Research Assistant/Associate in Debris Disks (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

December 22, 2021


Research Assistant/Associate in Debris Disks (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) at the West Cambridge site has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher to collaborate with Professor Mark Wyatt on a programme seeking to understand the nature of the planetary systems of nearby stars through study of their debris disks and exozodi. The research covers both observations of nearby stars (e.g., with ALMA, LBTI, VLTI, JWST), and analytical and numerical modelling of debris disks (e.g., dynamical interactions with planets, collisional evolution and fragmentation, gas disk evolution), and aims to forge strong links to the fields of planet formation, extrasolar planets and proto-planetary disks. The successful applicant would complement the team already working on the programme, and join a growing concentration of researchers in Cambridge working on topics related to extrasolar planets and disks. Synergies with groups undertaking complementary research are being fostered within the interdepartmental Cambridge Exoplanet Research Centre (https: //, and the newly established Cambridge Initiative for Planetary Science and Life in the Universe (https: // www. provides further links to interdisciplinary work in this area.

The successful applicant will be expected to pursue research within the context of the above programme and would also be encouraged to pursue their own research. They would be expected to develop a high degree of interaction with the faculty, postdoctoral researchers and research students, to conduct a highly competitive programme of scientific research, prepare proposals to secure research resources (for example, access to high-performance computing and telescopes) and write scientific articles for publication in peer- reviewed journals. Applicants must have excellent communication and computing skills.

Applicants must have a PhD in Astronomy or a related field, or have satisfied the requirements for the PhD, by the time of appointment. Successful candidates who have been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Associate, Grade 7 (£33,309 to £40,927 per annum). Those who have not will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£27,116 to £31,406 per annum) then promoted upon award of the PhD.

The University of Cambridge thrives on the diversity of its staff and students. The Institute particularly welcomes applications from women and/or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under- represented. We have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which continually works to further the aims of the Athena SWAN charter. The University has a number of family-friendly policies and initiatives, including a returning-carer scheme, childcare costs support, university workplace nurseries, university holiday play-schemes, and a shared parental-leave policy. As part of its commitment to providing a family-friendly environment for researchers, the IoA ensures that should parental leave be needed during the course of employment, there is provision for extension to contract to compensate for the parental leave taken.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please submit your application by 23:59 GMT of the closing date of Wednesday 22nd December 2021. Please refer to further particulars for full instructions and be aware that referees will be asked to supply reference letters by 4th January 2022. If you have any queries about your application please contact Ms Joy McSharry (hr(at) Informal enquires may be addressed to Professor Mark Wyatt (wyatt(at)

Please quote reference LG29142 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
  • Further Particulars
  • Department/Location

    Institute of Astronomy


    £27,116 - £31,406 or £33,309 - £40,927






    22 November 2021

    Closing date

    22 December 2021

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