Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Exoplanets

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Queen Mary University of London
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

About the Role

The Astronomy Unit in the Department of Physics & Astronomy is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work with Dr Edward Gillen on the detection and characterization of young transiting exoplanets using data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS; and the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS; The position is supported by an STFC grant.

The successful candidate will play a key role in the detection and characterization of young transiting planets with TESS and NGTS. They will be expected to lead or contribute to the following areas: (i) searching for new transiting planets (e.g. using our newly-developed algorithm, which has been optimized for detecting planets around young active stars), (ii) vetting candidate planets and assessing the youth of their host stars, and (iii) engaging in follow-up and modelling efforts to confirm and characterize the newly detected young planetary systems. This work will be carried out as part of both the “Planets and Stellar Activity through Time” TESS GI program and the NGTS Clusters Survey (both led by Dr Gillen). The successful candidate will take up a leadership role in the scientific exploitation of these programs, and is expected to both lead and contribute to journal publications. They will also be encouraged to develop and pursue independent research programs according to their interests.

About You

Applicants should have, or be close to completing, a PhD in Astronomy/Astrophysics or a closely-related discipline, and have a history of publications and oral/poster presentations commensurate with their career stage. Experience in exoplanet or stellar research and in data analysis (all broadly defined), is desirable but not essential, and applicants with a wide range of skills will be considered.

About the Department

Queen Mary University of London is a leading university in the UK, with a breadth of excellence across Science and Engineering, Medicine, and Humanities and Social Sciences. This position is based in the Astronomy Unit within the Department of Physics & Astronomy, which hosts world-leading research groups in exoplanets, planetary science, space plasma physics and cosmology.

About Queen Mary

At Queen Mary University of London, we believe that a diversity of ideas helps us achieve the previously unthinkable. Throughout our history, we’ve fostered social justice and improved lives through academic excellence. And we continue to live and breathe this spirit today, not because it’s simply ‘the right thing to do’ but for what it helps us achieve and the intellectual brilliance it delivers. We continue to embrace diversity of thought and opinion in everything we do, in the belief that when views collide, disciplines interact, and perspectives intersect, truly original thought takes form.


We offer competitive salaries, access to a generous pension scheme, 30 days’ leave per annum (pro-rata for part-time/fixed-term), a season ticket loan scheme and access to a comprehensive range of personal and professional development opportunities. In addition, we offer a range of work life balance and family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, and campus facilities including an on-site nursery.

The post is based at the Mile End Campus in London. It is a full time, fixed term appointment for 2 years (with up to a further 2 years subject to additional funding). The expected start date is April--October 2022 (flexible/negotiable). The starting salary will be GGrade 4, in the range of £32,087 - £40,797 per annum  (pro-rata), inclusive of London Allowance.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Edward Gillen at [email protected] or on +44 (0)20 7882 5898.

Details about the department can be found at

To apply for the role, please click the ‘apply’ button below.

Applications must include a CV, publication list, and research statement (2-3 pages). These should all be joined into a single PDF document that you upload as your “CV” in our on-line application system. The research statement should include relevant past and current research, highlight how your skills and experience match the role, and include proposed independent research to be undertaken alongside the main goals of the position. Applicants should arrange for two reference letters to be emailed to Sri Kulandaivelu at [email protected], which should arrive by the deadline.

The closing date for applications is 22 January 2022. Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2021 Dec 15
Application Deadline
2022 Jan 22
Reference Code


Dr Ed Gillen