Research Scientist in Astrophysics

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, January 25, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, March 8, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Department Name: 
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Research Scientist: MIT-Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research


The MKI-Kavli Institute seeks experienced candidates for the position of Research Scientist, with specialty in instrumentation for optical and/or near-infrared astronomy.  Applicants should possess a PhD in Astronomy, Astrophysics or Physics plus a minimum of one additional year of professional experience, and should demonstrate evidence of creativity in the design and fabrication of astronomical instrumentation and execution of observing programs.  Proficiency with design software including Zemax and SolidWorks is highly desirable, as is hands-on experience with optical alignment and cryogenic systems.  The successful candidate will collaborate with O/IR faculty and research staff in the MKI and MIT Astrophysics Division, initially taking an architect-level role in construction of two fully funded instruments: (1) an arcminute-scale, facility-class optical integral field spectrograph for the Magellan telescopes, and (2) a wide-field near-IR camera on a dedicated 1-meter telescope for robotic transient surveys of the Northern sky. They will also maintain freedom to choose new research directions using the Magellan telescopes or other MIT facilities, and may collaboratively apply for internal seed funds to support development of future capabilities.  The initial term of appointment is for two years but may be extended using existing funds upon satisfactory performance.  To be considered, candidates should apply to Position #17033 on MIT's Careers Portal ( Each applicant should submit a CV, list of publications, and a short (approximately two-page) research statement combined into one PDF with the application on the MIT Careers portal. Applicants should also arrange for three reference letters to be sent to Amanda Holley at US Citizenship or Permanent Residency is a requirement for this position.


Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics or Astrophysics

Minimum one additional year of post-PhD professional experience

Demonstrated creativity in the design of astronomical instrumentation and observing programs

Proficiency with Zemax or equivalent optical design software

Proficiency with SolidWorks or equivalent mechanical design software

Hands-on experience with optical alignment and/or cryogenic systems

Ability to travel for occasional domestic and international observing runs, vendor site visits, or instrument installation and servicing

Ability to work with team using software tools for project management

Strong communication skills

US Citizenship or Permanent Resident status

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. 

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 8, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Prof. Robert Simcoe
Zip/Postal Code: 
United States of America
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: