Northwestern University, CIERA - Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics

826 19366
Position ID:Northwestern-CIERA-OBSERVATIONAL [#19366]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate Positions in Observational Astronomy & Astrophysics
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Evanston, Illinois 60208, United States [map]
Subject Area: Astrophysics / Observational
Appl Deadline:2021/11/22 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2021/08/30, listed until 2021/12/31)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** the list date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer being accepted. ***

Northwestern University expects to offer postdoctoral associate positions in observational astronomy and astrophysics starting in fall 2022.

These positions will be part of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern. Successful applicants will benefit from interaction with a broad interdisciplinary group of researchers and will be immersed in a diverse and dynamic intellectual environment (learn more about CIERA’s programs and activities). Northwestern has institutional access to several mid- and large-scale optical/IR ground-based telescope facilities, including Keck, MMT, Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), and the forthcoming La Silla Southern Sky Survey (LS4) and SEDMv2 (an ultra-low resolution IFU spectrograph for transient classification). Postdoctoral researchers can apply for nights through CIERA’s internal time allocation process (see for more information). CIERA researchers have exclusive access to high-performance-computing resources, as well the services of a dedicated Computational Specialist (see for more information). 

Of particular interest this year are candidates to work with: 

— Prof. Wen-fai Fong in time-domain astrophysics, including the study of fast radio bursts, EM counterparts to gravitational wave sources, short gamma-ray bursts, and their host galaxy environments. The successful candidate will lead and engage in observations across the electromagnetic spectrum (including their reduction, analysis, and modeling) and participate in the SAGUARO (GW) and/or F4 (FRB) collaborations.

— Prof. Jason Wang on the orbital and spectroscopic characterization of directly imaged exoplanets using techniques such as coronagraphy, high resolution spectroscopy, and long-baseline interferometry. They will lead and participate in the observations and analyses of data from instruments like Keck/KPIC, VLTI/GRAVITY, and Gemini/GPI2.

— Prof. Adam Miller in time-domain astronomy, including the study of Type Ia supernovae, astrophysical transients, variable stars, and the classification of each of these phenomena via machine learning. The successful candidate(s) will lead and participate in observations of these sources, while also having access to the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and La Silla Southern Sky Survey (LS4) time-domain surveys. The group is also focused on building tools that can be applied to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory/LSST. Applicants with previous experience in UV/optical/IR spectroscopy and imaging (from space or from the ground) and/or building machine learning models are especially encouraged to apply. The Miller group offers opportunities to work on citizen science projects and maintains strong interdisciplinary connections, which will be available to the successful applicant. 

— Dr. Aaron Geller on characterizing the photometric binary-star populations in hundreds of open clusters using the state-of-the-art Bayesian CMD fitting code BASE-9. The successful candidate will lead the analysis of archival data (including data from Gaia, 2MASS, Pan-STARRS and others) using the BASE-9 tool, with a goal of investigating long-standing theoretical predictions from N-body models of the dynamical processing of binary stars.  The candidate will also help to mentor undergraduates in the group, and will have an opportunity to help develop a web-based database and visualization platform to host the data products from this research. 

Please submit applications electronically. Applications should include a cover letter (stating your interest in and relevant experience/skills for the position), a CV (including a list of publications with the most important 1 to 3 publications indicated with an asterisk), a three-page statement of research accomplishments and plans, and arrange for at least three letters of recommendation to be uploaded to Academic Jobs Online. All questions should be sent by email to Applications received by November 22nd, 2021 will receive full consideration. Later applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

Please state that you are applying for an Observational Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Associate position in your cover letter. If you wish to simultaneously apply for a CIERA Postdoctoral Fellowship position, submit a single copy of your application materials and specify all positions in your cover letter. Applicants must complete their Ph.D. requirements prior to appointment.

CIERA is committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community for everyone. Every person connected to CIERA, including its visitors, upholds our shared values by seeking diverse perspectives and deliberately working to increase access and equity of people from marginalized groups. We recognize that true excellence only comes from the meaningful integration of all perspectives in our community and culture. CIERA also participates with University-wide diversity & inclusion efforts: Northwestern’s Leadership Commitment, Northwestern’s Office of Equity.

Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and does not discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected class. Individuals from all diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.  For more information, please see the University’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment at

Included Benefits:

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Northwestern University
1800 Sherman Avenue
Floor 8
Evanston, IL 60201

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