Next-Generation Event Horizon Telescope Postdoctoral Position

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Archive Date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Next-Generation Event Horizon Telescope Postdoctoral Position

At Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), a partner in the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) with Harvard University. The EHT is an international project to study event horizon scale physics at the boundary of the supermassive black holes at the center of the Milky Way (SgrA*) and in Virgo A (M87) using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry. The EHT group at SAO is located close to Harvard University at 160 Concord Ave. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is closely affiliated with the Harvard Black Hole Initiative (BHI), the first interdisciplinary research center worldwide to focus on the study of black holes.

On April 10, 2019, the EHT announced the first images of M87 that revealed the predicted black hole ‘shadow’: a ring of light, bounded by the photon orbit of a 6.5 billion solar mass black hole, encircling a dark region where light paths to Earth cross the event horizon. Postdocs in the EHT group have access to EHT data and are encouraged to take leading roles in all aspects of the project, including observations, instrument development, analysis algorithms, and studies of accretion, jet physics and black hole space-times.

The specific postdoctoral position announced here focuses on the next-generation EHT (ngEHT) project. This initiative is pursuing a number of specific long-range developments to increase the capability of the array, enabling real-time movie making of supermassive black holes. The project will prototype dual-frequency millimeter-wave radio receivers and surface control of very large millimeter-wave radio dishes. It will modernize and accelerate large-scale data processing infrastructure (hardware and software). It will refurbish existing large radio telescopes, and enhance imaging fidelity using many small, replicated, designed-to-purpose radio dishes. It will create new analysis algorithms to draw new physics from next-generation data. It will also architect the next generation EHT at a global level. The postdoctoral appointee will join a team designing, analyzing and documenting game changing advances in millimeter- and submillimeter-wave very long-baseline-interferometry (VLBI) astrophysical instrumentation. This international team includes engineers, theoreticians, software developers, astronomers, and imaging algorithm experts, all united by a common science vision.

We are looking for highly motivated and excellent applicants with experience in the areas of radio interferometry, software, astronomy data pipelines, digital signal processing, mm/submm instrumentation, and black hole theory/simulation/modeling. There are multiple opportunities for the successful candidate to take on leading roles within the EHT. The fellowships can start as early as winter 2019-20.

Applicants must have a recent PhD in astronomy, engineering, or a related field. The grant-funded position is for three years. A generous stipend, starting at $71,274/year, as well as full SAO benefits, research and travel funds, and laptop/desktop computers will be provided.

To view the complete vacancy announcement, qualification requirements and application procedure, please view our website at

To apply, please go to

For further information about the EHT or BHI, please go to or

Please direct any questions about projects or programs to Shep Doeleman (, EHT Founding Director.

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. AAE/EOE.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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