EPL – Earth and Planets Laboratory

Postdoctoral Research Position in Astronomy / Planet Formation

Department: EPL – Earth and Planets Laboratory



The Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL), Carnegie Institution for Science, invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the composition of dust in debris disks.  Research topics will include theoretical calculations of the interaction of irregular dust grains with light and modeling of multiwavelength imaging of disks with MagAO-X and other high-contrast imagers. There will be opportunity to observe with MagAO-X at the Magellan Clay telescope at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory.  The position is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program to study the composition of exosolar systems. The postdoctoral researcher will work with Dr. Alycia Weinberger (EPL), Dr. Gorden Videen (Space Science Institute), and additional collaborators and would be part of EPL’s active group of exoplanet and planet formation researchers. EPL offers a supportive community of about 25 postdoctoral scientists and 30 staff and research scientists engaged in understanding the origin and evolution of Earth and planets. We provide extensive mentoring and professional development opportunities to our early-career scientists. Applicants are encouraged to review information about our department at https://epl.carnegiescience.edu and about our postdoctoral experience at https://epl.carnegiescience.edu/postdoctoral.

The appointment is for one year, with renewal for a second year expected pending adequate progress. Extension to a third year would be contingent upon securing additional funding. The position can begin as soon as possible but a start date up to late 2024 is possible. The position offers a competitive salary, benefits, and funding for relocation expenses, computational resources, publications, and travel.


The applicant must have completed a doctoral degree in astronomy, planetary science, or a related field, by the start date of the position.  Preference will be given to applicants with evidence of the ability to work both independently and collaboratively along with a desire to learn new skills and develop new collaborations. Prior experience in retrieving compositional information from dust or planetary surfaces is desirable but not required.

Application Instructions:


For full consideration, all application materials should be submitted by January 19, 2024. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Only complete applications submitted through Interfolio will be considered and must include 1) cover letter (1 page max), 2) curriculum vitae (including publications), 3) statement of past, present and future research interests (5 pages max, inclusive of figures and references), and 4) letters of support from three professional references. Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Weinberger at aweinberger@carnegiescience.edu with questions. Note that during the application process, you may add your requests for letters of reference prior to submission of your other applications materials; your references then receive submission instructions from Interfolio in advance of the deadline.

Applicants may use the cover letter to describe their prior, ongoing, and/or new ideas for efforts to create the equitable, positive, and inclusive working environment that the Carnegie Institution strives to enable. If you will need to obtain a J-1 visa in order to enter the U.S. and work at Carnegie Science, Carnegie will provide the DS2019 form required for submitting a visa application.

Mass Spectrometry Laboratory Manager

Department: EPL – Earth and Planets Laboratory

Salary: TBD

Location: Washington, DC

The Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science is a U.S.-based non-profit, private research institution headquartered in Washington, DC. Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery to serve as a home to exceptional individuals—men and women—with imagination and extraordinary dedication capable of working at the cutting edge of their fields. Carnegie investigators are leaders in the fields of plant biology, developmental biology, Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy, and global ecology.

The Carnegie Institution for Science invites applications for the position of laboratory manager of the mass spectrometry facilities for the Geochemistry/Cosmochemistry Group of the Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL). The Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group consists of five scientific staff, 3 scientific support staff, and 3–5 postdoctoral fellows at any one time, as well as visitors from other institutions. See https://epl.carnegiescience.edu/

The prospective employee will work at the Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. The employee will hold a 12-month salaried appointment  supported by the Carnegie endowment. The Carnegie Institution has a deep commitment to scientific excellence and diversity; we strongly encourage applications from candidates who will enrich and foster a culturally diverse and inclusive environment. Carnegie offers a competitive salary and benefits package including parental leave, health care, and retirement. EPL, formed from the combination of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and the Geophysical Laboratory in 2020, carries out a broad research program in geochemistry/ cosmochemistry, geophysics, volcanology experimental petrology, materials science, and astronomy/planetary science.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Oversight of all aspects of the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory facilities
  • Development of isotopic geochemical and cosmochemical analytical techniques in concert with scientific staff and postdoctoral fellows
  • Maintenance and operation of five mass spectrometers: two TIMS (Thermo Scientific Triton XT and Isotopx Phoenix), one MC-ICP-MS (Nu Plasma II), two quadrupole ICP-MS (Thermo Scientific iCAP Q and Agilent 8900 Triple Quad) and an excimer laser ablation system (Teledyne Iridia)
  • Supervision/training of post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists for independent operation

Required Qualifications:

  • MS or PhD in geology, geochemistry, or a similar scientific discipline
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience in an isotope geochemistry laboratory
  • Commitment to scientific excellence and a collegial and inclusive workplace

Independent research is encouraged as time allows.

Application Materials Required:

  •  Cover Letter
  •  Resume
  •  Contact Information for  3 references

Apply through the Carnegie Institution job site. Review and consideration of applicants will begin after December 15, 2023. Informal inquiries and questions about this position should be sent to the search committee chair, Steven Shirey at sshirey@carnegiescience.edu.

Only complete applications submitted via the Carnegie website will be considered.

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community.  We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together.  As such, we encourage applicants from under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply.  The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.