Postdoctoral Researcher - 13132BR

Postdoctoral Researcher

Physics and Astronomy
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas seeks to fill one postdoctoral researcher in the field of galaxy evolution and active galactic nuclei.

Starting Date: August 1, 2019 (negotiable)

Length of Appointment: Initial appointment is for two years with the possibility of renewal for a third year pending performance and availability of funds.

GENERAL DUTIES: The successful candidate will analyze archival HST imaging and grism data and Spitzer imaging of a large set of galaxies at z=1-2 to identify active galactic nuclei and measure their accretion properties. 50% of the successful candidate’s time is expected to be devoted to the development of their own research program.

Job Description

Conduct research in the mass assembly of AGN in collaboration with members of the University of Kansas AGN group and with the PI’s collaborators world-wide. The successful applicant will be expected to submit several observing proposals (ground-based optical/radio) to gather more observations. Previous experience with GALFIT and spectral energy decomposition (SED) fitting is preferred. The successful candidate will analyze the assembly of mass in AGN as a function of their host properties, using archival data while leading a campaign to obtain more observations. This work will be used to develop a Cycle 1 JWST proposal in the second year of the postdoc. In addition, the candidate is expected to pursue their own independent research program, publish their findings, present their work at national and international conferences, and partake in career development activities.

Specific Job Duties

50% Independent research
  • Purse own independent research program
  • Publish findings
  • Present work at national and international conferences
  • Partake in career development activities
45% Conduct research on the mass assembly of AGN
  • Measure masses and accretion properties of galaxies using PI's archival data
  • Analyze the assembly of mass in AGN as a function of their host properties
  • Determine which galaxies need follow-up observations
  • Work in collaboration with members of the University of Kansas AGN/galaxy evolution group and with the PI’s collaborators world-wide
  • Submit several observing proposals (ground-based optical/radio) to gather more observations
  • Publish results in a scientific journal
5% Supervision
  • Supervise graduate and undergraduate students during the academic year
  • Create and supervise at least one undergraduate project during the summer

Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the required qualification and preferred qualification will be made through (1) records of accomplishments entered in CV, (2) description of research and education experience provided in the application materials, (3) references, and (4) publications as appropriate.
  1. Ph.D. degree in astronomy or related discipline
  2. Demonstrated experience in astronomical data analysis
  3. Demonstrated ability to write successful observing proposals
NOTE: To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis not to exceed 6 months.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience with GALFIT
  2. Experience with analyzing HST grism observations
  3. Experience with SED decomposition

Additional Candidate Instructions

Applicants should submit a cover letter with the names and contact information of three references, their CV, publication list, a statement of past research, and a statement of research interests and skills. In addition, three reference letters should be sent to or mailed to Department of Physics & Astronomy, 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, Room 1082, Malott Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045 USA. Those applicants attending the January 2019 AAS meeting should contact if interested in meeting with Dr. Kirkpatrick.

Full consideration will be given to applicants whose materials are received by Jan 15, 2019 and position will remain posted thru January 30th.

Contact Information to Applicants

Prof. Allison Kirkpatrick

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Physics and Astronomy
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
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