Applications are now being accepted for the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) to carry out research in astrophysics in the Astrophysics Science Division at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Research activities include data analysis and interpretation, instrument development, laboratory astrophysics, observational astrophysics, theoretical modeling and numerical astrophysics. Programs of research include exoplanetary science, Galactic and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, studies of the cosmic microwave background, gravitational wave astrophysics and numerical relativity, x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, and cosmic ray physics.
This year, we specifically invite applications from those wishing to carry out a research program on exoplanetary systems. Current research in the Laboratory includes observations of exoplanets and circumstellar disks with the Hubble, Herschel, and Spitzer Space Telescopes; related observations with the Subaru telescope and the newly-commissioned Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer; numerical modeling of disk structure, dynamics and emergent fluxes; and high contrast imaging instrumentation. Examples of interest to Laboratory scientists include companion searches using coronagraphic imagers; analyses of transiting planet lightcurves and spectra; modeling of exoplanet atmospheres; debris disk imaging; characterization of exozodiacal dust in the habitable zones of nearby stars; the development of wavefront control and integral field spectroscopy techniques in high contrast imaging; and future space mission concepts for direct imaging of terrestrial exoplanets.
In other areas of astrophysics, technologies of interest include cryogenic detectors for infrared and x-ray astronomy, x-ray polarimeters, lightweight and ultra-precise optics (infrared through hard x-ray), imaging gamma-ray spectrometers, advanced ultraviolet detectors, and gravitational wave detectors. Opportunities exist for analysis of data from current missions (Fermi, Suzaku, Swift, Chandra, XMM, NuSTAR, HST) and previous space observatories. GSFC is actively involved in the development of new missions such as JWST, WFIRST, the Soft X-ray Spectrometer for Astro-H, as well as instrument concepts for SOFIA, SPICA, Exoplanet missions, and concepts for future missions including the Inflation Probe, x-ray and gravity wave missions, and a number of potential Explorers. GSFC also has numerous sounding rocket and balloon programs, and opportunities exist for ground-based observing from the LBTI, Keck, and the National Observatories.
For descriptions of research being carried out in the Astrophysics Science Division at GSFC, please see the website: http://astrophysics.gsfc.nasa.gov. For specific Research Opportunities in the NPP see the website: http://www2.orau.gov/NASA_Catalog/
The NPP Fellowship appointment, initially for one year, is nominally renewable for a second year based on acceptable performance. Extension to a third year is possible, but usually reserved for long-range projects. Appointments come with competitive stipends and a generous travel budget. Applicants will be judged on their academic accomplishments, letters of reference, and the merit of their research proposal and its relevance to NASA programs. The primary deadline for applications to Astrophysics at GSFC is November 1, 2012. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the advisor of their preferred research opportunity to discuss their proposed research plans prior to applying. Application instructions can be found at: http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc/.