The Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is seeking an ambitious, highly qualified post-doctoral researcher to work on instrumentation for the SDSS-V Local Volume Mapper instrument, as well as to pursue independent research. Note that this position is also linked under the umbrella job announcement of the MPIA Galaxy and Cosmology Department (AAS Reference Number 20-311, https://jobregister.aas.org/ad/b2dab669).
The SDSS-V Local Volume Mapper (LVM) is an ambitious experiment to map the entire southern Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds with unprecedented spectral and spatial coverage, with the overall goal to understand the injection of energy and matter from star formation into the interstellar medium. See https://www.sdss.org/future/lvm/ for more details. The aim is to be on sky within a couple of years, and the MPIA has taken responsibility for delivering the four LVM telescope systems. The extreme breadth and coverage of the survey require unique characteristics and performance from the telescopes. The research group of Tom Herbst is seeking a post-doctoral to work on all phases of this project, from initial design through construction and alignment, to commissioning and early science demonstration. We are particularly seeking candidates with experience in optics and mechanics, instrumentation development, and observatory commissioning.
In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to carry out an independent program of research, as well as collaborate with other MPIA scientists on ongoing programs. The division between LVM efforts and independent research will be 50-50. The MPIA provides a rich environment for collaboration on extragalactic astronomy, star and planet formation, exoplanet atmospheres, and instrument development. The MPIA also aims to provide a stimulating and supportive work environment, and the successful candidate can draw on funds for publications, computing, travel, training, etc.
MPIA researchers have privileged access to the twin 8.4m Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, the 2.2m MPG telescope on La Silla, the Calar Alto 2.2m telescope, and the IRAM millimeter facilities, including the newly upgraded NOEMA. MPIA astronomers make frequent use of all ESO facilities, including the VLT and ALMA, and all are encouraged to lead proposals as Principal Investigators. MPIA also offers access to a range of local computing clusters and external super-computing resources. The institute leads or is involved in a number of large science collaborations and surveys, including SDSS-V, 4MOST, VRO (formerly: LSST), and JWST GTO programs. MPIA also plays a leading role in the data analysis for Gaia and the preparations for Euclid. For more information on MPIA research and facilities, please see www.mpia.de.
Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a closely related field. The appointment will be for three years, with a possible extension to four. Remuneration will be on the German public sector scale (expected to be TVOeD level E14), and depends in detail on qualification and experience. Extensive social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service. The starting date is flexible, but should be no later than autumn 2021.
Interested candidates should prepare a cover letter, CV, publication list, and a brief (maximum 5-page) statement of research interests by December 2, 2020, and arrange for three letters of reference to be provided separately by the same date. Please refer to “LVM postdoc” in the cover letter. All applications and reference letters must be submitted using the online application system:
Before submission, candidates first need to register with the online system to generate a registration code, which should then be forwarded to referees for letter submission. The cover letter, CV, publication list, and research statement must be concatenated into a single PDF file.
For inquiries, please contact Dr. Tom Herbst (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the department assistant Susanne Koltes-Al-Zoubi (email@example.com).
The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and strives for a diverse community of employees. Applications from historically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged. MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care.