Currently Accepting Applications

Postdoctoral Opportunity

Postdoctoral position on modeling the fate of volatile elements during accretion and early differentiation of rocky planets

The CLEVER Planets (Cycles of Life-Essential Volatile Elements in Rocky Planets) team and Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University are seeking applicants for a postdoctoral scholar position who would explore dynamical and geochemical fingerprints of accretion and magma ocean processes, searching for conditions of producing thermo-chemically habitable rocky planets. The focus will be tracking the fate of life-essential volatile elements, C, N, H, and S in our Solar System and other exoplanetary systems from the protoplanetary disk to the end of magma ocean stage via dynamical and geochemical modeling. The contract will be initially for 1 year and is renewable for up to 3 years based on progress and performance. The salary would commensurate with experience. The position will be based out of Rice University but the post-doctoral candidate will also have the opportunity to interact with astrophysicist and planetary scientist at UCLA and UC Davis and other team members and collaborators.

The post-doctoral scholar will work on modeling various stages of planet formation, tracking the evolution and fate of major volatile elements starting with the primitive, planetary building blocks. The candidate may work on

  • Modeling formation of rocky planetesimals and planetary embryos coupling disk dynamics and geochemical differentiation during accretion for our Solar System and other solar systems
  • Establishing a framework of volatile element distributions in rocky bodies for disk evolution and rocky planet formation with or without giant planet migration
  • Modeling the volatile budgets of rocky planets taking into account magma ocean, core, atmosphere fractionation, heterogeneous accretion, and impact-induced losses

The candidate will interact closely with the geochemists, planetary scientists, and astrophysicists in the team who are using laboratory experiments and numerical models to study disk dynamics, planetary assembly, and differentiation during accretion.

The candidates are required to have

  • Completed a doctoral degree in earth and planetary sciences, astrophysics, geophysics, or a related field at the time of the appointment;
  • A strong background in computation
  • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills.

In addition, the ideal candidate should have

  • Experience with N-body simulation codes, various hydro codes for impact processes

Application materials: curriculum vitae with list of publications, a one-page statement of research interests and past research accomplishments, and contact information of at least 3 references. Complete application package should be sent as a single pdf file to cleverplanets@rice.edu.

The start date is flexible and the position will remain open until filled. Send your questions to Prof. Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rajdeep.Dasgupta@rice.edu).

The CLEVER Planets (http://cleverplanets.org/) consists of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional group of scientists led by Prof. Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rajdeep.Dasgupta@rice.edu), working to unravel the conditions of planetary habitability in the Solar System and other exoplanetary systems. The overarching theme of our research is to investigate the origin and cycles of life-essential elements in young rocky planets. Based on our understanding of our own solar system and habitable planet Earth, we plan to identify where habitable niches are most likely to occur, which planets are most likely to be habitable and when in their evolutionary history such conditions of habitability are most likely. We are supported by NASA and are one of teams in the Nexus of Exoplanetary Systems Science (NExSS) research coordination network.

Currently Accepting Applications

Postdoctoral Opportunity

Postdoctoral Opportunity at Rice University

The CLEVER Planets (Cycles of Life-Essential Volatile Elements in Rocky Planets) team (cleverplanets.rice.edu) and Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University are seeking applicants for a fully funded postdoctoral scholar position who would explore volcanic-tectonic-climate interactions of rocky planets and how such interactions affect habitability. The contract will be initially for 1 year and is renewable for up to 3 years based on progress and performance. The salary would commensurate with experience.

As a postdoctoral scholar, the candidates will work on developing a deeper understanding of volcanic-climate-tectonic interaction and the implications for the cycling of the life-essential ingredients on terrestrial planets within our solar system and on exoplanets. The candidate will:

  • Develop 1D and 2D energy balance models coupled with models of mantle convection and surface processes to understand the planetary evolution over a large parameter space;
  • Design and run numerical experiments with 3D climate models of varying degree of complexity to further constrain the parameters of the energy models and understand the characteristics of the planetary atmospheric circulations;
  • Assist in the development of surface processes modules (e.g., weathering) that serve as key links between interior and climatic evolution.

The candidate will interact closely with the geodynamicists, geochemist, planetary scientists, and fluid dynamicists in the team who are using laboratory experiments and numerical models to study mantle convection, impacts, and weathering.

As a minimum qualification, the candidates are expected to have:

  • Completed a doctoral degree in geophysics, atmospheric science, planetary science, or a related field at the time of the appointment;
  • A strong background in computation and high performance computing
  • A strong background in at least one of the following areas: geophysics, atmospheric/climate science, or fluid dynamics;
  • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills.

In addition, the ideal candidate should have:

  • Experience with climate models and in particular, 3D general circulation models (GCMs) and experience with parallel computing.

Application materials: curriculum vitae with list of publications, a one-page statement of research interests, and contact information of at least 3 references. The start date is flexible. Rice University is an equal opportunity employer. Send your questions to Prof. Pedram Hassanzadeh (pedram@rice.edu) or Prof. Adrian Lenardic (ajns@rice.edu). Complete application package should be sent as a single PDF file to cleverplanets@rice.edu.

Currently Accepting Applications

Pan Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University is inviting applications for the Pan Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. We are seeking candidates with independent research interests that intersect with one or more faculty within our department. Both domestic and international applicants are welcome. A Ph.D. is required at the time of appointment, but candidates must have received their Ph.D. no more than 3 years before their start date at Rice.

The research fellowships will be supported for two years, pending satisfactory progress during the first year, and covers an annual stipend of $60,000 with a benefits package and an additional annual discretionary research allowance of $3,500.

Applicants are requested to develop a proposal of research to be undertaken during the fellowship period. The principal selection criteria are scientific excellence, a clearly expressed research plan to address questions at the forefront of their field of study, and research synergies with at least one faculty. The proposed research should, however, encompass independent research ideas and explore new directions beyond the applicant’s Ph.D. Preference will be given to applicants whose proposals demonstrate independence and originality, and also the potential for collaboration with one or more faculty in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences.

The application is due on 1 November, 2019 at http://jobs.rice.edu/postings/21282. The application should include the following documents:

  • A current CV, including a list of
  • A brief synopsis of the applicant’s doctoral dissertation (less than one page).
  • A concise research proposal (no longer than three pages, including figures, excluding references) describing the applicants research interests, specifically the research that the applicant would like to pursue at Rice
  • The names of potential Rice faculty who could serve as postdoctoral mentors for the
  • The names and email addresses of at least three references to write recommendation

The highest ranked applicants will be invited to visit Rice in early 2020. Following acceptance, the appointment may begin anytime before 1 January, 2021. For further information or questions contact the chair of the search committee at esci-postdoc@rice.edu.

Rice University is located in Houston, Texas, and is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian university that aspires to path-breaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contributions to the betterment of our world. Rice fulfills this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

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.

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