Postdoctoral Research Associate in Space Weathering

Posted on
Current state: Approved
Department: Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences Departments
City: St. Louis
State/Province: MO - Missouri
Country: USA
Contact Person: Jeffrey Gillis-Davis
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Washington University in St. Louis
Application Due Date: Thursday, December 31 2020
Web Link:

Come join the NASA SSERVI ICE Five-O team at WashU. We are looking to
hire a postdoc to research space-weathering effects in extreme
conditions on the Moon and volatile-silicate interactions within the
regolith. The successful candidate will work closely with scientists in
the Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences Departments at WashU to
study Space weathering and volatile-regolith interactions through
experiments and electron microscopy. They will also collaborate with the
ICE Five-O team to investigate topics related to volatile evolution and
regolith development.

Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate – Physics – 49129

Any questions please contact Jeffrey Gillis-Davis, ICE Five-O PI, at
j.gillis-davis at



Collaborating with the Principal Investigator Jeffrey Gillis-Davis (Physics) and co-investigators Bradley L. Jolliff and Alian Wang (EPS) to develop and conduct research projects on space weathering. Tasks include experiment design, conduct space weathering simulation experiments, data collection, data analysis, communication of experiment results, and data archiving.


  1. Develop hypotheses to be tested related to space weathering and devise ways of testing these hypotheses.  Acquire, assemble, and perform analyses of data and interpret results. Analysis of experiment products using a range of analysis methods including SEM, TEM, EPMA, laser Raman spectroscopy, and UV-VIS-IR spectroscopy. Manage research projects in collaboration with other SSERVI institutions and investigators.
  2. Work with principal investigator and co-investigators to assist with building experimental set ups, design of research protocols, conducting research, and developing procedures for the collection, verification, and management of data.
  3. Write conference abstracts and present science results.  Prepare and submit peer-reviewed manuscripts on research results/finding.  Submit regular progress reports based on research work to PI and present progress Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) peers.
  4. Solve practical problems relating to difficulties with equipment or instruments. Suggest technical or procedural improvements in testing methods. Comply with established safety procedures and maintaining required documentation on laboratory and specimen conditions.
  5. Archive data acquired/assembled during research task.
  6. Conduct literature searches and background reading related to research project.
  7. Assist with grant preparation and reporting. May submit grant proposals as Science-PI with the approval of the PI.
  8. Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

PhD. in related planetary science field (physics, chemistry, geology).

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD. in related planetary science field with at least one year of research experience and lab operations.
  • Analytical, reasoning and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret multiple forms of data (e.g., spectral, chemical, electron probe).
  • Computer literacy including the ability to use a variety of software packages to analyze data and programming.
  • Ability to communicate in oral and written form in a clear, concise manner.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of standard laboratory policies, procedures, and equipment.
  • Must be able to work well independently or as a team member and to communicate data.


Salary Range

Base pay commensurate with experience.


Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


This position is eligible for full-time benefits.  Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits:

Applicant Special Instructions

  • May work in laboratory environment with potential exposure to chemical and laser hazards. 
  • Must be physically able to wear protective equipment as needed.
  • Ability to travel to on and off campus locations.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.