Post Doctoral Research Associate: Galaxy Evolution with JWST Spectroscopy

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Tucson, AZ
United States

Job Description

NSF NOIRLab has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral researcher to carry out scientific investigation of galaxy formation and evolution using JWST spectroscopy of galaxies in the early universe.  The postdoc would join the team for CAPERS, the CANDELS-Area Prism Epoch of Reionization Survey, a JWST Cycle 3 Treasury Program, which will use JWST’s NIRSpec to obtain spectra of roughly 10,000 galaxies out to the highest accessible redshifts, z > 10.  The postdoc will work at NOIRLab’s Tucson headquarters with astronomer Mark Dickinson, Principal Investigator of CAPERS, and within a substantial US and international research team. The postdoc may also collaborate on other galaxy evolution projects using JWST and other observatories. The initial appointment is for one year, with renewal for an expected projection duration of three years subject to performance and availability of funding.


The postdoc will be a core member of the CAPERS NIRSpec data reduction team and is expected to lead original research using CAPERS data and to participate in collaborative science with other team members.


Essential Functions:

  • Observation planning for JWST NIRSpec multi-object spectroscopy
  • NIRSpec data reduction and calibration
  • Spectroscopic data analysis and redshift measurement
  • Production, documentation and delivery of public science data products
  • Research on galaxy formation and evolution and/or large scale structure
  • Planning and proposals for complementary or follow-up observing programs


Other Functions:

  • Other duties as assigned


Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • A recent Ph.D. in Astronomy or Physics (or the expectation that they will receive the degree prior to starting their appointment). 
  • Research experience in topics such as galaxy evolution, galaxy clustering and large scale structure, and/or active galactic nuclei.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out independent research, collaborating closely with colleagues working both locally and remotely.
  • Experience with spectroscopic observations, data reduction, and data analysis
  • Familiarity with scientific Python and collaborative development


Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Previous experience with JWST NIRSpec data


Compensation and Benefits:


Salary Range: $60,550 - $67,000. The final salary will depend on skills, qualifications and experience.


AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a stimulating work environment. Details on benefits can be found at 


To Apply:

It is preferred that the successful applicant would begin work circa fall 2024 in order to participate in scientific and technical planning for CAPERS observations.  

The position will remain open until it is filled. To be considered in the first round of reviews, please submit your application by June 1, 2024.

  • Please submit a cover letter, a CV or resume including a list of publications, and a short description of past and present research experience. PDF files are preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format:  LastnameDocname.
  • Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected]
  • Please provide the names and contact information for 3 professional references with your application.  References will only be contacted later in the recruitment process.


For questions regarding the position or application process, please contact Mark Dickinson ([email protected]).


Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected] 


The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 49 US institutions and 3 international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories for the National Science Foundation and NASA. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. In addition, AURA is deeply committed to public and educational outreach, and to diversity throughout the astronomical and scientific workforce. AURA carries out its role through its astronomical facilities. 

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$60,550USD to $67,000USD

Application Details

Application Instructions
Please Apply Online
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 30
Application Deadline
2024 Jun 01


Mark Dickinson