Postdoctoral positions in analysis of JWST observations of exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and protostars

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, November 13, 2020
Archive Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2021
To event remaining 61 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Institution/Company: 
Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
Street Line 1: 
BAER INSTITUTE
Street Line 2: 
PO BOX 25
Street Line 3: 
94035
City: 
MOFFETT FIELD
State/Province: 
CA
Zip/Postal: 
94035
Country: 
United States of America
Announcement
Job Announcement Text: 

Postdoctoral positions in analysis of JWST observations of exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and protostars at NASA Ames

 

Job Summary

Job Category: Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships

Institution Classification/Type: Research Laboratory

Institution/Company: Bay Area Environmental Research Institute

Street Line 1: P.O. Box 25

City: Moffett Field

State/Province: CA

Country: United States of America

 

Announcement

Postdoctoral positions are available in analyzing and characterizing exoplanet, brown dwarf, and protostellar atmospheres with James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) spectroscopic and photometric data. The positions will reside in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division of NASA Ames Research Center near Mountain View, California, USA. We expect to offer one position in the analysis of time-series observations of transiting planets and one position in the analysis of protostar and brown dwarf spectra. The data will be obtained via guaranteed-time observations (GTO) and possibly general observer (GO) observations that are scheduled to start in the first half of 2022.

 

NASA Ames is in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and provides an exciting, interdisciplinary research environment. A number of Ames scientists work on a wide variety of exoplanet, brown dwarf, and protostar topics including radiative transfer, emergent spectra modeling, calculation of opacities, chemical processes, system dynamics, and JWST instrumentation. We also host and chair quarterly Bay Area Exoplanets Meetings to discuss recent advances with colleagues at UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, UC Berkeley, the SETI Institute, San Francisco State, and other institutions.

 

We expect the positions to commence in the summer of 2021, several months before the JWST launch in October. There will be opportunities for independent research, and funding is available for research travel. Each position will be funded for two to three years.

 

The exoplanet postdoc will analyze JWST NIRCam and MIRI transit and secondary eclipse spectra and images of warm planets that mostly have masses between Earth and Jupiter (JWST programs 1177 and 1185). The primary duty is to optimize the data reduction by applying sophisticated de-correlation and / or statistical noise reduction and spectral extraction techniques. There will also be opportunities for applying or interpreting retrieval techniques as well as theoretical interpretation in the process of preparing scientific publications. This work will be done is close collaboration with Tom Greene at NASA Ames as well as with GTO team members at the University of Arizona, UC Santa Cruz, Arizona State University, and CEA Saclay (France) among other places.

 

Minimum Qualifications for JWST Exoplanet Position:

  • Ph.D. degree in astronomy, physics, or a related field
  • Experience in analysis of observational astronomical data

 

Preferred Qualifications for JWST Exoplanet Position:

  • Experience in and publications from optimizing data reduction pipelines, systematic noise removal, and analysis of high precision time-series exoplanet data using Python
  • A record of independent research and publications in analyzing exoplanet atmospheres
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work well with others in a team environment

 

The second postdoc will work with NASA Ames researchers Tom Roellig and Tom Greene in the analysis of brown dwarf and Class 0 protostar spectra, respectively (JWST programs 1189 and 1186). This analysis will largely consist of estimation of model parameters via statistical retrieval techniques, theoretical interpretation, and preparation of scientific publications. We expect that the standard JWST pipelines will deliver data with sufficient quality for this task, but some pipeline modifications may need to be developed and implemented.

 

Minimum Qualifications for JWST Brown Dwarf / Protostar Position:

  • Ph.D. degree in astronomy, physics, or a related field
  • Experience in analysis of observational astronomical data

 

Preferred Qualifications for JWST Brown Dwarf / Protostar Position:

  • Experience in and publications from data reduction and statistical analysis of stellar, brown dwarf, protostellar, or other similar infrared spectra using Python
  • A record of independent research and publications in analyzing cool substellar or young stellar atmospheres
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work well with others in a team environment

 

 

How to Apply: Submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests (3 pages maximum), a list of publications, and contact information for three professional references to baerihr@baeri.org. Please submit these materials as a single PDF file. In your cover letter please describe your interests in the position and specify whether you are applying to the Postdoctoral JWST Exoplanet Position or the Postdoctoral JWST Brown Dwarf / Protostar Position. Applicants are encouraged to contact Tom Greene before January 6, 2021 to discuss suitability and the application process.

 

Citizenship Requirements for Both Positions: Must be a U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, or Foreign National eligible for either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.


 

Application Deadline: Friday, January 31, 2021

Selection Deadline: Friday, March 5, 2021

Current Status of Position: Accepting Applicants

Related URLs:

NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology – https://www.nasa.gov/ames/spacescience-and-astrobiology

BAER Institute – https://baeri.org/

Bay Area Exoplanet Meetings – https://sites.google.com/site/bayareaexoplanets/

JWST GTO programs – https://www.stsci.edu/jwst/observing-programs/approved-gto-programs

 

Apply to Job

Attention To: Human Resources

Institution / Company: Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI)

Email: baerihr@baeri.org

 

Inquiries About Job

Attention To: Thomas Greene

Email: tom.greene@nasa.gov

Included Benefits: 

Included Benefits:

Compensation includes a competitive base salary along with health insurance benefits (including medical, dental, prescription drug, vision, disability, and life insurance benefits), eleven paid holidays annually, a generous vacation and sick-time accrual policy, an employer-funded 403b defined-contribution plan, and eligibility for optional participation in a 403b tax-deferred-annuity plan.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
BAERI Human Resources
Email: 
baerihr@baeri.org
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Thomas Greene
Email: 
tom.greene@nasa.gov