Postdoctoral Fellow in Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Instrumentation and Observation

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
University of Texas, Austin
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The University of Texas at Austin’s Astronomy Department and McDonald Observatory seek a Postdoctoral Fellow to carry out research in the field of near-infrared spectroscopic instrumentation and observation. Applicants with observational, lab physics, or laboratory or telescope instrumentation expertise are encouraged to apply if they wish to be a part of one or more of the following projects:

1) Employ the Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrograph (IGRINS) while working closely with Prof. Daniel Jaffe and Dr. Gregory Mace. IGRINS will be on the 8.1m Gemini South Telescope into the 2024A semester, and will return to McDonald Observatory in late 2024. This fellowship will provide guaranteed time to the fellow to carry out their own observational research program.

2) Silicon immersion grating characterization while working closely with Dr. Cynthia Brooks and Dr. Gregory Mace. In the UT Austin grating lab, we are using microlithographic techniques to develop silicon gratings and grisms for use in the Giant Magellan Telescope Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GMTNIRS), a funded grism prototype spectrograph in collaboration with JPL, and a collaborative NASA project with Dr. Natalie Hinkel at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. This fellowship will focus on silicon processing, parts verification, and lab analysis.

3) Infrared instrumentation at McDonald Observatory. The IGRINS spectrograph will return to McDonald as a facility instrument and a testbed for future capabilities including spectropolarimetery and gas-cell radial velocity calibration. For the development of GMTNIRS, we are moving forward with design and fabrication milestones. We see our greatest need in the area of H2RG detector characterization.

The start date is flexible and can be any time in 2023. By the starting date, the applicants should have obtained a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or a closely related field. Initial appointment will be for one year, with the expectation of renewal for a second and third year following satisfactory research performance. The fellow will have their primary residence in Austin, Texas with international travel to Chile, South Korea and Australia. 

Applicants do not need to have interest or skills in all of the above projects, but a desire to succeed in at least one. This is a separate fellowship, with a different deadline from the Cameron Mitchell Postdoc Fellowship. Applicants should submit a CV, statement of current and future research interests (2-5 pages), and a list of three people familiar with the applicant's research who can be contacted for references. Letters of reference are not requested at this time. Submit all items by email to gmace [at]

All positions are security sensitive; conviction verification conducted on applicant selected. McDonald Observatory and The University of Texas at Austin are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to diversity.

Any questions about this job ad should be directed to gmace [at]

The deadline to apply is January 31st, 2023. We will be at AAS in Seattle and interested in discussing the job with applicants ahead of the deadline in person or over Zoom.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$62,000USD to $0USD
Included Benefits

UT has an excellent benefits program ( UT is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and position is security-sensitive; background check is conducted.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2022 Nov 01
Application Deadline
2023 Jan 31


Gregory Mace
gmace [at]