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Postdoctoral Researcher - High-Energy/X-ray Astrophysics Space-flight Instrumentation

Job Description


  • CURRENT PENN STATE EMPLOYEE (faculty, staff, technical service, or student), please login to Workday to complete the internal application process . Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process . Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

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The High Energy Astrophysics Detector and Instrumentation group at Penn State (https://sites.psu.edu/headilab/) has an immediate opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on advanced instrumentation for X-ray astronomy and upcoming orbital flight systems. A Ph.D. in Physics, Astrophysics, or a related field is required. The current program includes development and testing of the approved BlackCAT CubeSat observatory, which is being prepared for launch in 2024, as well as work on state-of-the-art solid-state X-ray detectors for use in both near-term and long-term X-ray astronomy missions and includes work on other instrumentation efforts and astrophysical studies for upcoming flight mission opportunities. The BlackCAT CubeSat is in an ideal state of development for an early career scientist to have opportunities to lead efforts and work on instrumentation and flight system development, along with science and data analysis from a new space mission.

Previous experience with some, or all, of the following is desired:

  • astronomical detectors

  • firmware and/or flight software programming

  • low noise electronics

  • electronic board development

  • vacuum systems

  • X-ray calibration facilities

  • space flight hardware design, engineering, and testing

  • high energy or other astrophysical data analysis

Candidates are encouraged to apply even if their experience is limited to just a subset of the topics listed above, provided there is sufficient inclination towards laboratory instrumentation. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in other ongoing research programs within the Penn State High Energy Instrumentation group, which include: analysis of data from Chandra, XMM, Swift, Fermi, VERITAS, etc.; development of new X-ray astronomy missions; as well as the opportunity to participate in other multi-wavelength and multi-messenger efforts. The applicant will also be encouraged to develop their own programs and initiatives.

The salary will be commensurate with experience. More experienced applicants should consider applying for the Assistant/Associate Research Professor position at https://psu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/PSU_Academic/job/University-Park-Campus/XXXXXXX.

Applications must be submitted electronically and include a curriculum vitae, publication list, and statement of research interests. In addition, please arrange for three reference letters to be sent to afalcone@astro.psu.edu.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. This is a limited term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with likely renewal through this multi-year program. Please send inquiries regarding the position to Prof. Abe Falcone at afalcone@astro.psu.edu.


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Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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University Park, PA

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