Postdoctoral Research Associate

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Archive Date: 
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Green Bank Observatory/NRAO
Green Bank
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Green Bank Observatory is looking for an energetic scientist to join the scientific staff as a postdoctoral research associate. The successful applicant will be allocated 50% towards Observatory support (explained in more detail below), and 50% towards carrying out their own independent research program. The appointment will be for two years, with an optional one-year extension upon mutual agreement.

The Green Bank Observatory oversees the development and operation of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, as well as numerous smaller telescopes which are used for a variety of scientific and educational purposes. Working at wavelengths 1.5m through 2.6mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research, including fundamental physics, gravitational wave astronomy, pulsars and fast radio transients, star formation, Galactic and extragalactic structure, astrochemistry, cosmology, planetary science, and SETI. Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and development projects which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology. Current development projects include: the construction and commissioning of a 0.7–4 GHz ultrawideband receiver optimized for high-precision pulsar timing, as well as observations of fast radio bursts and spectroscopic surveys; the use of a terrestrial laser scanner to characterize the active surface of the GBT and increase the telescope’s throughput at frequencies > 30 GHz; and the investigation of novel wide-bandwidth digital technologies and techniques for radio frequency interference mitigation.

The position is located in Green Bank, West Virginia, a beautiful yet remote site bordering the Monongahela and George Washington National forests. Located a mere 3.5 hours from Washington, DC, Green Bank offers a wide variety of activities, from skiing, mountain and road biking, hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting and motorcycle touring.

Observatory support duties can range from aiding GBT observers with all stages of their projects, from proposals through data analysis and publication, reviewing GBT proposals for technical feasibility, aiding scientists and engineers in improving the overall performance of the GBT, helping test or commission new and refurbished instruments on the GBT, and engaging in the Observatory’s excellent program of education and public outreach.

Postdoctoral research associates are also expected to carry out a program of independent scientific research in an area of their choice. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate the GBT into their research program. Opportunities are available to mentor students through a variety of summer and academic year student programs. The appointment includes an annual budget of $10,000 that can be placed toward travel and other research expenses.

Further information on the job can be found at or through contacting the GBO postdoctoral supervisor, Ryan Lynch ( Information on Green Bank Observatory and life in Green Bank can be found through

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful applicant will have 50% of their time available for independent research, while 50% of their time will be devoted to support of the GBT and GBT observers. The support duties will vary according to the skill set and interests of the successful applicant.

Work Environment:

Work hours are flexible but do require working some evenings and weekends monthly as part of telescope and observer support.

Position Requirements:

The successful applicant must have strong knowledge of radio and/or millimeter astronomy, as well as a strong independent research program. Knowledge and/or experience with radio telescope hardware and software is appreciated but not necessary. Support for research and travel are provided, as well as vacation accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance. The position will be at the postdoctoral level. The initial appointment can begin immediately and will be for two years, with the possibility of extending for a third year (subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds).

Applicants must hold a PhD in astronomy, physics, or a related field, or expect to have earned a PhD by the starting date of the appointment.

Preferred Experience:

All areas of astronomical research are welcome, but expertise in radio astronomical data processing, observing, and/or data pipelines is highly desirable.

Application Instructions:

Apply online at the Green Bank Observatory Careers page. Please upload a CV, statement of research plans, and letter of application.

Combine the following items into a single PDF file; upload by selecting the "Attach Resume/CV" link during the online application process:
- Cover letter

- Curriculum vitae

- Publications list

- A summary of previous, current, and planned research (a maximum of 3 pages of text, including figures and references; 12 pt font);

Each applicant should arrange for letters of reference to be submitted by three individuals (“referees”) familiar with her or his scientific abilities directly to the GB Scientific Search Committee. These letters MUST be received by the application deadline 03/20/2020.

Letters should be submitted to Tracy Samples, Green Bank Site Human Resources Manager, via email at using the file name “ApplicantNameGBPostDoc.pdf .” Applicants are responsible for ensuring that letters of reference have been sent by their referees.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 20, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, April 3, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
GB Scientific Search Committee
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Ryan Lynch
Postdoc Research Associate Inquiry