The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) announces a Research Scientist position in the Chandra X-ray Science Center (CXC). The primary objectives of the MIT CXC team are to assure high quality data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory through definition, development and test of analysis software, through planning, execution, and analysis of flight calibration observations, to support guest observers, and to monitor and support the Chandra observing program.
The responsibilities of the new hire include a wide variety of activities relevant to the use of the Chandra dispersive and imaging spectrometers (the High and Low Energy Transmission Gratings), and the CCD arrays (ACIS). This involves developing detailed knowledge of the CCD and grating instrumental design, event detection and processing, and of imaging and dispersive spectroscopy, all in the photon-counting regime. Support work may likely require the ability to simulate observations, prototype new analysis procedures, curate spectral catalogs, or define and test calibration products. Results must be ultimately written as formal specifications used to guide and document implementation into the CIAO data analysis system and Calibration Database.
The successful candidate will be expected to interact closely with the MIT and Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory CXC staff scientists and programmers in carrying out these responsibilities.
The candidate should have relevant experience in areas of space astronomy, X-ray astronomy, X-ray spectroscopy, and/or the physics of high temperature plasmas, with a record of scientific publication. Experience with experimental physics or astronomy instrumentation, analysis, and calibration is highly desirable. Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated record of X-ray spectral analysis and modeling of astrophysical sources, with imaging or dispersive spectrometers.
The candidate will be expected to pursue an independent research program that includes high-resolution X-ray spectroscopic studies in areas of current activity by the MIT/CXC staff, such as in X-ray binary and black hole studies, absorption spectroscopy of the interstellar or inter-galactic medium, emission line modeling in stellar winds and low-mass stars, and high resolution spectroscopy of active galactic nuclei. Such work can be carried out through participation in the HETG Guaranteed Time program, through archival research, and by competing for projects in the Chandra Guest Observer program. Coordinated programs with other X-ray or relevant observatories are strongly encouraged, with facilities such as NuSTAR, XMM/Newton, or Hubble Space Telescope. MKI scientists are also involved in the development of new X-ray instruments and missions; participation in these activities is encouraged.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in physics or astrophysics and a demonstrated capability for independent research. Qualified applicants should send their resumes and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2018.
MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.