Currently Accepting Applications

CLEVER PLANETS Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

The CLEVER Planets team 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. Send your questions to Prof. Pedram Hassanzadeh ( or Prof. Adrian Lenardic (

Complete application package should be sent as a single pdf file to

The CLEVER Planets ( consists of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional group of scientists led by Prof. Rajdeep Dasgupta (, 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 network.

Currently Accepting Applications


The Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences at Rice University seeks an experienced and innovative Data Scientist to build a new Data Science for the Earth initiative and enhance activities in the department’s VISUALIZATION LABORATORY. The candidate will be willing to cross disciplines and support the software and hardware needs of research in geophysics, climate science, remote sensing, and geochemistry provided domain knowledge from students and faculty. In addition to serving as research/visualization support, successful applicants pursue externally-funded research initiatives. Similarly, the candidate will be willing to actively learn new techniques that enhance departmental research. In particular, we view machine learning, advanced 3D visualization and mapping, Bayesian statistics, inverse modeling, and optimization as central to our department’s current and future computational needs. This position will collaborate with Rice’s GIS lab and Office of Information Technology to make use of Rice’s existing geospatial and high performance computing infrastructure.

For more information and to start an application click HERE

Essential Duties:

  • The candidate is expected to participate in the research activities of their advisor’s group and with other faculty members in the department
  • Conducts specialized research and experiments
  • Collects, tracks and analyzes data through the use of spreadsheets and databases
  • Communicates results through verbal presentations, written reports, and written articles submitted for publication in conjunction with PI
  • May assist in the administration of research project

Job Specific Functions:

  • Attends important scientific conferences to present research findings and disseminate knowledge to peers
  • With the PI and Research Scientist, enforces laboratory safety standards and protocols
  • Works with the PI to maximize the Visualization Center equipment usage
  • Mentors of graduate and undergraduate students
  • Reconciles expense reports
  • May be asked to present research to the department and grad students
  • Stays current on experimental techniques
  • Designs and assembles experimental apparatus
  • Procures required parts for apparatus
  • The Data Scientist has a high degree of autonomy and must be able to work effectively without close supervision; excellent oral and written communication skills for interacting with a diverse group of faculty, staff and students as well as vendor personnel and other non-Rice individuals is required