Simons Foundation, Center for Computational Astrophysics

Position ID:Simons Foundation-Center for Computational Astrophysics-FSRF [#25865]
Position Title: Flatiron Software Research Fellow, CCA
Position Type:Fellowship or award
Position Location:New York, New York 10010, United States
Subject Areas: Astrophysics
Software Development/Programming
Appl Deadline:none (posted 2023/09/21)
Position Description:    

Flatiron Software Research Fellow, CCA

Applications are invited for postdoctoral positions as Flatiron Software Research Fellows (FSRFs) at the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA). The CCA offers FSRFs the opportunity for independent scientific software development and scientific research in areas that have strong synergy with the CCA or other centers at the Flatiron Institute. The FSRF is distinct from the standard Flatiron Research Fellow position in that innovative software development is expected to be a core focus and driver of any FSRF's research program. The CCA will provide mentorship and career development support to each FSRF as well as guidance on trajectories within and outside academia.

The CCA's particular mission is to create, develop, and disseminate computational methods, tools, and frameworks that allow scientists to build or analyze big astronomical datasets, and to use computational and statistical techniques to understand complex, multi-scale physics in astrophysical systems ranging in scales from planets to the Universe. Part of this mission is to develop, maintain, and contribute to open-source software packages and their communities. Examples of software project applications of CCA researchers include fluid dynamics simulations, radiative transfer, N-Body & dynamical simulations, GPU & other high-performance computing, machine learning models (eg. LLM), probabilistic models for data, novel techniques for making measurements, visualization tools, and community-oriented foundational software tools. Please see for a full description of CCA research areas and scientific staff.

Flatiron Software Research Fellows are expected to develop or substantially contribute to innovative astronomical software projects that enable new or foundational science programs that can be independently directed and involve substantial collaboration with other members of the CCA or Flatiron Institute. Software projects are expected to enable new science and to encourage community engagement and use of the resulting tools. FSRFs will be encouraged to build their technical skills through engagement with members of the Flatiron Institute's Scientific Computing Core and the workshops and training they offer, and potentially through collaboration with staff at the other Flatiron centers. In addition to their own software development and research, Fellows help build the rich scientific community at the CCA and Flatiron Institute by: participating in seminars, colloquia, and group meetings; developing their software, mathematical, and computational expertise through internal educational opportunities; and sharing their knowledge through software releases and contributions, scientific publications, and/or presentations. Flatiron Software Research Fellows may also have the opportunity to organize workshops and to mentor & educate graduate and undergraduate students through the CCA Pre-Doctoral Program, the CUNY Astrophysics Masters Program, the Simons-NSBP Scholars Summer Program, and the AstroCom NYC Program. FSRFs are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of CCA partnerships with the Simons Observatory, the Terra Hunting Experiment, Sloan Digital Sky Survey V, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, Gaia, and the NASA SPHEREx mission.

FSRF positions are generally two-year appointments that can be renewed for an additional three years, contingent on performance. All Fellows receive a research budget and have access to the Flatiron Institute's powerful scientific computing resources. FSRFs may be eligible for subsidized housing within walking distance of the CCA. These positions will be based in our New York City offices, with anticipated start dates between late August and early October 2024.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Developing, implementing, maintaining, and supporting scientific software relevant to astrophysics.
  • Engaging in astrophysical research using computational and/or theoretical tools.
  • Assisting in the organization of CCA and Flatiron-wide collaborative activities including seminars, workshops and meetings
  • Actively participating in the preparation of manuscripts for publication and of presentations at conferences
  • Assisting in student mentorship
  • Sharing expertise and providing training and guidance to CCA staff and visitors as needed.

    For more information about careers at the Flatiron Institute, please visit

  • Applicants are required to have a PhD in a related field or, if selected, will receive their PhD before the start of the FSRF appointment.

    Related Skills & Other requirements
  • Ability to develop and/or contribute to open-source software projects
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to do original research in astrophysics
  • Ability to present research and other types of work, internally and externally
  • Intellectual connections to projects in which the CCA is involved
  • Expertise in technical elements of computational astrophysics research, which may include but are not limited to: algorithm and software development; application or development of computational or statistical methods; data analysis; modeling; statistics and machine learning; scientific simulation; or theoretical astrophysics.
  • Effective oral and written communication and data documentation

    Application Instructions
  • Curriculum Vitae that includes a bibliography, list of contributions to or development of software packages and tools, links to key github repositories, and lists of specific software-related skills (Required)
  • Research statement of no more than three pages (including figures and references) describing the applicant's past work, proposed software development and research program, and potential synergies with activities at CCA and the Flatiron Institute (Required)
  • We encourage applicants, as a component of their research statement, to discuss their broader impact on the field, what they expect to bring to the CCA, and what they expect to gain from being at the CCA to further their longer term goals.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted confidentially via Interfolio (Required)
  • If a letter or letters have been submitted as a part of your application for a standard 3-year CCA Flatiron Research Fellowship, you do not need to request additional letters for this position.
  • Cover letter (optional)
  • The Center for Computational Astrophysics is committed to diversity and making the field of Astrophysics more equitable and inclusive. Applicants are invited to describe their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (whether through personal experiences or academic) in their cover letter, but this is not required.
  • The cover letter should note any particular CCA projects (or individuals) in which the applicant is particularly interested in collaboration

    Applicants should follow the detailed guidelines at, except that a list of references is not required.

    Deadline: All application materials (including letters) must be received by November 1, 2023.

    Selection Criteria: Applicants must have a PhD in a related field or expect to receive their PhD before the start of the appointment. Applications will be evaluated based on: 1) past research and software development; 2) the potential impact and feasibility of the proposed software development plan and research program; 3) the synergy of applicant's expertise and research proposal topic with existing CCA staff and research programs, and potential to cross boundaries between CCA groups and/or the Flatiron Institute's centers.

    Any queries about the application process or about CCA should be directed to Queries about the CCA may also be directed to any of the scientific staff at CCA.

  • The full-time annual compensation for this position is $90,000.
  • In addition to competitive salaries, the Simons Foundation provides employees with an outstanding benefits package.

    To apply, visit:

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