Postdoctoral Fellow

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 29, 2017
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 10, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Universities Space Research Association
Moffett Field
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Position Summary:

The Postdoctoral Fellow will work in the SOFIA/USRA polarimetry group in the area of interstellar grain alignment physics, with an emphasis on polarimetric observations. The Postdoctoral Fellow will serve as an observational astronomer, under the direction of Dr. B-G Andersson, supported by the NSF. The overall goal of the work is to quantitatively understand interstellar grain alignment and, based on this, to develop new probes of the interstellar medium using polarimetric observations. The work is carried out in close collaboration with the theory group at University of Wisconsin-Madison (led by Prof. A. Lazarian) and involves the mentoring of undergraduate students from the Santa Clara University (under the direction of Dr. K. Kulas).

The Postdoctoral Fellow will have up to 25% of their time available for personal research.

The position is for a period of two years, with a third year extension possible on mutual agreement and contingent on the availability of funding.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

Acquire, analyze and report on data for existing and planned observations, primarily of optical, near- and far-infrared polarimetry. Existing data include optical and near infrared photo- and spectro-polarimetry, FIR (SOFIA) polarimetry, as well as supporting optical, IR and mm-wave data.

Take an active part in developing the overall program, propose for and acquire new data sets, and assist in mentoring under-graduate students associated with the program.

Required Qualifications:


PhD in Astronomy, or related field


Experience in optical and/or infrared polarimetry of the interstellar medium.

Experience in multi-wavelength observations and data reduction

Good track record of publications in leading scientific journals

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

Significant knowledge of observational astronomy and

Experience in astronomical programming (Python, IDL, IRAF or similar).

Evidence of potential for high level of achievement as an independent researcher.

Ability to work as a team member to accomplish goals.

Working Conditions:

This job primarily operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit, use hands. Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes or airborne particles. The employee may be exposed to moving equipment, vehicles and mechanical parts. The noise level in the work office environment is typically mild. The environment on the aircraft during flight operations may become noisy and tiring. The employee must be capable of performing all duties in a technical / scientific setting including offices, laboratories, shops, and aircraft maintenance facilities as well as on the aircraft / observatory, both while on the ground and during flights. The employee may need to lift and / or move up to 50 pounds.


These positions are stationed at NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, and will be expected to participate and/or lead several observing runs at observatories throughout the world.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita. Review of candidates will begin immediately. Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 27, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, October 27, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Ben Tanis
Talent Recruiter
Universities Space Research Association
Street Line 1: 
7178 Columbia Gateway Dr
Zip/Postal Code: 
United States of America
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Ben Tanis