Leiden Observatory invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the area of large molecules in space. The successful applicant will work in conjunction with Xander Tielens. The position is initially for two years with a possibility of extension, depending on performance and funding.
Leiden Observatory has a very active group studying the characteristics of large Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon molecules in space and their role in the evolution of the universe. In addition to Xander Tielens, the group consists of 4 graduate students and 3 postdocs. There are active programs on the analysis and interpretation of Spitzer/IRS and Herschel/PACS data on IR emission spectra of PAHs and the physical conditions of PhotoDissociation Regions, as well as theoretical studies on the IR emission and on the stability of PAH molecules in space. This program is supported by laboratory programs on the spectral characteristics of PAHs and their photochemical evolution by the Laboratory Astrophysics group at Leiden Observatory and the molecular physics group at Felix IR laser at the FOM/Rijnhuizen Institute.
Applicants should have a PhD in astrophysics and an interest in molecular astrophysics. A background in the physics and chemistry of PAHs is preferred. Applicants with experience in the analysis and interpretation of infrared space based data (IRS/Spitzer; PACS/SPIRE/Herschel) are encouraged to apply. Applications - curriculum vita, bibliography, and brief (up to 2 pages) statements of past research and of research interest - should be submitted through the web interface. The automated process will ask for three letters of reference. The referents will be contacted with instructions on how to upload their letters. Review of applications will begin on March 17, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled.
The postdoc will be appointed on a civil servant position and is thus eligible for social security and retirement benefits.