Postdoctoral Researcher, Science (Visiting) (Radar Studies Fellow)

Posted on
Current state: Approved
City: Houston
State/Province: Texas
Country: USA
Contact Person: Cynthia Svambera
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Lunar and Planetary Institute
Application Due Date: Thursday, December 31 2020
Web Link:

The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in Planetary Radar Studies. Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. in planetary science, astronomy, physics, geoscience, electrical engineering, or a related field.

The successful candidate will join Drs. Patrick A. Taylor and Edgard G. Rivera-Valentín in using ground-based planetary radar observations to characterize near-Earth objects and other planetary bodies (e.g., the Moon, Mercury, and Mars). The LPI is a partner of the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar group and closely collaborates with other facilities, including the Goldstone Solar System Radar and the Green Bank Observatory. The successful candidate will work alongside the radar team to conduct detailed studies of near-Earth objects and planetary surfaces via radar observations, data analysis, and modeling. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to carry out an independent research program and contribute to public engagement events at the LPI and, furthermore, will be encouraged to propose for external funding and participate in grant review panels and analysis/assessment groups.

At the LPI, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact with scientists of many specialties (see including scientists from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division of the NASA Johnson Space Center. Additionally, the applicant will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the LPI’s Planetary Radar Investigation, Demonstration, and Exploration (PRIDE) laboratory for conducting controlled radar-scattering experiments. 

Required expertise includes: experience in numerical and statistical techniques, proficiency in a common astronomy programming language (e.g., IDL, MATLAB, Python), and demonstrated knowledge of planetary radar studies. Direct experience with radar observations and techniques is strongly desired, but not required. Complementary experience with astronomical/Solar System observations (e.g., optical or infrared), small-body geophysics, or astronomical instrumentation is preferred, but not required.

The position is for two years with a possible one-year extension. The candidate must be able to pass a government background investigation. Due to security restrictions, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries (see link under “ECP Notices” at are not eligible.

Interested applicants should apply to the posting at USRA Careers; application material submitted outside of this platform will not be considered. The required application material includes: (1) cover letter evidencing the qualifications of the applicant to this position, (2) curriculum vitae with list of publications, (3) two- to three-page statement of research interests and plans describing the candidate’s expected independent research program at the LPI, and (4) list of at least three professional references. Application material should be uploaded as a single document. Review of candidates will begin on February 24, 2019; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Questions can be addressed to Dr. Patrick A. Taylor.