NOVA Postdoc position – JWST/MIRI commissioning and characterization
NOVA (the Netherlands research school of astronomy) invites applications for a postdoctoral position to support the commissioning and characterization of the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) aboard the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST is the next major infrared space mission to be launched late December 2021.
JWST and MIRI
MIRI is one of JWST’s four science instruments, offering imaging, coronagraphy, and low and medium resolution spectroscopy. The main NOVA contribution to MIRI is the medium resolution IFU spectrometer, including not only hardware but also relevant calibration and data analysis software, as well as support for the in-flight commissioning and characterization of the instrument. The Dutch MIRI involvement is led by E.F. van Dishoeck and B. Brandl.
As member of the MIRI/NL team the successful applicant will be directly involved in the MIRI instrument in-flight commissioning/characterization and science calibration. This will also involve development of relevant algorithms and end-user software tools. In addition, time will be allocated to supporting the Dutch astronomy community in using JWST/MIRI, both for observation preparation as well as for scientific data analysis. The successful applicant will be part of an active, large European and US American consortium, which takes care of many of the above developments, both in European teams and in collaborations with STScI, the JWST operations center in Baltimore.
Some fraction of time will be available for independent astronomical research. The position has a strong focus on instrumentation, but direct involvement in MIRI science will be possible given the close links between the MIRI/NL team and several of the GTO programs.
The position requires a PhD in astronomy or related field. Relevant experience with infrared spectroscopy, astronomical data processing and programming in Python or other scripting languages is strongly desired, experience with (space) instrumentation would be a significant asset.
The main work location will be at the Kapteyn Institute at the University of Groningen, however regular work visits to other MIRI partners within the Netherlands, Europe, and the US, will be part of the work.
Conditions of employment
The position is a NOVA financed MIRI project position at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute at the University of Groningen (RUG), and the position falls under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The following the employment conditions are offered:
- a full-time appointment for two years, starting in the timeframe January-June 2022
- a salary dependent on qualifications and work experience - salary scale 10 Dutch Universities
- a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
- excellent secondary benefits, including a pension scheme and flexible employment conditions, options for (additional) personal development, and parental leave
It should be noted that during the intense (and very exciting!) JWST commissioning in the spring of 2022 team support will be essential, therefore in that specific period leave possibilities will be limited.
Applications, which include an application letter, CV, publication list, and a short description of research interests should be sent to [email protected] before October 31st, 2021. Applicants should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address by the closing date for applications.
For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Peter Roelfsema ([email protected]), Dutch MIRI national project manager or Dr. Michael Mueller ([email protected]) MIRI/NL calibration scientist.