Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the area of experimental optical physics and astrophysics at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI). The candidate will be expected to participate in laboratory development work associated with the MKI-led Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is scheduled for launch by NASA in 2017.
TESS is expected to discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey of the solar neighborhood will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.
The position will provide for a significant fraction of time for carrying out self-motivated and collaborative research in an environment that includes TESS and MIT CCD Laboratory research scientists, astronomers, and engineers developing high-precision optical CCD photometers for space borne instruments. Research collaborators also include active participants in the MIT Department of Physics and Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, as well as members of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Position requires a Ph.D. in experimental physics, astronomy, or a related field, with demonstrated initiative and experience working in laboratory instrumentation. The candidate should also be able to demonstrate significant ability with precision optomechanical, electronic, and vacuum assemblies.
Qualified applicants should send their CV, publications list, statement of research interests, and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to the address above (pdf or paper). Review of applications will begin in early January and continue until the position is filled. The start date is nominally March 2014.
The appointment is for two years, renewable for a third depending on performance and funding.
MIT is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity and inclusion.