Research Assistant/Associate in White Dwarf Planetary Systems

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, November 13, 2023
Archive Date: 
Monday, December 18, 2023
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
University of Cambridge
Department Name: 
Institute of Astronomy
Street Line 1: 
Madingley Road
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Applications are invited for a Royal Society funded postdoctoral post at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA), University of Cambridge, to work within the research group of Dr Amy Bonsor, Royal Society University Research Fellow ( The group has broad interests spanning questions involving links between planet formation and composition of exoplanets, with focus on white dwarf planetary systems.

The IoA offers vibrant research environments for exoplanetary science, with work in wide-ranging areas, i.e.exoplanet detection/characterization, atmospheres and interiors, planet formation and circumstellar environments. We have a diverse research community, many cross-disciplinary interactions and links to the Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe. 

Applicants are expected to demonstrate strong expertise in at least one of: White dwarfs, particularly planetary systems;Astronomical spectroscopy (e.g. stellar or white dwarfs); Geophysical modelling/ cosmochemistry (preferably with experience/desire to apply to astronomy); Planetary Systems Dynamics. Candidates with unlisted relevant expertise are encouraged to discuss this with Dr Bonsor ([email protected]). 

The successful applicant will pursue independent and collaborative research, develop interactions with the faculty, postdoctoral researchers and research students. They will disseminate research findings via publications & other media, (international workshops/conferences) and are encouraged to participate in teaching and learning, in postgraduate research student supervision and in outreach. 

Applicants must have a PhD in Astronomy, Planetary Science or related discipline*. Successful candidates will be expected to complete research in a collegial environment, with strong communication and computing skills. 

The appointment will be at Grade 7 (Research Associate) £36,024–£44,263 p.a. (Pts 41–48), depending on experience/qualifications.  *A successful candidate, not yet awarded a PhD will be appointed at Grade 5 (Research Assistant) £32,982 to £33,966 p.a. (Pts 38–39) and amended to Research Associate (Grade 7) upon confirmation of PhD.  

The role’s purpose is to support and maintain the University’s national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Contribution to excellence in research will be as team member carrying out research at a similar level to that undertaken by lecturing staff and will provide substantial scope for academic judgement, originality, interpretation and presentation of results. 

Applications from underrepresented groups are particularly welcome. We have an active Equality and Diversity Committee, working to further the aims of the Athena SWAN charter. The University has several family-friendly policies and initiatives, i.e. a returning-carer scheme, childcare costs support, workplace nurseries and holiday play- schemes, and a shared parental-leave policy. As part of its commitment to providing a family-friendly environment for researchers, the IoA ensures where parental leave is needed during employment, there is provision for extension to contract to compensate for leave taken.

Closing date: 23:59 GMT, Friday 12th January 2024. Potential applicants please note that this opportunity will be advertised on AAS until 18th December, but will remain available on up to the closing date.

Applications will be reviewed after the closing date. Interviews are provisionally planned for w/c 5th February 2024.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2.5 years in the first instance.

Starting date: October 2024.

Application Information: 

Please visit for more information and to apply. Please upload your CV, cover letter, publications list and research statement (3xA4 pages max, 11pt font) in the Upload section. Names and contact details of 3 academic referees are essential. Please advise referees that references will be requested for 12th January 2024.

If you have any queries about your application, please contact [email protected]. Informal inquiries may be addressed to Dr Amy Bonsor ([email protected])

Please quote reference LG39062 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The Institute particularly welcomes applications from women and/or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Included Benefits: 

What the University of Cambridge has to offer:

Application Deadline: 
Friday, January 12, 2024
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Dr Amy Bonsor
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
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Attention To: 
Dr Amy Bonsor