MPC Postdoctoral Fellowship

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Archive Date: 
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The MPC is the internationally recognized processing center and archive for minor planet and comet position observations. The MPC, located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is tasked with identifying candidate near Earth asteroids from all data reported to the MPC, as well as with supporting asteroid survey programs, for example, through services for identifying known asteroids and predicting their positions, and NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office through notification of potential impacts from initial orbit determination.

The MPC is inviting applications for the first cohort of the Minor Planet Center Postdoctoral Fellowships. We seek individuals who will develop and carry out independent research in astronomy, planetary science, data-science, or algorithmic/database development, and whose research will also contribute to the MPC’s mission. Contributions may include (but are not limited to):

  • Leveraging the MPC’s data archives to discover new bodies;
  • Conducting research into the distribution and/or dynamics of the Solar System’s minor planets;
  • Developing novel data-processing methods;
  • Developing novel communication and/or data visualization tools to improve either the MPC’s public outreach offering or the MPC’s interactions with professional scientists.

The MPC invites applicants to submit a competitive proposal of no more than 4-pages in length (including any figures), outlining their proposed research or development work.

The positions are for two years.

Interested applicants should apply by Thursday, November 30th. A complete application includes a cover letter, 4-page proposal, CV, bibliography and contact details for three references, and should be sent to Dr. Matthew Payne at

Official applications should also be submitted through the USAJobs website at

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Payne
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Payne