Postdoctoral Positions in Astronomy/Astrochemistry

By Keith Cowing
September 30, 2011

Locations: New York Center for Astrobiology (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and NASA Ames Research Center

The New York Center for Astrobiology expects to hire two postdoctoral researchers in the areas of observational astronomy and astrochemistry. The successful applicants will join an existing research program that seeks to identify important chemical pathways that lead from simple molecules in the interstellar medium to complex organic molecules in protoplanetary disks around newly-born stars and in primitive solar-system materials. The project represents a collaboration between researchers in the New York Center for Astrobiology (NYCA), based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in Mountain View, CA, led by Doug Whittet and Yvonne Pendleton, respectively. It is anticipated that one appointee will be based primarily at NYCA, the other primarily at ARC.

The duties of the appointees will be matched to their prior expertise and may include: acquisition and analysis of new astronomical observations at infrared and/or radio wavelengths; research with existing databases such as the Spitzer Heritage Archive; related astrophysical and/or astrochemical modeling; interpretation of results and preparation for publication in the refereed literature. Positions will be for one year initially, with anticipated renewal for a second year dependent on availability of funds.

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrochemistry, or a related field, and have strong research interests in studies of the molecular interstellar medium and/or protoplanetary disks. Preference will be given to applicants with prior experience and publications of direct relevance to the research project, including expertise in one or more of the following: ground-based observational infrared or millimeter-wave astronomy; spectroscopy of interstellar dust, ices and gas-phase molecules; data analysis, including interrogation of large databases; physical and chemical modeling of interstellar molecular clouds and/or protoplanetary disks.

To receive full consideration, applications, including curriculum vitae, publications list, one-page statement of research interests, and the names of at least three professional references should be submitted online as soon as possible at the following url:

Follow instructions for new users. Apply to the Postdoctoral Research Associate, NY Center for Astrobiology, search number 20110001 position. Applications may also be mailed to: Ms. Ann Marie Strack, Department of Astrobiology, Cogswell Lab, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180 or submitted by email to

Source: NAI newsletter

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