Post-Doctoral Fellow in Astronomy/Astrophysics

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Jul 2023

University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Located in Ōtautahi | Christchurch, Aotearoa | New Zealand

  • Full-time 37.5 hours per week (1.0 FTE)
  • Fixed-Term position (3 years from November 2023)
  • Generous annual leave provisions and professional development opportunities

Āu Mahi | What You Will Do
The School of Physical and Chemical Sciences (SPCS) welcomes applications for the inaugural Elaine P. Snowden Fellowship in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, New Zealand.

The Fellow will conduct research in their chosen field of astronomy and astrophysics. This may be independent research or in collaboration with others, but a leading role in any research project is expected.

Engagement opportunities include outreach with the Observatory, which hosts Ngāi Tahu's Dark Sky Project; an annual Astronomy School for high school students; mentorship of undergraduate Snowden Scholars; and undergraduate teaching and supervising experience (capped at 15% of time).

Starting salary is NZ$85,000 p.a. The Fellowship also includes $15,000 p.a. independent research fund and airfare to NZ. The nominal start date is 1 November 2023; flexibility is possible.

Mōu | Who You Are
The three-year research fellowship is open to any area of astronomy and astrophysics; applicants should be nearing submission or within 4 years of their PhD. People from historically marginalized communities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applicants should be active researchers in any branch of astronomy or astrophysics, including planetary studies in the solar system and cosmology.

You must have the support and endorsement from a continuing SPCS academic member of staff in Astronomy or Astrophysics, who will act as the candidate's academic mentor if selected.

To be successful in this position you will ideally have the following:

  • A strong research background
  • Strong quantitative and data analysis skills
  • A publication track record as well as experience with preparation and delivery of quality oral presentations to a wide range of audiences is essential
  • A proven ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts (both orally and in writing) to a wide variety or groups including scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • The ability to work creatively and independently

Mahi Ngātahi | Who You Will Work With
The School of Physical and Chemical Sciences | Te Kura Matū is one of the largest Schools at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha. The School sits on a solid foundation, built on 150 years of academic tradition. The School has a wide array of academic, technical and administrative staff from very diverse backgrounds, who share the common goal of actively searching for innovative solutions to the problems facing New Zealand and the World.

The School has a dynamic research community in New Zealand's second-largest city . Our research strengths include: astro-particle & high-energy physics; black holes & cosmology; dark energy & dark matter; exoplanets & planetary systems; galactic archaeology; microlensing; Solar System small bodies; stellar systems & populations; supernovae & transients; variable & pulsating stars. Major collaborations include Comet Interceptor, DART, 4MOST, GALAH, IceCube, IAU-CPS, KMTNet, LISA, LSST, and SALT. We operate UC's Mt John Observatory with four telescopes: a 1-m with a high-res fibre-fed echelle spectrograph, 1.8-m with 2.2 sq. deg. imager & two 0.6-m.

For more information about our team, please visit us at Physical and Chemical Sciences | University of Canterbury

Ngā Painga o UC | Why UC
Tangata Tū, Tangata Ora - Engaged, Empowered, Making a Difference.

The University of Canterbury is committed to accessible higher education, service to community and the encouragement of talent without barriers of distance, wealth, class, gender, or ethnicity. The University explicitly aims to produce graduates and support staff who are engaged with their communities, empowered to act for good and determined to make a difference in the world.

What we offer

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Supportive working environment
  • Generous annual leave provisions and competitive salary
  • Professional development opportunities
  • A unique working environment in a beautiful campus with access to UC facilities such as the recreation centre and Staff club at discounted rates plus onsite cafés and eateries, and more

For more information, please visit:

For more information about Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury, please visit

The starting salary for this position is $85,000 (pa)

The closing date for this position is: 15th July 2023 (midnight, NZ time)
Applications will be reviewed after the close date.

Pēhea te tono mai | How You Apply
Please identify a mentor in SPCS Astronomy and Astrophysics and discuss your proposed research program with them. Only then submit a cover letter, resume, 2-page research statement linking plans to this post with contacts for three referees and your mentor's statement of support.

Applications for this position must be submitted on our careers website .  Please note, we do not accept applications by email, however we are happy to answer your queries in relation to the application process, please forward these to  

For further information specifically about the role, please contact: Prof Rudi Marquez-Mazlin to discuss the opportunities associated with this position.

Please Note: Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Postdoctoral Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Research Associate will be given.

For overseas applicants, please visit Immigration New Zealand website  or the New Zealand Government's official Covid-19 website , to review the latest health and visa requirements for visiting and working in New Zealand. 

Job Details
Reference # 15468
Posted on 10 May 2023
Closes on 15 Jul 2023 23:55
Location(s) Christchurch
Expertise Science & Technology
Job level(s) Academic, Experienced
Work type(s) Fixed term full-time
More details (document) Postdoctoral Fellow.pdf
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