Postdoctoral Scholar

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
Department Name: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. 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 the field of extragalactic astrophysics at Caltech/IPAC to work on the successful JWST Cycle 1 NIRISS pure-parallel slitless spectroscopy program, PASSAGE (GO1571, PI Malkan). With a total allocation time of up to 500 hours, PASSAGE represents one of the largest JWST surveys providing a rich spectroscopic dataset to study galaxy evolution from the first billion years to the present-day universe. The postdoctoral scholar will take a lead role in the data reduction and analysis of the JWST grism observations as well as conduct scientific analysis on topics pertaining to galaxy evolution from the inferred galaxy physical properties.

Furthermore, this position will be partially supported by the ESA/NASA Euclid mission, which was launched in August 2023 and is now preparing to commence survey operations. The postdoctoral scholar will engage with members of the U.S. Euclid team and European colleagues to conduct galaxy physical parameter estimation and outlier detection with the Euclid photometry via machine learning techniques that leverage empirical relations.

The postdoctoral scholar will work with Dr. Vihang Mehta and be responsible for data processing, analysis and interpretation, and publication of scientific results. The work will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Harry Teplitz, Dr. Anahita Alavi, Dr. James Colbert, and Dr. Daniel Masters at IPAC as well as other domestic/international collaborators. In addition, you will be encouraged to spend a fraction of your time on independent research, and will have access to observing facilities, including Palomar.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree in astrophysics, planetary sciences, physics, or equivalent, in an area relevant to the responsibilities by the starting date.
  • Prior research experience with space and/or ground-based spectroscopy, and in extragalactic astronomy is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with effectively working in a team environment is also preferred.

Required Documents

  • A brief cover letter describing your interest in the position (limited to 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Publication list
  • Contact information for 3 professional references
  • A summary of previous and current research (limited to 3 pages)

Appointment Details

  • This appointment is for two years, and an additional year is possible contingent on performance and funding availability.
  • Applications submitted by January 3, 2024, will receive full consideration. Review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate has been identified.
  • Application materials should be directed to [email protected]. Attention to: Dr. Vihang Mehta.
  • Applications are only accepted via email.
  • The expected starting date is as early as Spring 2024 and no later than September 2024.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Hiring Range

Starting at $69,000 per annum

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick time, parental leave, bereavement, etc.), tuition reimbursement, and more. Non-benefit eligible employees will have access to some benefits such as onsite counseling and sick time. Learn more about our benefits and staff perks

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at [email protected]

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Vihang Mehta