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Postdoctoral Fellowship Position Jointly Appointed between Northwestern University’s CIERA and The Adler Planetarium – Applications Closed

Deadline: 11:59pm, January 16, 2022

The Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University and the Science Engagement Division at the Adler Planetarium (Adler) are seeking candidates for a postdoctoral fellowship position, jointly-appointed between our two institutions. CIERA and the Adler are located 45 minutes from one another; in Evanston and Chicago, respectively.

The CIERA-Adler Postdoctoral Fellow will have the opportunity to pursue an independent research program and impact the public through collaboration with Adler outreach programs.

The CIERA-Adler Postdoctoral Fellow will benefit from a diverse and intellectually dynamic environment. They will ground their research efforts within CIERA’s community of interdisciplinary students, postdocs, and faculty, and broaden their impact through collaboration with the Adler’s Far Horizons or Public Observing teams. The role will be divided approximately 70% research and 30% outreach*.

For current areas of research led by CIERA faculty, as well as research resources and facilities, see: For CIERA’s broader programming and activities, see:

Candidates in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics are encouraged to apply. We note that Northwestern has institutional access to several mid- and large-scale optical/IR ground-based telescope facilities, including Keck, MMT, Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), and the forthcoming La Silla Southern Sky Survey (LS4) and SEDMv2 (an ultra-low resolution IFU spectrograph for transient classification). Postdoctoral researchers can apply for nights through CIERA’s internal time allocation process (see for more information). CIERA researchers have exclusive access to two high-performance computer clusters, providing access to 2,644 compute cores. Additional HPC resources, including high-memory nodes, are available through Northwestern’s Quest cluster (see for more information). A dedicated Computational Specialist is also on staff to assist CIERA researchers.

Through the Adler’s Far Horizons program, we engage teens, undergraduate students, and adults in high-altitude balloon experiments, engineering, design, research, and complex image processing and data analysis. Far Horizons is currently mapping light pollution across urban areas and recently helped establish the largest urban dark sky designation through partnership with Chicago’s park district. The Adler’s Public Observing program is launching a new initiative around public engagement in research through the Doane Observatory (co-located with the Adler). Click here for more information on these Adler programs. Also note that the Adler is home to the Zooniverse team of researchers and software engineers, award-winning exhibits and planetarium shows, world-class collections, and more.

The Fellowship appointments will be for a three-year term starting in September 2022. The annual stipend is $71,500 and the position comes with a competitive benefits package and a research budget of $15,000 per year.

Please submit applications electronically to Academic Jobs Online (Job ID 20395). Applications should include a cover letter (stating your interest in and relevant experience/skills for the position), a CV (including a list of publications with the most important 1 to 3 publications indicated with an asterisk), a three-page statement of 1) research accomplishments and plans and 2) education and/or outreach experience and goals, and arrange for at least three letters of recommendation to be uploaded to Academic Jobs Online. All questions should be sent by email to and Applications received by January 16, 2022 will receive full consideration. Later applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Please state that you are applying for the CIERA-Adler Postdoctoral Fellowship in your cover letter. Applicants must complete their Ph.D. requirements prior to appointment.

CIERA and the Adler are committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community for everyone:

Every person connected to CIERA, including its visitors, upholds our shared values by seeking diverse perspectives and deliberately working to increase access and equity of people from marginalized groups. We recognize that true excellence only comes from the meaningful integration of all perspectives in our community and culture. CIERA also participates in University-wide diversity & inclusion efforts: Northwestern’s Leadership CommitmentNorthwestern’s Office of Equity.

The Adler hosts half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEAM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, online citizen science, and other outreach projects. With the Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way. The Adler is committed to diversity & inclusion principles internally, externally, and universally, with ongoing efforts championed by our cross-divisional, cross-level Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEAs) team.

Both Northwestern University and the Adler Planetarium are equal opportunity, affirmative action employers and does not discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected class. Individuals from all diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.  For more information, please see the University’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment at

*The role is equally divided 50/50 between CIERA and the Adler. The CIERA half of the role will encompass 50% of the research and the Adler half of the role will encompass 20% of the research and the 30% outreach component.

Included Benefits: 

While the position is a joint appointment between the two institutions (Northwestern University and the Adler Planetarium), the benefits are fully through Northwestern University: