The Postdoctoral Scholars Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) invites applications for a postdoctoral research position within the JPL ‘Dark Sector’ cosmology research group. Our group is active in a wide range of current and upcoming cosmology surveys, including: the Dark Energy Survey, the SuperBIT balloon project, the UNIONS Ultraviolet Near-Infrared Optical Northern Sky (UNIONS) Survey; the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly WFIRST); the Vera Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time; and ESA’s Euclid mission.
The primary responsibility of the successful candidate will be weak gravitational lensing analysis of galaxy clusters observed with the Superpressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT; https://sites.physics.utoronto.ca/bit). SuperBIT has been engineered to produce high resolution maps of galaxy cluster mass, with near-diffraction-limited imaging and space-like transmission from the near-UV to the near-IR. SuperBIT’s next flight is scheduled for summer 2021, with data analysis and publication of scientific results to proceed immediately afterwards.
Additionally, the successful candidate will advance research and publish results in any area related to weak lensing cosmology (theoretical, computational, observational, algorithm development, or detector systematics testing and mitigation). The successful candidate will interact and work with the other Dark Sector scientists and contribute to one or more of the aforementioned ongoing or upcoming weak lensing surveys. Applicants are encouraged to show willingness and potential to look to the future of the field, and articulate their vision.
JPL provides a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment for researchers with interests spanning a range of astrophysics, with particularly strong efforts in exoplanetary science and dark energy cosmology, and the associated technologies that enable this work. There are many opportunities for collaboration with researchers at the Caltech campus including at IPAC.
Candidates should have a recent PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, or related fields and a publication record that indicates active participation in the field of astronomy or astrophysics. Previous experience in weak gravitational lensing and hands-on experience in building or operating telescopes or instruments is desired. Ability to work independently and demonstrated experience at collaborative work in large groups are important evaluation criteria.
The annual starting salary will be commensurate with established JPL postdoctoral rates. The appointee will also receive health insurance and additional resources for research-related expenses and will have access to local facilities, including Palomar Observatory, the JPL Supercomputing Facility, and the JPL/Caltech Optical Observatory Precision Projector Laboratory (PPL) image sensor testing facility. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one year and with sufficient progress may be renewed up to a maximum of three years.
A complete application will consist of 1) a cover letter describing the particular interest in the opportunity, and the specific connections and potential collaborations that are envisioned, 2) a CV that includes contact information, a bibliography which clearly shows refereed publications, and contact information for three reference letter writers, and 3) a statement describing current and proposed research of no more than 3 pages. For this last item, the applicant may choose to separate the current and proposed statements, or to have them written as one unit. For full consideration, please submit these by October 30, 2020. Applications should be submitted through this link https://jpl.jobs/jobs/2020-12422-Weak-Gravitational-Lensing.
Information about science at JPL can be found at https://science.jpl.nasa.gov. For more information, please contact either the JPL Postdoc Office at email@example.com or Dr. Jason Rhodes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Caltech and JPL are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are encouraged to apply