Postdoctoral Scholar in Small Bodies of the Solar System

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Archive Date: 
Thursday, December 31, 2020
To event remaining 25 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
Department Name: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech, provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground. We invite applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar position in Small Bodies of the Solar System. You will work with Professors George Helou and Tom Prince on the discovery and characterization of asteroids including Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) using data from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF).

ZTF is a time-domain survey of the sky using a 47 square degree camera on the Samuel Oschin 48-inch Schmidt telescope at Palomar, and a data system with advanced Moving Object Discovery capability. ZTF scans more than 3750 square degrees an hour to a depth of 20.5 mag, with a variety of sky coverage schemes and cadences, some of which are optimized for finding asteroids and NEOs. It is entering its second 3-year phase of operations.

You will work to implement the effort to find and report asteroids/NEOs, working with the ZTF team at Caltech and the ZTF worldwide Solar System Science Working Group. A considerable number of tools and processes are in place already, so the effort will focus on refining and exercising these tools in a sustained fashion, and on publishing scientific results.

A fraction of your time will be allocated for independent research, preferably aligned with the ZTF Solar System assignment, and utilizing resources at Caltech and IPAC. Access to significant follow-up resources using telescopes at Palomar and the Keck Observatories will be provided.

Required Documents

  • A brief cover letter describing your interest in the position
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Publication list
  • Contact information for 3 professional references
  • Summary of previous and current research (limited to 3 pages)

Appointment Details

  • The appointment will be for two years, with a possible extension for an additional year, subject to the availability of funds.
  • Application materials should be addressed to Professor George Helou and sent to
  • Complete applications submitted by December 31, 2020 will receive full consideration, but review of applications will continue until a candidate has been identified.
  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree in planetary sciences, astrophysics or related field by the starting date (summer 2021, but earlier start dates are possible).

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. Click here to read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please contact us via the email above.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
George Helou
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
George Helou