Science Highlight




ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows

deadline: December 10, 2018

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) invites applications for the positions of ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows

ALMA provides the world-wide astronomical community with transformational capabilities to study the origin of galaxies, stars, and planets. ALMA started its first Early Science observations in late 2011 and has led to the publication of more than 1100 papers to date. The JAO is offering postdoctoral fellowship positions to join the ALMA science operations group in Santiago, Chile. ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows will be appointed for a period of three years and will spend 50% of their time dedicated to their personal scientific research. The remaining time will be spent in support of ALMA operations, including observing at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama for hands-on interaction with the telescope. The goal of these fellowships is to offer young scientists the opportunity to enhance their research programs through involvement in science activities and interactions with experienced staff at the world's foremost observatory for sub-mm astronomy. 

At present, there are over 40 scientists with a wide range of research interests working at ALMA in Santiago. The JAO also hosts regular visits from scientists from the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) in Europe, North America and East Asia. The ALMA office is located adjacent to ESO’s Santiago office, and the offices of AUI/NRAO and NAOJ are located nearby. Fellows have the opportunity to collaborate with the rapidly growing Chilean astronomical community as well as with astronomers from other international observatories located in Chile. The ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows will be provided with resources for science trips and will be encouraged to visit one or more of the ARCs for science collaborations. The JAO runs a visitor program through which science collaborators can be invited to work in Santiago. ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to lead a vigorous research program in any area related to the use of ALMA. Fellows will also actively participate in and contribute to the science activities of the JAO.

The ALMA Postdoctoral fellows are expected to support ALMA science operations and will work in the JAO Department of Science Operations (DSO).  They will perform their duties as part of the large team of international scientists working at the JAO and in the ARCs.

Successful candidates will act as Astronomers on Duty at the OSF. A fraction of the technical duties can be spent on data processing, participation in the ALMA review process as technical experts, software testing, and development and testing of new capabilities of the array, among other technical activities necessary for the successful operations of the facility.

Duty Station / Location of Position: Santiago Central Office, Chile, with frequent visits to the Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (50%).

Start Date: Successful candidates will be expected to start their fellowship before October 2019.


Professional requirements/qualifications

Applicants shall fulfill the following requirements:

  • PhD in Astronomy, Astrophysics or a related field
  • Proven track record of excellent scientific research.
  • Experience in millimeter Astronomy observations (single dish and/or interferometry) and in processing of radio astronomical data is an asset.
  • Fluency in the English language (oral and written).
  • Good interpersonal communication skills and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team, including operators, astronomers and engineers.

Due to travel requirements and work at high altitudes, a successful high-altitude medical check is a necessary condition of employment for this position.


Application Instructions:

ALMA Postdoctoral Fellows will be engaged to work at the JAO through one of the Executives: ESO, AUI/NRAO or NAOJ. Candidates should apply through the Recruitment Portal(s) of the ALMA Executive (ESO, AUI/NRAO, NAOJ) from which s/he would like to receive a contract offer. Only one ALMA Executive will send a contract offer to each successful candidate.

Applications must be completed in English and should include a statement of scientific interests, an outline of research envisaged to be done over the next 3 years and its relevance to ALMA (maximum 3 pages 11pt including figures), as well as a CV with a list of publications. Candidates should provide three reference letters. Details of the application process and information about conditions and remuneration are provided in the Recruitment Portals of the ALMA partners:

Applicants submitting their application to ESO are invited to apply online at https://jobs.eso.org

Applicants submitting their application to NRAO are invited to apply online at https://careers.nrao.edu . Please have letters of recommendation sent to Candice Waller at cwaller@nrao.edu

Applicants submitting their application to NAOJ are invited to apply via e-mail to "apply-alma-dso20181110@nao.ac.jp"


Deadline for receipt of applications to be considered is December 10th, 2018.  

For further information please consult www.almaobservatory.org, as well as the ESO, NRAO, and/or NAOJ homepages ( www.eso.org, www.nrao.edu, or www.nao.ac.jp/en/ )