Numerical modeling of astrophysical transients with the open-science TARDIS collaboration

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Michigan State University
Department of Physics/Astronomy; Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The TARDIS radiative transfer group ( at Michigan State University ( is inviting applications to postdoctoral positions in aspects of astrophysical transient radiative transfer models. 

Due to the late funding announcement, we only could post the ad now. If you are interested, please put in a brief application as soon as possible. 

TARDIS group at Michigan State University

The TARDIS collaboration is actively applying and extending the Monte Carlo radiative-transfer open-science framework ( to model the physics of astrophysical transients.  The group has a specific focus on Type Ia progenitor problems, nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers, progenitors of stripped core-collapse supernovae, and cosmology using Type IIP supernovae. 

We use data from current (ZTF, HST, JWST) and next-generation telescopes/surveys (LSST, WFIRST) to address scientific questions using machine learning and statistical methodology. Thus, the larger global TARDIS collaboration encompasses not only astrophysicists but also accomplished researchers in statistics, neural networks, and general machine learning. The group at MSU is jointly based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy as well as the new interdisciplinary Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. 

Primary duties

This group is actively developing an open-source framework that will allow for the analysis of transient event spectra at many phases. The group is looking for applicants to postdoctoral positions. 

Conduct detailed studies on the physics of common envelope events in binary star systems with a specific emphasis on extending the TARDIS code to post-process hydro-simulations of these events providing synthetic spectra.

Studying the very late phase of Type Ia supernova through nebular spectroscopy and light curve. The project requires addition of microphysics and some comparison 

The position’s scientific output relies heavily on the TARDIS radiative transfer framework, and successful applicants will be expected to contribute to the construction/maintenance of the framework.

Professional Development

The TARDIS group at Michigan State University puts a strong emphasis on professional development and mentorship. We expect successful applicants to take active leadership roles in shaping the group and mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students. The TARDIS group does not expect the applicants to have existing experience in leadership and mentoring but will provide training for both. The group also sets up a mentorship plan for incoming new members which is linked to the astronomy department mentorship program. The professional development includes training in paper and grant writing, research presentations, and networking. 


Candidates must hold a Ph.D. degree in astronomy, physics, or a related subject by the appointment start, which would be no later than Fall 2024. We strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

We particularly encourage applicants with a demonstrated track record in open science, including open-source software development and open data sets. Experience with radiative transfer methods is preferred, but not essential.

Appointment length

The initial appointment will be for one year and will be renewable for two (and potentially more) additional years upon mutual agreement.

Minimum Salary: $52,662

Application process

Applicants should submit a brief cover letter describing their interest in the position and optionally proposing personal research projects using TARDIS, CV including thesis title, publication list, if applicable: mentorship experience and/or contributions to open source/open science. 

Applicants should provide contact details for three references. At a later stage, we will request letters from these references. Applications submitted by 12th of Feb will receive full consideration but the position will remain open until filled. 

Applications should be submitted through the MSU hiring website (, posting 927629. (

Michigan State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity institution.

For any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to Prof. Wolfgang Kerzendorf ([email protected])

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Feb 02
Application Deadline
2024 Mar 01


Wolfgang Kerzendorf