recommended.
Type of contract
Two-year contract, as Tecnologo (Technologist), according to the “Contratto Collettivo di Lavoro del Personale EGO” (EGO personnel collective bargaining agreement). The gross monthly salary, paid in thirteen installments, is established by the aforementioned collective bargaining agreement according to the professional profile. Additional benefits include severance pay and yearly performance bonus.
Only candidates who meet the above essential requirements are admitted to the selection procedure. The evaluation of the candidates admitted to the procedure is assigned to a Selection Board appointed by the Director of EGO. The Selection Board will have to assess whether the candidates have the acquired capacity to carry out tasks of analysis and revision, of technical collaboration related to technological activities in order to be recruited as a Technologist. To do this, Selection Board will determine the evaluation criteria in the first meeting.
The first phase of the selection will be based on a review of the Application Forms and other documents received in line with the above-mentioned essential and desired requirements.
Only candidates who have obtained the minimum score established by the Selection Board in the first meeting will be able to access to the second phase of the selection, which will consist of an interview.
During the interview the Selection Board will verify the knowledge of the English language and of the other languages (Italian/French) if declared. At the end of the interviews the Selection Board will draw up a ranking of the candidates who obtained the minimum score established during the first meeting.
Controller: European Gravitational Observatory – email:
Responsible for data – email:
Under Article 13 of UE Regulation (EU) 2016/79 of the European Parliament and of the Council, required personal data will be exclusively collected and treated for purposes strictly connected to the selection procedure also with the use of computerized procedures, according to current law and regulations concerning the implementation of this kind of activity.
Providing such data to EGO is necessary for the evaluation of participation requirements and of the holding of titles: failure to provide these data may compromise such evaluation.
Data will be kept only for the period required by the selection, evaluation and audit procedures.
EGO guarantees each person the right of access to personal data, as well as the rectification, or erasure or restriction of them, as well as the right to object to their processing; such requests shall be addressed to .
How to apply
Candidates can send their CV and the EGO Application Form together with a cover letter and eventual reference letters (to be found here), to quoting the reference number of this vacancy notice. Incomplete files will not be taken into account.
Closing date for applications
April 25th, 2021
Start of contract
The earliest possible