Postdoc Opportunities at Penn State


Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets & Habitable Worlds (CEHW; is advertising multiple job opportunities for postdoctoral researchers within the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics ( Particularly for the first project described below, we’d be very receptive to researchers with formal training in statistics or computer sciences. I expect that significant pipeline development will occur in Julia, so experience with Julia would also be viewed favorably. For candidates with particularly strong backgrounds in statistcs and/or programming, we would be open candidates without previous training in astronomy. An astronomy or physics background is more important for the second and third projects.

We’re interested in postdoc applications for any research area related to CEHW, including theoretical, observational, and/or instrumentation projects. This job season, we are particularly interested in candidates who could collaborate with:

  1. Prof. Eric Ford, Prof. Suvrath Mahadevan and their collaborators on improving the sensitivity of high-resolution Doppler planet surveys using modern statistical and computational tools for eventual application to next-generation spectrographs such as the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF;, NEID ( and EXPRES ( Of particular interest are candidates who have expertise in any subset of spectroscopic data analysis, statistical techniques, application of computational techniques to precision radial velocity survey data, and/or expertise with detailed analysis of near-infrared and optical spectroscopic data.The HPF instrument is now at the Hobby Eberly Telescope, beginning its commissioning activities and NEID is expected to commission in 2019. See the job ads at and for details.

  2. Prof. Fabienne Bastienon stellar photometric variability, stellar magnetic activity, exoplanet detection and characterization, and/or the analysis of ground and space-based stellar light curves, especially as applies to the upcoming NASA TESS mission and ground-based Doppler follow-up. The ideal candidate will have some combination of the following qualifications: expertise in performing high precision space-based photometry, especially as applicable to the TESS mission, experience in improving the precision of space-based light curves, such as those obtained from the re-purposed Kepler mission, a desire to work with and assist in advising graduate and undergraduate students, and a background in observational stellar astrophysics and/or exoplanet detection or characterization. See the job ads at, and for details; and/or

  3. Prof. Rebekah Dawson on the dynamics and formation of planetary systems. Job at at and

The successful applicants will have access to a variety of resources and collaborations available at Penn State, including but not limited to the Institute for CyberScience (, the CyberLAMP hybrid computer cluster, the Center for Astrostatistics (, and the 10-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (

Applications received by January 15, 2018 will receive full consideration, but we encourage applicaitons any time until the positions are filled.

Eric Ford