Post-Doctoral Researcher in Stellar Populations

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Space Telescope Science Institute
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) invites highly motivated individuals to apply for two post-doctoral researcher positions to work on observational studies of nearby dwarf galaxies with Dr. Kristen McQuinn. The science themes of the two positions are:

  1. Near-Field Cosmology. The successful applicant will play a leading role on projects that can include observations of resolved stars in local galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and/or simulated data for the upcoming Roman Space Telescope. The science focus for this position ranges from measuring the star formation histories of low-mass galaxies, to constraining the baryonic-to-dark matter ratios in dwarfs, to working on the cosmic distance ladder, to the discovery and characterization of ultra-faint dwarfs, to constraining cosmic reionization physics.
  2. Low-Metallicity Massive Stars. The successful applicant will lead the quantitative analysis of HST Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) observations (combined with ancillary data) of O-type stars in nearby dwarf galaxies. The science focus is to empirically constrain stellar mass-loss rates and ionizing spectra at the very low metallicities typical of reionization-era galaxies.

For both positions, the successful applicant will also have time available for independent research or new projects. The nominal start date is Summer/Fall 2024, but other dates are negotiable. The initial appointments are for one year, with an expected renewal for additional two years based on satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

The successful applicants will benefit from the career mentoring program at STScI, interactions with the Johns Hopkins University research staff, and a stimulating work environment rich in colloquia, journal clubs, symposia, and learning opportunities related to the missions supported by STScI (HST, JWST, and Roman).

Any questions about the position should be directed to [email protected]

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related field at the start of the post-doctoral researcher position. Expertise in one or more of the following areas in desirable: (a) resolved stellar populations; (b) nearby galaxies; (c) data reduction of HST imaging or spectroscopy; (e) stellar evolution; (f) resolved star search algorithms/machine learning techniques; (g) OB-type and/or low-metallicity massive stars; (i) stellar atmosphere modeling. Most important is the willingness to take on new projects, learn new skills, and work independently to bring these projects to fruition.

Applicants are requested to complete an on-line application through:

The following materials will be requested in PDF format: a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and a concise (2-3 page) statement of research interests, accomplishments, relevant technical experience, and an explanation of interest for either the near-field cosmology or massive stars focus. Complete applications received by December 15, 2023, will receive full consideration. Applicants must also arrange for three confidential letters of reference. Reference letters must be submitted by the same date via the on-line application system.

Questions regarding the application process can be sent directly to [email protected].

STScI, located on Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore, Maryland, offers an excellent benefit package, competitive salaries, and a stimulating work environment. STScI’s pay is commensurate to the year of Ph.D. STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, STScI does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or mental or physical handicap. Veterans, disabled or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at [email protected]. All employment is contingent on establishing eligibility to work in the United States, including obtaining an appropriate visa, if necessary.


Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Sep 16
Application Deadline
2023 Dec 15
Reference Code
Space Telescope Science Institute


Christine Rueter