Postdoctoral Researcher (Visiting) (Radiative Transfer Modeling)

Posted on
Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
City: Houston
State/Province: Texas
Category: ,
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 Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), run by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in Radiative Transfer Modeling in Planetary Atmospheres.

The successful candidate will join Dr. Germán Martínez on the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) science team of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, and will participate in analysis and interpretation of measurements made by the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), one of the six environmental sensors comprising MEDA. TIRS is the first in situ Martian infrared radiometer including upward- and downward-looking channels, and it will measure the upward and downward thermal infrared radiation at the surface, the reflected solar radiation at the surface, the surface brightness temperature, and the near-surface vertical temperature profile. The successful candidate may also participate in operations planning for the MEDA instrument. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to carry out an independent research program and contribute to public engagement events at the LPI. They will also be encouraged to propose for external funding and participate in NASA 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, LPI scientists maintain active collaborations with faculty at the nearby Rice University and the University of Houston.

Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. in Planetary Science, Physics, or a related field. The successful candidate will develop a numerical model capable of spectrally simulating longwave radiation fluxes at the Martian surface to maximize the scientific return of TIRS. Required expertise includes proficiency in a common radiative-transfer programming language (e.g., IDL, MATLAB, Fortran), and a record of publications in relevant or similar studies. Previous experience with Mars-related research 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 October 1, 2020; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Questions can be addressed to Dr. Germán Martínez ([email protected]).

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.