Postdoctoral Scholar- Astronomy

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Archive Date: 
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
University of Washington
Department Name: 
Street Line 1: 
3910 15TH AVE NE
Street Line 3: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington UW invites applications for multiple postdoctoral scholar positions in astronomy.  

The department consists of over 90 faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students.  Research covers a wide range of theoretical, observational, computational, and instrumental astrophysics.  Major initiatives include: the Virtual Planetary Laboratory; the DIRAC Institute (Data-Intensive Research in Astronomy and Cosmology;; the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda & Triangulum survey; the numerical simulation “N-Body Shop”; SDSS-V (instrumentation and survey science); the Roman Space Telescope Nearby Galaxies Science Investigation Team; multiple research groups focused on galaxies, stars, & exoplanets; and time variable studies of the universe through ZTF and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory project, which will conduct the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). UW is a founding partner of LSST and is leading construction of the Rubin Observatory time domain and solar system processing pipelines.  The department has the major share in the Apache Point Observatory 3.5m telescope and has continuing leadership in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In addition, UW Astronomy collaborates closely with colleagues in the Department of Physics, which hosts the Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT), the Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics (CENPA), and the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX). The physics department supports strong programs in nuclear and particle astrophysics and cosmology, including research relating to the dark matter, epoch of reionization, and nuclear, neutrino and gravitational wave astrophysics and cosmology. 

We share a strong commitment to equity and inclusion; we particularly encourage applications from candidates historically underrepresented in astronomy, in any area of research.

We welcome applicants with a broad range of backgrounds who are interested in collaborating within the department, but are particularly interested in applicants who may align with one or more of the following specific research opportunities:

A position in the DIRAC Institute to pursue independent research in statistical, computational, or data-intensive astrophysics. Candidates would be welcome to leverage early LSST data and/or collaborating on existing research programs within DIRAC and the department. 

Studies of the circumgalactic and intergalactic media with Prof. Matt McQuinn;

Studies of processes impacting terrestrial exoplanet habitability and biosignatures with Prof. Victoria Meadows;

Multiwavelength classification of X-ray sources with Prof. Eric Bellm.

Studies of nearby galaxies through resolved stellar populations, the high-resolution cool/cold interstellar medium, and their interaction, with Prof. Julianne Dalcanton;

Developing the next-generation of cloud-based big-data astronomical analysis platforms built on JupyterHub, Spark, and scientific Python; with Prof. Mario Juric. 

Up to three positions developing algorithms and software for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Data Management Team.  The roles include developing orbital dynamics algorithms for discovering new objects in our Solar System, developing image processing and image differencing algorithms and pipelines, and developing machine learning algorithms for identifying image processing artifacts.  Postdoctoral scholars will also contribute to early science studies with LSST data.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website at:


A Ph.D or foreign equivalent degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related subject is required. The initial appointment length will depend on the funding source, and offers competitive salary and benefits.

Application Instructions

Materials should be submitted through Interfolio. Please use the following link:

Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement (maximum length 3 pages, addressing both current work and laying out future research ideas for the postdoctoral term), as well as contact information for three letters of recommendation in one document.

We encourage applicants to follow the AAS Postdoctoral Application Guidelines in preparing these materials ( Candidates should address in the cover letter how their work potentially complements, connects to, or extends current faculty research efforts at UW, particularly indicating potential relevance to one or more of the specific research opportunities described above.

Candidates should highlight the work and achievements that they are enthusiastic about, but that may not easily fit within traditional metrics of academic success (e.g., contributions to equity and inclusion, open-source software development, development of teaching or outreach materials, etc.).

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled, but should be received by December 4, 2020 for full consideration. If you have any questions please email them to [email protected] with the position title in the subject line.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement from UW

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Commitment to Diversity from UW

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint ( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 4, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Astronomy Department