Cosmology with Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

Southern Methodist U.

(posted on )

Application deadline:
Contact: Robert Kehoe (
Job category: Postdoc/Fellowship
Research field:
Astrophysics, High Energy Physics - Experiment
More information:
ID: 3900


The Cosmology and Astrophysics group at Southern Methodist University (SMU) has an immediate opening for an outstanding postdoctoral research fellow in cosmology with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). 
The successful applicant will carry out original research and play an important role in the analysis of DESI data.  Opportunities to make substantial original contributions are high as DESI has a broad and exciting menu of measurements that will collectively provide the most sensitive probe of the expansion history of the universe over the redshift range 0<z<3.5.  She or he will also take a leading role in the deployment of DESI’s fast spectroscopic data reduction system. 
DESI is a next generation dark energy spectroscopic survey that will utilize robotically positioned fibers at the Mayall 4 m at Kitt Peak National Observatory.  Ten new, fiber-fed, 3-arm spectrographs will cover 360 nm to 980 nm for 5000 targets per exposure.  Over 5 years, more than 30 million galaxy spectra will be obtained for precise baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) and other measurements.  The sensitivity of DESI relies on optimal performance of the spectrographs, fiber systems and a dynamic exposure time calculation.  The fast spectroscopic reductions, a substantial SMU responsibility, are necessary to ensure this performance.
The Cosmology/Astrophysics group at SMU is actively engaged in science analysis preparations, including observational and calibration impacts on BAO measurements from emission line galaxies.  The group is also involved in fast spectroscopic simulations and use of supernovae for cosmology.  The wider SMU particle/astrophysics group pursues a diverse and vibrant research program including cosmology and astrophysics (DESI, SuperCDMS, ROTSE), and experimental and theoretical particle physics (ATLAS, D0, NOvA, CTEQ). 
We seek a highly motivated applicant who has obtained, or is about to obtain, a Ph.D. in physics or astronomy or related fields.  Experience with cosmology and/or spectroscopy is highly valued.  Software development experience is a plus.  The start date is negotiable and can occur promptly.  The initial appointment is for 2 years with the possibility for a third year.
For further information, contact Prof. Robert Kehoe (  Interested applicants should send a curriculum vitae, a list of publications resulting from significant contributions, a description of research interests and skills, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to Lacey Breaux at  The position will remain open until filled, however applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials by August 1, 2017 for full consideration.
SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identify and expression.  The Executive Directory for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordination is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,
Hiring is contingent on satisfactory completion of a background check.