Postdoctoral Researcher (Visiting) (Radiative Transfer Modeling)

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), run by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in Radiative Transfer Modeling in Planetary Atmospheres.

The selected candidate will join Dr. Germán Martínez’ group on the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) science team of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, and will lead analyses of measurements made by the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), one of the six environmental sensors comprising MEDA. TIRS is the first in situ Martian infrared radiometer including upward- and downward-looking channels, and it will measure the upward and downward thermal infrared radiation at the surface, the reflected solar radiation at the surface, the surface brightness temperature, and the near-surface vertical temperature profile. To gain a broader insight into space missions and to expand their network, the selected candidate will participate in operations planning for the MEDA instrument, as well as in weekly science meetings with members from other instruments. To enrich their background in preparation for the next working stage, the selected candidate will be encouraged to propose for external funding and participate in NASA grant review panels. Moreover, the selected candidate is expected to contribute to public engagement events at the LPI.

At the LPI, the selected candidate will have the opportunity to interact with scientists of many specialties (see, including scientists from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division of the NASA Johnson Space Center ( Additionally, LPI scientists maintain active collaborations with faculty at the nearby Rice University and the University of Houston.

Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. in Planetary Science, Physics, or a related field. The selected candidate will contribute to the development of a numerical model capable of spectrally simulating longwave radiation fluxes at the Martian surface to maximize the scientific return of TIRS’ measurements, in particular of the downward thermal infrared radiation at the surface (i.e., the atmospheric thermal forcing). The selected candidate will lead their own investigations, as well as collaborate with others within Dr. Martínez’ group. Required expertise includes proficiency in a common radiative-transfer programming language (e.g., IDL, MATLAB, Fortran), and a publication record in relevant or similar studies. Previous experience with Mars-related research is preferred, but not required.

The position is for two years with a possible one-year extension. The selected candidate must be able to pass a government background investigation. Due to security restrictions, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries (see link under “ECP Notices” at are not eligible.

Interested applicants should apply to the posting at; application material submitted outside of this platform will not be considered. The required application material includes: (1) cover letter evidencing the qualifications of the applicant to this position, (2) curriculum vitae with list of publications, (3) two- to three-page statement of research interests and plans describing the candidate’s expected independent research program at the LPI, and (4) list of at least three professional references. Application material should be uploaded as a single document. Review of candidates will begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Questions can be addressed to Dr. Germán Martínez (

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

published: 03 February 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.