Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Carnegie Institution Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Department: DTM – Terrestrial Magnetism


Location: Carnegie Science, DTM, 5241 Broad Branch Road, N.W., Washington, DC 20015

Applications are invited for postdoctoral fellowship positions to conduct independent research in the fields of astronomy, cosmochemistry, geochemistry, geophysics, planetary science or volcanology. DTM staff scientists pursue these fields in the general quest for improved understanding of the origin and evolution of Earth and other planets and planetary systems. The successful applicant’s primary field of research should overlap with one or more of these fields, but collaboration with other research areas on campus is encouraged.

Astronomy and planetary science at DTM focuses on the origin and evolution of stars and planets. We are seeking theorists and observers working in the fields of star and planet formation, extrasolar planet detection and characterization, planetary astronomy, and astrochemistry.   DTM staff scientists Alan Boss and John Chambers head the theoretical effort to understand the formation of stellar and planetary systems. Paul Butler is a leader in the spectroscopic search for extrasolar planets. Alycia Weinberger observes circumstellar disks and young stars.  Scott Sheppard studies small, primordial bodies in our Solar System.  Astronomy fellows are eligible to apply for time at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, including the twin 6.5-m Magellan telescopes. Carnegie is a full institutional member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV collaboration.

These topics overlap with our research efforts in cosmochemistry and geochemistry. Conel Alexander and Larry Nittler perform laboratory studies of pre-planetary materials (including circumstellar grains and interstellar organics) in meteorites,  interplanetary dust, and spacecraft-returned samples. Richard Carlson and Steve Shirey extend these studies to the chronology of planet formation and differentiation including the formation of continental crust on Earth and investigations of the chemical structure of Earth’s interior. This work complements and extends the studies of Erik Hauri on the origin and distribution of volatile elements in the Earth and Moon.

The geophysics group at DTM focuses on the dynamics and structure of the solid Earth and how motions in Earth’s interior drive surface phenomena like plate tectonics and volcanism. Peter Driscoll and Peter van Keken use numerical simulation and theory to understand the dynamics and evolution of the crust, mantle, and core of Earth and other planets. Lara Wagner specializes in field seismological studies of crustal and upper mantle structure, composition and dynamics. Diana Roman and Hélène Le Mével examine active volcanoes to understand magma transport and the factors the lead to eruption.

DTM fellowships provide support for observing, conference and meeting travel, computing, access to campus analytical facilities, and the publication of results from postdoctoral work. Scientific computing resources available to the campus include the Carnegie Memex cluster (2500+ cores) in addition to local computing resources.  Chemical and sample characterization facilities on campus include Cameca 6F and NanoSIMS 50L ion probes, Nu Plasma HR multicollector ICP-MS with laser ablation capability, i-CapQ quadrupole mass spectrometer, Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer, JEOL 6500F SEM, along with shared access to a JEOL JXA-8530F field emission electron microprobe, and Zeiss-Auriga SEM, and a FEI Xe-plasma FIB-SEM. A wide range of clean chemistry laboratory, optical microscopy and mineral separation facilities supports the instruments.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field by the time of appointment and a promising record of research and publication. Fellows are expected to begin in Fall 2019. A C.V., list of publications, short description of thesis research, brief (2-3 page) statement of research plans during the postdoctoral fellowship, and three letters of recommendation by those familiar with your work, should be submitted through the Apply Now link below by 1 December 2018.  Creativity in the proposed research figures heavily in the evaluation of the application.  Address any questions you have to Applicants who wish to apply for the joint DTM-Observatories Origins Fellowship should apply separately at

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.

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