Postdoctoral Position “Mars Analogues for Space Exploration”

Posted on
Current state: Approved
Department: Chemistry
City: Leiden
Category: ,
Country: Netherlands
Contact Person: Pascale Ehrenfreund
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Leiden Institute
Application Due Date: Wednesday, January 01 2014

We are seeking an enthusiastic and excellent Postdoctoral Fellow to work for the newly funded EU FP7 Framework Program MASE: Mars Analogues for Space Exploration. The program targets

the limits of life on Earth and how we can detect life in extreme environments. The project involves partners from across Europe as well as international partners. The position is for

2.5 years and will be based in the Astrobiology Group at Leiden Institute of Chemistry. Candidates motivated in working on analogue research in support of future space exploration are

invited to apply.


Responsibilities will include:

?? Support of campaigns at selected terrestrial analogue sites to study their geological context, and to acquire pre-screened samples using in-situ portable instruments.

?? Investigation of the habitability context on site in comparison with remote sensing data.

??Post-analysis of collected samples in the laboratory to further investigate the mineralogy, organic matter content, and biota using extraction and analytical methods.

?? Characterisation of the environmental context for organic/life detection of the selected analogue sites using the combined dataset.

The research goal is to refine search methodologies and strategies in conditions similar to those expected on Mars and other planetary objects through a combination of field research,

coordinated multi-instrument data and ground sample analysis.



Candidates must have a Ph.D. in chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry or related disciplines at commencement of employment. The applicant must have laboratory experience in

spectroscopic and analytical methods. The postdoc is expected to travel for field campaign support and collaboration between MASE partner institutes (in UK, Germany, Spain, France,

Iceland) and to function in a multidisciplinary research team (EU FP7 framework). Engineering background and interest in space research will be an advantage; Good English knowledge is


Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement of research experience, and two letters of recommendation. The starting date for the positions can be as early as January

1, 2014. Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2013 and will continue until the position is filled.


Please send all information and questions to:

Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund?Leiden Institute of Chemisty?

P O Box 9502?2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands?

Email: [email protected]