Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Kavli Institute

Position ID:MIT-MIT Kavli Institute-PA [#20896]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States [map]
Subject Area: Astrophysics
Appl Deadline:2022/01/28 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2022/01/03, finished 2022/03/14, listed until 2022/01/28)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) seeks a Ph.D. scientist for a postdoctoral position in X-ray astrophysics and instrumentation. The successful applicant will work under the direction of Dr. Marshall (Mark) Bautz on topics of interest to members of his research group ( The planned work aims in part to enhance the scientific return of the future Athena Wide-Field Imager (WFI) by understanding and mitigating the instrument’s non-X-ray background. These efforts are especially important in improving the WFI’s sensitivity to distant galaxy groups and clusters and to the faintest outskirts of nearby systems, topics of scientific interest to group members. The approach will involve running and analyzing simulations of the response of the instrument to the expected space radiation environment. Additional projects could include developing and testing next-generation X-ray imaging detectors. The successful applicant will be encouraged to pursue independent research projects and to collaborate with other researchers within or outside of MKI, and they will have access to the twin 6.5m Magellan telescopes, to guaranteed observing time on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and to extensive high-performance computing facilities.

MKI serves as the intellectual home of MIT faculty, research staff, and students engaged in space- and ground-based astrophysics. MKI plays major roles in the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the Magellan Observatory, the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). MKI researchers are also involved in development of new X-ray, optical/IR, and ground-based radio facilities, as well as in related technology development.

Applicants should have or expect to receive a Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related field by Fall 2022. Experience in observational X-ray astronomy, instrumentation, or high-performance computing are desirable, but all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. The appointment is for two years with the possibility of extension to a third.

Applicants should submit a CV and brief research statement (no more than 4 pages), and arrange to have three letters of reference sent electronically to: Ms. Shannon McGinnes ( by January 28, 2022. PDF format is strongly preferred.

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. MIT’s full policy on Nondiscrimination can be found here.

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Further Info:
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 37-284
Cambridge, MA 02139