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Postdoctoral Associate- Space Sciences Laboratory- UC Berkeley

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Associate- Space Sciences Laboratory- UC Berkeley
Salary range: Salary will commensurate with experience.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Fall 2021
Position duration: One year

Application Window

Open date: July 8th, 2021

Last review date: Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley, seeks applicants for Postdoctoral Associate positions. SSL has a long history of developing and operating space instruments and full missions. Opportunities for scientific research are currently available in the following areas:

Planetary Science
SSL experience in spaceflight missions for planetary research includes Mars Global Surveyor, STARDUST, MAVEN, and the Emirates Mars Mission. Current available positions for research involve analyzing the measurements from Mars made by MAVEN, with upcoming opportunities for involvement in new missions like the twin-spacecraft ESCAPADE Mars mission.

Solar and Heliospheric Physics
SSL has long experience in making solar and solar wind measurements in space including instruments on STEREO and WIND, and the RHESSI mission. Currently available positions for research involve the study of the revolutionary measurements being made by Parker Solar Probe, with future opportunities to perform and interpret high-altitude balloon-based observations from GRIPS.

Astrophysics and Exoplanetary Science
SSL has worked extensively on projects in astrophysics, including participating in the development of NASA’s NuSTAR mission, operating the satellite, and using the data for scientific discoveries. Currently available positions include the opportunity to work on COSI and on new laboratory astrophysics experiments.

Geospace Science
SSL has built many scientific payloads and full spaceflight missions orbiting Earth, and rocket payloads for suborbital experiments. The long list include the imagers for IMAGE, the complete 5-satellite THEMIS mission, and most recently ICON. New opportunities exist for analysis of science data from ICON, THEMIS, MMS, and participation in new missions like GLIDE, and future suborbital missions.

Further opportunities exist to support missions with PhD-level expertise in Aerospace Engineering and Optical Engineering.

With this search, SSL seeks to hire the next generation of scientists and engineers to continue this legacy of research in space, to advance our current capabilities and to take advantage of numerous recent developments in space science and technology that enable new scientific discoveries. SSL is committed to attracting a pool of candidates with representation along all axes of diversity. As noted above, positions are available in numerous projects where space hardware is or has been developed to collect data from space, with opportunities for involvement in related research and analysis projects, as well as the potential for new flight projects.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will engage in both independent and collaborative research, and will attend and contribute to scientific seminars and workshops at UC Berkeley. Opportunities exist for collaborating with spaceflight research teams for missions both in flight and in development. The Postdoctoral Researcher will attend meetings of scientific societies and other venues for presentation of results and for career development. The ultimate result of this work is the publication of original research results in peer reviewed journals.

Responsibilities of the Position Include:
• Develop an area of original scientific research, focused on observation of phenomena in space and the space environment around the sun, Earth and other planets.
• Work to develop knowledge at intersections of the space science disciplines, including observations from the number of current space science missions currently active at SSL (e.g., MAVEN, ICON, PSP).
• Present new results at international conferences and through publication in peer-reviewed journals.
• Present annually at the Space Science Seminar.
• Support development of new concepts of observations in space to advance scientific understanding.
• Support discussions between the engineering and science disciplines in developing new technologies for space.

This position will report to either the Associate Director for the science discipline of the candidate’s scientific focus, or the Associate Director for Engineering.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    • PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
    • PhD or equivalent international degree.
    • No more than four years of post-degree research experience by start date.
Preferred qualifications
    • PhD in Physics, Aerospace Engineering , or a closely related field.
    • Strong background in data analysis of measurements of the space and astro environment.
    • Experience in software development and deployment in scientific data analysis pipelines.
    • Experience with spaceflight hardware systems, including power and communications.
    • Experience in the design, build and/or test of optical/mechanical systems, including imaging detectors.
    • Experience with lab calibration of plasma or optical instruments, including ultraviolet imagers.
    • Experience with X-ray or gamma-ray detectors.
    • Publication record

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley (for additional information go to

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required
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Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letter.

Job location

Berkeley, CA