Postdoctoral Research Associate in Exoplanet Detection and Characterization Ref. 19-01

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Institute for Astrophysics, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile AND Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Planet and Star Formation Department, Heidelberg, Germany
Santiago, Chile
and Heidelberg, Germany
Job Announcement Text: 

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in exoplanet detection and characterization. The position is available on a 4 year basis, with an initial duration of 2 years with residence at the Institute for Astrophysics of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile (PUC) and a further 2 years with residence at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie in Heidelberg, Germany (MPIA), contingent on satisfactory performance.

The postdoctoral associate will work on a project, which aims to systematically characterize warm giants, planets larger than Neptune on orbits with periods larger than 10 days. The TESS mission will deliver large number of these systems orbiting bright stars and thus amenable for detailed follow-up. We seek to measure precise masses using a number of facilities available at the MPIA and to the Chilean community, and to perform atmospheric characterization when possible. The appointee will work closely with the teams led by Prof. Thomas Henning at the MPIA and Prof. Jordan at PUC, and is expected to act as a liaison between the two groups. The appointee is also expected to conduct research programs in exoplanets on her/his own.

Applicants should have a PhD in Astrophysics or related field and a strong background in exoplanet observations. The ideal candidate will have experience with the confirmation and characterization of transiting planets, a solid statistical modeling background, and good computational skills. The applicant is expected to design, propose and carry out observations, and apply state-of-the-art methods to model the signals induced by the planet and the star in photometric and radial velocity time series. The candidate is expected to communicate their research findings effectively orally and in writing.

While resident at PUC, the appointee will qualify as a member of the Chilean community with 10% privileged access on all telescopes in Chile, including ESO/Paranal's 4x8m VLT, ESO/La Silla's 3.5m NTT, 3.6m and 2.2m telescopes, Gemini-South 8m, Carnegie's 2.5m and Magellan 2x6.5m, CTIO's 4m (Blanco), SOAR 4m, as well as ALMA.

The positions have a flexible starting date, with a preferred starting date not later than summer 2019. During your employment at MPIA the remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) depending on qualification and experience in level E13/E14. Social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service. During your employment at the Institute for Astrophysics, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, you will have a remuneration and research budget equal to those of the state-funded FONDECYT postdoctoral fellowship.

Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae, publication list, and a brief statement of research interests by March 30th, 2019. They should also arrange for three letters of reference to be provided separately by the same date. All applications and reference letters need to be submitted using our online application system at:

Candidates should first register with our online system to generate a registration code, which must be sent to referees for letter submission. Please concatenate CV, publication list, and research statement into a single PDF file.

For scientific enquires please contact: Andres Jordan–

For submission enquires please contact: Marina Gilke –

Included Benefits: 

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer.  Applications from women, disabled people and minority groups are particularly welcome. The MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care institutions. 

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, April 7, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Andres Jordan
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Andres Jordan