Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Archive Date: 
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Tucson, Hilo, La Serena
Arizona, Hawaii, Chile
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

NOIRLab invites applications for its inaugural NOIRLab Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. An opportunity for outstanding postdoctoral scholars to carry out independent research broadly related to the mission of NOIRLab, the fellowship is also intended to help develop the next generation of science and technology innovators and leaders in ground-based OIR astronomy. 

The Fellow will have the opportunity to explore and contribute to a wide range of activities within the broad NOIRLab portfolio. We encourage applications from early career scientists with interests in forefront OIR astronomy research, including but not limited to, innovative observational techniques, instrumentation, large data sets and data systems, and computation and theory. In parallel, fellows will also have the opportunity to engage in meaningful diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) activities. 

NOIRLab is the preeminent US national center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. Through its programs — the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), Gemini Observatory, Mid-Scale Observatories (MSO: comprising the 4m class telescopes on Kitt Peak in Arizona, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachon in Chile), and the soon anticipated Rubin Observatory Operations — NOIRLab delivers cutting-edge capabilities to the US community and serves as a focal point for community development of innovative scientific programs, the exchange of ideas, and creative development. NOIRLab operates telescopes in Chile, Hawaii, and Arizona, and also provides the software systems, user services, and development initiatives that connect and support the scientific missions of its facilities and its community. 

During the Fellowship, the Fellow will spend most of their time on an independent research program of their choosing. Applicants are encouraged to propose research programs that connect with NOIRLab facilities and programs, to develop research collaborations with NOIRLab scientific staff, and to actively contribute to the research environment at NOIRLab. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to work with NOIRLab staff on activities related to the development and deployment of optical and/or infrared capabilities, techniques, data sets, and analysis tools, in order to, for example, advance their research program and interests. Research programs that build connections between NOIRLab and new research or user communities are of interest. 

During the first two years of the three-year fellowship, the successful candidate will also dedicate up to approximately 25% of their effort to a coherent plan of activities, proposed in their application, that promote diversity and equity in science. These DEI activities might include mentoring of students, outreach to local schools and communities, partnering with teachers in underserved communities, development and/or implementation of data-focused teaching resources and activities, and other creative ideas.

The fellowship may be taken up at any of the NOIRLab sites: Tucson Arizona, Hilo Hawaii, or La Serena Chile.


Minimum Requirements:  PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Planetary Science, or a closely related field.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • The work is mostly carried out in an office environment. Long periods of sitting and computer usage may be required. 
  • Travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment. Details on benefits can be found at

At NOIRLab we are committed to diversity and inclusion; our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

To Apply:

Applicants are asked to provide a (1) cover letter with a summary description of their career goals and reasons for their interest in the fellowship; (2) copy of their CV; (3) summary of research to date and (4) description of proposed research program and DEI activities and how the proposed activities connect with the mission of NOIRLab. Three letters of reference are requested. 

Applications received by January 17, 2023 will receive full consideration. 

We welcome questions about the fellowship and application process. Please contact Joan Najita ([email protected]) or Abi Saha ([email protected]). 

Please submit all documents as PDF files, named with the following format: Lastname_Docname.pdf (where Docname is CoverLetter, CV or Resume, or Statement). Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected].

Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected] 

COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated including being up to date on boosters, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons. All new employees will be required to comply with this policy and will be required to present proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five (5) business days prior to their start of employment. Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their employment start date delayed. 

This is a requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote work schedule). Currently the vaccination requirement does not apply to any future AURA employees working in Chile, regardless of their nationality or type of contract.

AURA currently offers a mix-model workspace (office & virtual) and stimulating environments for all, with most staff working virtually from home during the COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape and offers of employment can be extended and new hires will onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in their base job location within a limited time from their start date.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA. 

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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AURA Human Resources
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