ERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Optical Engineer) in Astronomical Instrumentation

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
University of Exeter
Astrophysics Group
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The University of Exeter wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Fellow with a background in optical engineering to work on astronomical instrumentation in the newly established Exeter Exoplanet Lab. The post is funded through the ERC Consolidator Grant project GAIA-BIFROST.

We are building the BIFROST instrument to enable short-wavelength, high-spectral resolution interferometry with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer. The instrument will be used to carry out a large survey on binary and exoplanet-host stars and to advance our understanding of star and planet formation.

The instrument design features innovative solutions, for instance on ultra-low noise infrared detectors, photonics beam combination, and using telemetry to enable long coherent integrations. The Fellow will work on integrating optical, optomechanical, and photonics components of the instrument and on validating their performance.

The Fellow will join the Exeter BIFROST team and collaborate with international partners in the ASGARD consortium, including partners at Leuven, Australian National University, Nice and Michigan. Good teamwork and communication skills are required. We regard diversity as important asset within our team, and welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

The post includes funding for computing & travel, and offers opportunities to become involved in other instrumentation or astrophysics projects. For instance, we are members of the CHARA consortium and have access to guaranteed time.

A Ph.D. degree in physics, engineering, or a related discipline is required. The initial appointment will be for 2 years, with a possibility for an extension depending on funding. A start date in mid-2023 would be ideal, but later start dates in 2023 will be considered as well.

Application materials should include a cover letter, a CV, a statement of relevant experience and interests, and the names and addresses of three referees who can be contacted for references. All applications need to be submitted before March 31st using the Exeter application portal (, reference number P87138).

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$37,500USD to $47,500USD
Included Benefits

Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme, relocation package (if applicable), and health insurance through the National Health Service.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Mar 03
Application Deadline
2023 Mar 31


Prof Stefan Kraus