The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a vibrant research institute focused on answering a wide range of exciting and fundamental questions in astrophysics and cosmology.
We offer postdoctoral opportunities for recent Ph.D. scientists in astrophysics, cosmology, and extrasolar planetary science. These positions offer opportunities to develop innovative research programs in these areas using computational, experimental, observational, and theoretical approaches. Existing research programs at KIPAC include studies of dark energy, cosmic dynamics and structure formation, galaxy formation, and the physics of inflation, studies of and searches for dark matter, and studies of black holes, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, stars (including the sun), extrasolar planets, and other astrophysical sources. A list of KIPAC Faculty research interests is here.
KIPAC Postdoctoral Opportunities
Kavli and Porat Fellowships
The Kavli and Porat Fellowship programs are three-year fellowships that offer outstanding young scientists with experience in computation, instrumentation, observation and theory opportunities to develop innovative research programs in astrophysics and cosmology. Kavli and Porat Fellows will have the freedom to set their own research direction, and will also have KIPAC faculty mentors and the opportunity to collaborate with existing KIPAC groups.
Additional opportunities may be available with specific projects or PIs at KIPAC. Applicants to our Fellowship Program will be considered for all available KIPAC opportunities.
Opportunities that are available for Fall 2022 include:
- Postdoctoral positions to work on any science area, including commissioning, with the Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time
- Postdoctoral position to work for 2 years at the Rubin Observatory summit facility as an Observing Specialist, before returning to do 2 years LSST cosmology research at SLAC (Contact Phil Marshall)
- Postdoctoral position in observational cosmology with LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (Contact Pat Burchat) (earlier start is possible)
- Postdoctoral position in Galactic magnetic fields or interstellar medium science (Contact Susan Clark)
- Postdoctoral position in cosmic microwave background science analyses or instrumentation (Contact Kimmy Wu or Zeesh Ahmed)
- Postdoctoral position in adaptive optics instrumentation to work on the Gemini Planet Imager (Contact Bruce Macintosh)
- Postdoctoral position to work on observations and modeling of dwarf galaxies including with DESI, SAGA, and/or LSST data (Contact Risa Wechsler)
- Postdoctoral position in quantum sensing for dark matter searches (Contact Noah Kurinsky)
Applications for 2022 Kavli Fellowship, Porat Fellowship, and KIPAC postdoc positions are now open. The application deadline is November 1, 2021.
Joint Stanford-Santa Cruz Fellowships
We are offering an independent four-year fellowship in cosmology, astrophysics, or exoplanet science jointly with the University of California, Santa Cruz. This fellowship offers an opportunity to carry out independent research and to be connected with the vibrant cosmology and astronomy programs at both Stanford and UCSC, which are located 50 miles apart. Fellows will choose a mentor at each institute and will split their time between the two institutes over the duration of the fellowship, including the option to spend two years at each institute. Preference will be given to applicants who have not done extensive prior postdoctoral work.
Applications for 2022 Stanford-Santa Cruz Fellowships are now open. The application deadline is November 1, 2021.
Joint Stanford-MIT Positions in X-ray Astrophysics and Instrumentation
We have teamed up with our sister Kavli Institute at MIT to offer two postdoctoral positions targeted at the interface of X-ray astrophysics and instrumentation, developing novel algorithms that should reduce instrumental background signals in X-ray detectors and improve the accuracy of photon energy measurements. The positions are for four years, with the possibility to be based at Stanford, MIT, or jointly across the institutes.
Applications for these positions are now open. The application deadline is November 1, 2021.
Stanford Science Fellowships
We are very pleased that Stanford University has introduced a new Stanford Science Fellows program in the mathematical, physical, and life sciences for exceptionally qualified early-career scientists, with no more than two years of postdoctoral experience. Fellows will pursue an independent research program and will have the opportunity to join one or more faculty research groups. The program will include community-building activities to foster career development and leadership skills, and workshops, seminars, informal lunches and dinners, and discussions with Stanford faculty and visitors on current topics throughout the natural sciences.
All astrophysics applicants for the Stanford Science Fellows program will be automatically considered for a KIPAC Fellowship as well (see above). We do ask applicants to submit an application to the KIPAC Fellowship program as well, just so we know which of the various KIPAC programs they are interested in, but the research proposal, CV etc can either be identical to those submitted to the Stanford Science Fellows program, or these materials can be omitted entirely (to save time for the applicant).
Applications for 2022 Stanford Science Fellowships are now open. The application deadline is Oct 15, 2021.
Stanford Data Science seeks recent Ph.D.s of exceptional promise for postdoctoral fellow positions in interdisciplinary research with expertise in both Data Science AND its application in a domain of scholarship, like physical, earth, life, or social sciences, humanities and the arts, business, law, medicine, education, or engineering. Apply now for 2022 – 2024.
Applications for these positions are now open. The application deadline is Dec 20, 2021.
Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC
The Panofsky Fellowship is a five-year fellowship, intended to recognize exceptional and promising young scientists who would most benefit from the unique opportunity to conduct their research at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, including research in all of the leading Cosmic Frontier surveys (DES, DESI, LSST, and CMB-S4) as well as theoretical and computational cosmology.The Panofsky Fellowship provides a pathway to a continuing staff appointment at SLAC, and provides generous research support including funding for a postdoctoral researcher.
Applications for 2022 Panofsky Fellowships will be available later this summer; they are likely to be due on or around November 1, 2021.
We are happy to support applications for external Fellowships resident at KIPAC, and are proud to have supported several such fellows in the past. Interested prospective postdocs are encouraged to contact a KIPAC faculty member with overlapping research interests about their application, preferably during the summer months (July-August) before the Fall application deadlines.
From time to time, KIPAC's projects advertize specific term-limited scientist positions on the staff at SLAC. These are well-suited to applicants who already have some postdoctoral experience in the relevant area. (General staff scientist openings are rarer but do come up, and are advertized similarly to KIPAC faculty positions.)
Currently, the following positions at SLAC are open:
- Rubin Observatory Operations Scientist(s): 5-year term positions to fill one or more Rubin operations roles, and do cosmology research in 20% time.
To search for similar open positions across the lab, see the SLAC Careers webpage.
Postdoc Life at KIPAC
KIPAC is committed to an inclusive work environment and especially encourages applications from candidates who will diversity the workforce in astrophysics and cosmology.
Our interests span instrumentation, observational and theoretical (both simulations and analytical) work, and exploration of fundamental physics. KIPAC offers access to excellent laboratory facilities for instrument development and significant computational resources for theoretical astrophysics research and data analysis. KIPAC also provides the opportunity to participate in cross-disciplinary activities through the Stanford Data Science Initiative.
We have a vibrant postdoc community, which has a number of self-organized initiatives and events. Many KIPAC postdocs are also actively engaged in outreach activities at the institute and in the community.
If you have already received an offer from KIPAC, please take a look at our information for new KIPAC members. We look forward to welcoming you to our KIPAC community. Further information about postdoc benefits at Stanford can be found here: