Post-doctoral research assistant for VLTI/GRAVITY data exploitation on the Galactic Center in Paris Observatory

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Observatoire de Paris, LESIA
Number of Positions Available
2 Years
Could the duration be extended?
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)


Job Description

Applications featuring experience in data modeling, model fitting and/or Bayesian inference are solicited for a post-doctoral fellowship at Paris Observatory/LESIA in collaboration with the GRAVITY+ consortium as part of the ANR GRAFITY project (2024-2028).

The post-doctoral research assistant (PDRA) will lead the LESIA Galactic Centers (GCs) team’s effort for systematic data analysis of VLTI/GRAVITY data concerning the Milky Way Galactic Center supermassive black hole Sgr A* and its surroundings. To this effect, the PDRA will use preexisting data reduction and interpretation codes. They will extend these codes with support for systematic effects, known or to be discovered thanks to GRAVITY+. Eventually, they will be responsible for the publication of those codes as free software with their co-authors. They will work in close collaboration with the GCs team member (notably Thibaut Paumard, Frédéric Vincent and Guy Perrin), be a member of the GRAVITY+ consortium and participate in GRAVITY+ science, in particular on the Galactic Center.

The successful candidate will be appointed initially for two years, with possibility for a third year on the basis of satisfactory performance. The preferred starting date is September 1st, 2024. Paris Observatory-PSL is one of the largest astronomical centers in the world with 650 permanent staff out of a total of 1000 personnel, hosting LESIA (the Laboratory for Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astronomy, member of the GRAVITY/GRAVITY+ consortium).

GRAVITY and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) have transformed optical interferometry with groundbreaking results on the Galactic Center, active galactic nuclei, and exoplanets. GRAVITY was put in operation in 2017 on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Chile, with the primary goal of testing general relativity (GR) around the supermassive compact object Sgr A*. These works constitute one of the most solid proofs that black holes do exist and behave according to GR, and are a corner stone of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics. The ANR GRAFITY project will be pivotal to reaching the next goal of the consortium: measuring the spin of the black hole in order to test the no-hair theorem.

Further information can be found at:


Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$2,400USD to $3,400USD
Included Benefits

Positions in France come with full health (incl. dental, optical...) and maternity insurance and workers can subscribe to complementary coverage at affordable price. Positions in France also include at least five weeks of paid vacations (usually more when working more than 35h per week) and right to disconnect outside working hours.

Compensation Notes

The successful candidate will have a monthly net salary of ≈2400 € depending on experience and will benefit of full health insurance. In addition, financial support will be provided to cover research expenses.

Application Details

Application Instructions
Candidates should send their application by e-mail to Thibaut Paumard <[email protected]> and include:
– a CV;
– a letter of motivation;
– a complete list of publications and a separate list of first-author publications;
– the PhD certificate or, if not yet earned, the date of defense;
– two reference letters.
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 25
Application Deadline
2024 Jun 01


Thibaut Paumard