University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term) x 2

The Astrophysics Group of the Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, invites applications for two postdoctoral research associates to work in the exoplanet research team of Professor Queloz.

The team is involved in different observation programmes and international collaborations and is particularly active in the development and operation of instrumentation for the detection and characterisation of small planets similar to the Earth.

The post holders will be expected to conduct an independent research programme and to actively participate in the development, maintenance, and scientific exploitation of SPECULOOS-South (ESO Paranal) and/or HARPS-3 (La Palma) experimental facilities. The group is also active in the NGTS collaboration and in the joint exploitation of CHEOPS and TESS satellite. More details may be found on this link Candidates must be familiar with our group's research and should aim to establish a research program within that context. Experience of astronomical data reduction and scientific programing in python is essential.

Post holders will be expected to take management responsibilities at work package level including procurements and technical contract management. Experience in the development, testing and handling of expensive/delicate astronomical instrumentation and precision optics in ISO 7 clean room standards, telescope robotic operations and scientific database development is desirable.
Some experience with any of: vacuum systems, cryo-cooling, temperature sensors/thermal regulation and precise handling/manoeuvring of heavy opto-mechanical systems would be beneficial.

Cambridge has a very active and diverse exoplanet research activity. Other programmes are being carried out at the Institute of Astronomy and in the department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Earth Science. Opportunities of collaboration and exchanges with researchers of other departments are strongly encouraged. A Cambridge Exoplanet Research Centre has been established to promote collaboration between all these teams working on various aspects of exoplanet research. Regular scientific meetings and socials are organised to stimulate interactions and intellectual exchanges.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

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Appointment at research associate is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience) in experimental astronomy, physics or another relevant scientific discipline, including those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD (in which case appointment will initially be made at research assistant and amended to research associate when the PhD is awarded). The research assistant salary (grade 5) falls within the range £26,715 to £ £31,865. The research associate (grade 7) salary falls within the range £32,816 to £ £40,322. Applicants should have a proven track record in astrophysics research, and scientific exploitation of data.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Becky Fanning (PA to Professor Didier Queloz) (email:

Please quote reference KA21644 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

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