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Yale Astronomy

Research Opportunities

Exoplanets Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral researcher to work on Doppler exoplanet searches at Yale University with Prof. Debra Fischer. The successful applicant must have a PhD in astronomy, physics or a related field. Applications are solicited for any of the following three categories: exoplanet scientific research, instrument development, or new techniques for precise wavelength calibration.

Examples of exoplanet research at Yale include Doppler surveys for low mass planets at CTIO, a search for Neptune-mass planets orbiting low mass K and M dwarf stars at Keck, spectroscopic analyses of exoplanet host stars, a Citizen Science program, “PlanetHunters,” and interdisciplinary research with the Geology and Geophysics faculty on topics related to planet formation, particularly the acquisition and retention of volatile elements.

The Yale Exoplanet Lab has a high-resolution bench-mounted Echelle spectrograph and telescope simulator. We are investigating hardware designs to provide excellent instrumental stability and techniques for optimizing the coupling of light into spectrographs with single-mode and multi-mode fiber feeds, with the goal of achieving sub-meter per second precision for Doppler planet searches. We are especially interested in adding expertise to our group for the development of precise wavelength calibration with stabilized etalons. We recently commissioned a high-resolution Echelle spectrograph on the 1.5-m telescope at CTIO where we have more than 100 nights per year to carry out a search for low mass planets.

Yale offers a lively intellectual environment and faculty and postdocs have access to world-class astronomical facilities, including Keck, WIYN, SMARTS and Chilean telescopes (through the Yale-Univ. de Chile collaboration).

Applicants should send curriculum vitae with list of publications and a brief description of research interests and plans, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to . All materials should be submitted electronically in PDF format. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled. Early expressions of interest and inquiry are welcome.

Appointments will be for three years (renewed annually, subject to performance). The position comes with a competitive salary, health benefits, and funding for travel, computing and publications. Yale University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Applications from women and minority groups are particularly welcome.