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Theory & Observation Group Podtdoctoral Positions

Theory & Observation Group – Vacancies

Graduate-level position in Cometary Radiative Transfer Modeling


Opening for a junior researcher working on radiative transfer and spectral analysis of comets in the Astrochemistry Theory and Observation Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Primary duties will involve C programming to enhance the functionality of our analysis software for studying cometary comae at radio (millimeter/submillimeter) wavelengths. The successful applicant will be responsible for maintaining and improving our radiative transfer code, working towards a public release on GitHub.

Duties will include (1) being responsible for updating the electron collision methodology, (2) working on optimal parameter estimation methods, (3) testing, benchmarking and improving the code, and (4) using the code to perform analysis of ALMA observations of comets. Guidance and mentorship related to these duties will be provided within the NASA GSFC Solar System Exploration Division.

Necessary qualifications:

  1. Degree in Physics (or closely related discipline), including mathematics and quantum mechanics.
  2. Experience coding in C, C++, Java (or a closely related language).
  3. Ability to work independently, including troubleshooting, identifying and fixing bugs, writing code and constructing numerical algorithms.
  4. Familiarity with Unix-like operating system(s), and working with the terminal.
  5. Must have a strong desire to participate in cutting-edge astronomical research.
  6. Must be eligible to work in the USA.
Desirable qualifications (not critical for selection):

  1. Knowledge of observational astronomy (and spectroscopy).
  2. Prior exposure to physical science research literature.
  3. Experience working on novel/independent research projects.
  4. Experience with software development and version management using the git protocol.
  5. Familiarity with model fitting and optimal estimation.
  6. Working knowledge of Python and CASA (ALMA data analysis package).
This position would be ideally suited to a recent graduate in Physics/Astrophysics/Computer Science, who is looking for hands-on research experience as preparation for future PhD study in a space-science related discipline.

Salary: $41K for initial period of 1 year, with an additional 1 year extension (subject to performance). Employment will be through Catholic University of America, with a physical office at NASA GSFC. The position includes the usual University benefits package for full-time employees.

Please apply by sending your resume, transcript and cover letter (including a summary of your qualifications and a statement of career goals), and arrange for a letter of reference to be sent to cordiner@cua.edu. Application period will remain open until until filled.

Postdoctoral Positions

Visit the links provided to view details about the opportunities on the NASA Postdoctoral Program website.

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