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Job Opportunities in the Department


Postdoctoral Fellowships in Astrophysical Sciences


 
The Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, anticipates offering a number of postdoctoral or more senior research positions in theory, observation and instrumentation, including (but not limited to): the Lyman Spitzer, Jr. postdoctoral fellowship in Astrophysics, the Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship with Carnegie Observatories and Princeton University, and positions in software development and in science with the Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam survey. We encourage applications from those working in all areas of astronomy and related fields.

Princeton astronomers with whom the successful applicants may collaborate include: Neta Bahcall (cosmology, large-scale structure), Gáspár Bakos (extrasolar planets, the variable sky, instrumentation), David Bowen (UV astronomy, galaxies), Adam Burrows (supernova, planetary, and stellar theory), Renyue Cen (cosmological simulations), Christopher Chyba (astrobiology and solar system), Bruce Draine (interstellar medium), Jeremy Goodman (protostellar and quasar disks, theoretical astrophysics), J. Richard Gott (cosmology, general relativity), Jenny Greene (extragalactic astronomy), James Gunn (galaxies, instrumentation), Ed Jenkins (UV astronomy, interstellar medium), Russell Kulsrud (plasma astrophysics), Jill Knapp (interstellar medium, radio astronomy), Robert Lupton (image processing, astronomical surveys), Eve Ostriker (interstellar medium, star formation), Jeremiah P. Ostriker (galaxies, cosmology), Roman Rafikov (planet formation and dynamics), David Spergel (cosmology, extrasolar planets), Anatoly Spitkovsky (neutron stars, high-energy astrophysics), James Stone (MHD, star formation), Michael Strauss (extragalactic astronomy, surveys), Scott Tremaine (galactic structure, planetary dynamics), and  Ed Turner (extrasolar planets, astrobiology), as well as about 30 postdoctoral fellows and associate research scholars. There are also strong research groups with interests in astrophysics at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and in the Physics, Geosciences, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments, and at the nearby Institute for Advanced Study. Appointments are for one year, renewable annually based on satisfactory performance, for a total of up to three years. The expected starting date is September 1, 2015, though earlier starting dates can be accommodated and are not discouraged.
                                              
For details on specific positions, see http://www.princeton.edu/astro/resources/job/jo/index.xml. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. degree at the time of appointment, and must apply via the web at: http://jobs.princeton.edu (Requisition Number: 1400574). The application should include curriculum vitae, bibliography, a description of past research and future plans, and contact information for three references.  Any questions should be directed to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu.

All applications received by November 15, 2014 will be fully considered, but applications will continue to be accepted until the positions are filled.  Only web submissions will be considered. All applications will be considered for all postdoctoral positions available in the department, but you will be asked in the application form which positions you are interested in.  This position is subject to the University’s background check policy.  Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Postoctoral Position in Software

 

The Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, has several open positions for work on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, and also expects to have one or more positions in the general area of software development and support for the acquisition, reduction, analysis, and testing of photometric and spectroscopic data from very large surveys. The successful applicant will work with a group including Drs. Robert Lupton, Michael Strauss, Jim Gunn, Jenny Greene and David Spergel on LSST and/or a variety of other projects in which the department is involved. The expected starting date is September 1, 2015, though earlier starting dates can be accommodated and are especially encouraged for the LSST positions.
 
Strauss and Lupton are heavily involved in scientific, management, and technical aspects of the LSST project which is building a dedicated 8.4-meter telescope to carry out a 20,000 square degree multi-band and multi-epoch imaging survey; Princeton is responsible for the multi-epoch deep imaging ("data release production") portion of the LSST’s software. In addition, the Department is collaborating with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan to carry out deep, high-resolution, wide-area imaging surveys to study galaxy evolution and weak lensing with Hyper Suprime-Cam, a large-format camera on the Subaru 8.2 meter telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. We are also part of a consortium building a wide-field multi-object (2390 fiber) spectrograph to be placed at the Subaru Prime Focus. Finally, we are using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope to map the intensity and polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background at a variety of frequencies (ACTPOL).
 
Software development and support for these projects will include work on algorithm development (e.g. the determination of Point Spread Functions; optimal processing of multi-epoch, multi-band data; and spectrophotometry with fiber spectrographs); design and implementation of application class libraries; and software engineering (examining the performance and scientific reliability of algorithms, as well as unit and regression testing of complex software systems).
 
We are seeking to make hires from as broad a pool of talent as possible, and endeavor to preserve the Astrophysical Sciences Department's reputation as a pleasant workplace with a lively and friendly scientific atmosphere which recognizes that technical innovations are an important intellectual contribution to the science being produced by these surveys.
 
We seek candidates with a PhD or other advanced degree, and expertise in scientific computing. Applicants should have knowledge of optical or radio astronomy at faint levels, CCD or radio data, handling of large data sets, efficient automated data reduction, and/or image and spectroscopic analysis. Responsibilities include algorithm development and debugging; evaluating the scientific performance of pipeline code on real data; writing robust, efficient code (primarily on Unix platforms in python/C++); and running and maintaining pipeline code. Experience in C/C++, python, software engineering practices, and astronomical instrumentation is desirable. The appointment(s) will be made to the research or specialist staff at a level and salary commensurate with experience, for an initial period of one year which can be renewed for one or more years depending on satisfactory performance and availability of funding. The LSST positions are funded for the duration of construction (i.e. until 2022) and potentially beyond, and all positions may be extended indefinitely for the appropriate individuals.
 
Interested persons should send a curriculum vita, bibliography, a statement of research interests, and provide contact information for three references via the web at: http://jobs.princeton.edu (Requisition Number: 1400579). Letters of recommendation will also be handled through this site. All applications received by October 1, 2014 will be fully considered, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position(s) are filled. This position is subject to the University’s background check policy. For further inquiries, contact postapp15@astro.princeton.edu. A listing of all available jobs in the department may be found at http://www.princeton.edu/astro/resources/job/jo/index.xml. Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Postdoctoral Position in Theoretical Plasma Physics


An opening is available in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University for a postdoctoral researcher in theoretical plasma physics.  The researcher will participate in studies of the interaction of intense electromagnetic energy with plasma, at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.  The successful applicant will have a PhD in theoretical plasma physics or a related field, including computational plasma physics.  A strong background in fluid dynamics or in plasma interactions in extreme regimes of plasma density, including solid-state plasma, will be valuable.  The expected starting date may be October 1, 2014, and is negotiable. Initial term of appointment is for one year with the possibility of renewal based on satisfactory performance and funding.

Interested persons should send a curriculum vita, bibliography, a statement of research interests, and provide contact information for three references via the web at: http://jobs.princeton.edu (Requisition Number: 1400504). Letters of recommendation will also be handled through this site.  All applications received by September 1, 2014 will be fully considered, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position(s) are filled.  This position is subject to the University’s background check policy.  Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  For further inquiries, contact Professor Nat Fisch at fisch@princeton.edu.

Postdoctoral Position in Plasma Astrophysics

Postdoctoral Research Associate - High Energy Density Plasmas

The Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, invites applications for a postdoctoral position in high energy density plasmas and plasma astrophysics.  The successful candidate will perform experimental studies of magnetic reconnection, collisionless shocks, and particle energization, as well as associated numerical simulations for the design and interpretation of the experiments.  Experimentalists with a broad knowledge of basic plasma or high-energy-density physics and a desire to learn state-of-the-art computational tools are also encouraged to apply.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the ability to develop new experimental and diagnostic techniques for fundamental progress on fusion and astrophysical problems.  Appointments are for one year, renewable annually based on satisfactory performance and subject to funding, for a total of up to two years.

Candidates must have a PhD in Plasma Physics or Astrophysics or a related field.

Interested persons should submit a curriculum vitae, bibliography, a statement of research interests, and provide contact information for three references.  Applicants must apply via the web at: http://jobs.princeton.edu (Requisition Number: 1500391).  Letters of recommendation will also be handled through this site.  All applications received by August 7 will be fully considered, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.  Only web submissions will be considered.  For further inquiries, contact Professor Amitava Bhattacharjee (amitava@princeton.edu) or Dr. Will Fox (wfox@pppl.gov). This position is subject to the University's background check policy.  Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Application Instructions


Note that your application need not be completed in a single sitting.  Your initial application MUST include your personal details, answers to any “Supplemental Questions”, and the contact information for your letter writers.  Submit the preliminary application so that the system can contact your references as soon as possible.  Your CV, research statement and other attachments can be added or modified later if you’d like.  Indeed, we urge you to start your application as soon as possible to allow the system to contact your references and receive your letters of recommendation.  

The online application process should take about 10 minutes.  

Go to the Jobs at Princeton website: https://jobs.princeton.edu  

Click on Search Open Positions on the top left of the page

Enter the Requisition Number from the ad above.

Click the SEARCH button.

Click View under the position title.

Click on the button APPLY FOR THIS POSTING at the top or bottom of the page.  

If you’ve never applied through this site before, then under New Applicant, click on Please create a new Application, and follow the directions as stated.  Please make a record of your User Name and Password, as this will allow you to access your application later to add or update documents, and to check on the status of your reference letters.  You will then be taken through a few short pages of personal details.

If you are returning to your application to modify or add to it, then once you log in, the system will bring up the job listing and application you’ve already submitted.  Here you may make changes to your documents and check on the status of your reference letters.  To make changes to your attachments, click on Manage Documents.  If you make any changes to your documents (modify existing documents or uplaod new ones), please email postapp15@astro.princeton.edu to let us know, so we can be sure your most recent documents are part of your application to be reviewed.

If the application includes any “Supplemental Questions”, you are required to answer these.  These questions will allow you to apply for multiple positions as indicated with your single application.

Next, you will be asked to provide references, i.e. people who will write your letters of recommendation.  For each of your references, click on the ADD A NEW ENTRY button.  Most importantly, enter the reference’s name, a valid e-mail address and select YES that we may e-mail the reference directly.  The system will send instructions to each of your references telling them how they can upload a confidential reference letter on your behalf.  Note that a minimum of three references is required.  

Next, you will be asked to attach your application materials such as your research statement, etc.  If you would rather add those later, you will be allowed to do so by the application deadline.  To continue, it is okay to click on the FINISHED ATTACHING DOCUMENTS button, even if you have not yet attached all of your documents.  You will indeed be able to return to your application later to attach or update your application materials if you wish. (NOTE: If you make any changes to your documents, such as modifying existing documents or uplaoding new ones) please email postapp15@astro.princeton.edu to let us know, so we can be sure your most recent documents are part of your application to be reviewed.)  You may then see a message stating that “you may not be allowed to attach documents for this posting at a future time”.  This is NOT the case, please ignore this.  When asked, “Are you sure you want to finish attaching documents for this Posting?” do click on YES to continue.  

The final window will state that your application has been submitted. Remember that you WILL have the opportunity to add or modify your attachments later using your User Name and Password to log back in. At this point, make a note of your confirmation number for future reference and to re-enter the site to view or modify your application. You can also check on the status of your application later to see if your reference letters have been uploaded to the site.

 

 

 


FAQ

 


I started my application initially, but don’t remember my User Name and/or Password to get back in. How do I retrieve my User Name and Password so I can get back in to complete my application?

Under Existing Users, below the login area, click on I Forgot My Username/Password and follow the directions as stated.

 

I clicked on View Faculty & Academic Application; Some of my information is there, but it is missing my references and attachments. Also, at the bottom of the page is an Agreement where I am asked to sign, certifying that my information is true as entered. Do I need to sign this and send it in?

Please ignore this page. It does not show your entire application, only some parts of it. You may view your references and attachments separately. You do not need to physically sign this and send it anywhere. The submission of your application will count as an electronic signature.

 

For the attachments, does the 5MB maximum file size refer to the sum of the documents or each individual document?

Each individual document can be no more than 5 MB.

 

The attachment page indicates that you want separate CV and publications documents. Is it really necessary for them to be separate?

Yes, please.

 

I’m not ready to upload all of my application materials. Can I send them later?

Yes, you may save and come back to your application later to attach any or all of the documents. 

 

I’ve already uploaded my application materials, but now wish to update them. When I try, I get this message: “For Faculty and Academic Applications, if you update any single document while the Search is active, it is the responsibility of the candidate to alert the hiring manager in the department that you have provided revised materials that should replace what you originally submitted as part of your application.” What does this mean?

If you have already attached a document and wish to replace it with an updated version, you may do so. If you do, please send an e-mail to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu to let us know you have done so. We will make sure your most updated documents are part of your application.

 

I’ve already asked my references to provide letters of recommendation on my behalf, and they’ve indicated that they will send the letters to Princeton. Do I also need to provide the information here?

Yes, this is a critical step in your application. By indicating your references and their e-mail addresses here, we will contact them and give them instructions on how to upload your letters so that they are part of your application. Letters e-mailed or mailed separately may not become part of your application.

 

How can I find out whether or not my recommendation letters were received?

You may log into the system anytime after you’ve initially applied. Under References Received, click on View Status.

 

I’ve changed my mind as to which jobs I’m interested in and/or who my letter writers should be. How do I change those?

If you need to make such a change, please send an e-mail to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu

 

Can I withdraw my application?

Yes, when you log back in to your application, click on “Withdraw Application” under Status.

 

I entered my personal information, answered the questions and indicated my references. I didn’t yet upload my documents, as I wanted to come back and do that later, but I received the following message:

Your Application Has Been Submitted
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Astrophysical Sciences
The following is your confirmation number:
Thank you for submitting your application.

This is confusing, because my application is not complete. What do I do?

Click the OK button. This means that everything you entered has been received. You are still able to go back into your application to add or modify your attachments. 

 

I am applying for an external fellowship (Hubble, Einstein, Sagan, Jansky, NSF, etc) that I wish to bring to Princeton. How should I proceed?
 
 
First, we encourage you also to apply through the normal channels, as described above; the competition for those fellowships is fierce. Second, most of these fellowships require identifying a faculty sponsor or mentor at your host institution. Please write to whomever on our faculty would be most appropriate for this, or send e-mail to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu if you are not sure whom to approach. Even if you need not identify a mentor, we would appreciate knowing if you are planning to list Princeton as your first-choice institution in your fellowship application; do send a note to this effect to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu.
 
 
 
 
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
 

Please send an e-mail to postapp15@astro.princeton.edu with any questions.