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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Postdoctoral Associate, Observational Astrophysics and Computational Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Postdoctoral Associate, Observational Astrophysics and Computational Science

  • Job Number: 19324

  • Functional Area: Research - Scientific

  • Department: Kavli Inst for Astrophysics & Space Rsrch

  • School Area: Science

  • Employment Type: Full-Time Temporary

  • Employment Category: Exempt

  • Visa Sponsorship Available: Yes

  • Schedule:

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    Working at MIT offers opportunities, an environment, a culture – and benefits – that just aren’t found together anywhere else. If you’re curious, motivated, want to be part of a unique community, and help shape the future – then take a look at this opportunity.

    Information on MIT’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement can be found at the bottom of this posting.

POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE, OBSERVATIONAL ASTROPHYSICS AND COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI), to work in the areas of observational astrophysics and computational science related to exoplanets and transient astrophysics under the direction of Dr. George Ricker, the PI of MIT-led Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) ( , and participate in the discovery team assessing the scientific data from TESS. TESS is well on its way to discovering thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey of the solar neighborhood is identifying Earth- to Jupiter-sized planets orbiting stars with stellar types and temperatures spanning a wide range. Many of these TESS planets are likely to be targets for JWST observations. The full frame images from TESS are providing precise photometry of more than 300 million stars and galaxies during its survey. Its exquisite photometric stability and sensitivity enables detection of a broad range of astrophysical transients, including cataclysmic variables, novae and supernovae, tidal disruption events, and addressing topics in multi-messenger astronomy. The MKI team includes students, postdocs, and other researchers studying exoplanets, stellar and galactic astronomy, and high energy astrophysics. MKI is a partner in the twin 6.5-m Magellan telescopes and the incumbent will be encouraged to propose for MKI time on the telescopes.

Job Requirements

REQUIRED: Ph.D. in astrophysics, astronomy, or a closely related field of physics or computational science; and experience with standard astronomical data analysis packages, computer languages, and operating systems commonly used in astronomy. PREFERED: an interest in large datasets, including development and application of AI and deep learning methods; and experience in observational or computational astronomy. Job #19324

In addition to applying online via the MIT website, applicants are asked to submit a single PDF containing CV, publications list, and a brief research statement (of no more than four pages) and arrange to have three letters of reference sent to Mr. Alexander Rudat ( Questions may be directed to Dr. Ricker (

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is nominally Fall 2021, with the appointment being for one year, renewable annually depending on performance and funding, likely lasting for two to three years. 2/19/21