Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Posted on
Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
City: Flagstaff
State/Province: AZ
Country: USA
Contact Person: Catie Blazek
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Lowell Observatory
Application Due Date: Tuesday, March 14 2017
Web Link:



Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position at Lowell Observatory to work on the physical characterization of near-Earth objects. This position will be supervised by Dr. Nicholas Moskovitz.

The initial appointment is for one year with annual extensions for up to two additional years in the case of satisfactory progress. The position is expected to be split with 80% of the time dedicated to the main program and 20% for any other research of the postdoctoral associate’s choosing. The start date is negotiable, but the preference would be for late Summer or early Fall 2017. This position is funded by a NASA Near-Earth Object Observations grant and comes with a competitive salary with full benefits. Funding is available for computer resources, attending conferences, and observing runs. Postdocs at Lowell Observatory have access to our 4.3m Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) as well as 1.8m, 1.1m, and 0.9m telescopes. Lowell offers numerous opportunities for involvement in education and public outreach. 


The postdoctoral associate will work in collaboration with Dr. Moskovitz and other project team members on an ongoing physical characterization survey of near-Earth objects. This survey is working to build a comprehensive dataset of astrometry, rotational light curves, and spectra for hundreds of newly discovered NEOs. Observations are being conducted at a wide range of facilities including Gemini North and South, the SOAR 4m, and Lowell’s DCT.

In addition to assisting with target management and conducting regular (1-2 nights per month) observing runs, the postdoctoral associate will be expected to take a leading role in the survey’s spectroscopic observations, reductions, and analysis. This work will include development of a generalized reduction pipeline for longslit spectral data. The postdoc will be expected to take the lead on publications relevant to this work and will be tasked with public release of the spectroscopic data.


– Experience with minor planet observations

– Experience with spectroscopic techniques, data reduction, and analysis.

– Strong programming skills, preferably Python, IDL, and/or IRAF.


A PhD in physics, astronomy, planetary science, or a closely related field is required by the start date.


FLSA Classification:                         Exempt
Compensation Type:                      Salary                   
Status:                                                  Full Time, Regular
Benefit Eligible:                               Yes
Location:                                             Mars Hill, Flagstaff, AZ

To apply: please send a completed Short Form application  to [email protected] along with a single PDF document incorporating the following:

* A cover letter (1 page)

* A Curriculum Vitae

* A statement of research accomplishments and future research plans. Candidates should explicitly describe how their experience is relevant to this position. (3 pages)

* Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three references

Review of applications will begin on 15 March 2017.

Lowell Observatory is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and provides equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status.

Lowell Observatory provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. This nonsmoking campus is at an elevation of 7,000 ft/2100m. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources office for assistance.

VERSION January 4, 2017/HR