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Postdoctoral Associate - Rice Space Institute

Rice University Rice Space Institute
Houston, Texas (US)
Closing date
Apr 30, 2024


Special Instructions to ApplicantsPlease attach a Curriculum vitae with a list of publications, and a two-page statement of research interests and past research accomplishments. A minimum of least three letters of recommendation should be emailed separately to

Position Summary 

The Rice Space Institute is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral fellow to conduct independent research that contributes to the scientific mission of the recently established Center for Planet Formation, Evolution, and Habitability. The center's areas of interest span a broad range of topics, including the formation and evolution of planetary systems, the origin, delivery, distribution, and cycling of life-essential elements on planets, the interaction between planets and their host stars, comparative planetology, processes and properties of planetary interiors, and the interactions between the interiors and planetary surfaces. Scholars with a track record of interdisciplinary research in astronomy/astrophysics, Earth and planetary sciences, and space science are particularly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact closely with Rice University Earth and planetary scientists, astrophysicists, and space physicists who are using observations, laboratory experiments, geo- and cosmochemical analyses, theory, and numerical models to study the dynamics of protoplanetary disks, planetary assembly, planet-star interaction, planetary differentiation from birth to matured planets, planetary surface processes, and surface-interior interactions.

The position is open to theoreticians, experimentalists, modelers and observational astronomy and Earth and planetary scientists. The successful candidate will be housed in either the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences or the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

The appointment will be for two years, renewable for a third year upon funding availability and based on progress and performance.

The initial annual salary for an RSI Postdoctoral Fellow is comparable to other Astronomy and Earth and Planetary Science prize fellowships and is subject to annual review and adjustment. In addition, the RSI Postdoctoral Fellow will receive support for travel, computing services, publications, and other research costs.

The start date is between July 1st and November 1st, 2024, and only applications received by April 15th, 2024, will be considered fully.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree
  • No experience required


  • Proficiency in the areas of specialization listed above, encompassing possession, comprehension, and application of comprehensive knowledge.
  • Excellent communication skills to articulate their research findings both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work independently and professionally with minimal supervision and direction.
  • Ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Strong mentoring capabilities to foster the growth and development of peers and junior researchers within the academic community.

Essential Functions

  • Performs experiments, analyzes data, and/or develops models to understand the formation and evolution of planets, as well as the onset of planetary habitability.
  • Publishes and presents research findings.
  • Supports project management and collaboration across institutions or disciplines.
  • Mentors, oversees, and/or trains junior research team members.

Rice University HR | Benefits: 

Rice Mission and Values: Mission and Values | Rice University

Rice University is an Equal Opportunity Employer with commitment to diversity at all levels, and considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.

Faculty and staff are expected (but not required) to have completed a full vaccination series for COVID-19 (currently defined as full course COVID-19 Vaccine (typically two shots of a WHO-approved COVID-19 Vaccine or one J&J) and a COVID-19 booster. Rice does not require documentation for COVID 19 vaccination at this time for faculty and staff. More information can be found here:


Boasting a 300-acre tree-lined campus in Houston, Rice University is ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has a 6-to-1 undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio, and a residential college system, which supports students intellectually, emotionally and culturally through social events, intramural sports, student plays, lectures series, courses and student government. Developing close-knit, diverse college communities is a strong campus tradition, which is why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life and best value among private universities.

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