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Postdoctoral Reseacher (Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples) in Houston, TX at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 12/30/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), part of the Universities Space Research Association, invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in the area of laboratory analysis of returned samples.

The successful candidate will work as part of a team of planetary scientists at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on NASA-funded projects investigating the origin, mineralogy, isotopic composition and other characteristics of samples returned by NASA’s Stardust mission to comet Wild2 and samples from asteroid Itokawa returned by JAXA’s Hayabusa mission. The research involves coordinated analyses using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for microstructural and nanoscale chemical measurements combined with isotopic analyses via secondary ion mass spectrometry using Nano SIMS. Candidates should have a strong background in cosmochemistry, nebular materials, and demonstrated ability to prepare and analyze fine-grained particulate samples by TEM or Nano SIMS. Experience with other techniques such as SEM, FIB, FTIR, EPMA, and EBSD, is a bonus.

Completion of the PhD by the beginning of the appointment is required. The position would initially be for one year, with a possible extension to a second and third year. The candidate must be able to pass a detailed government background investigation. And due to security issues, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries (see link under "ECP Notices" at are not eligible. Technical questions should be addressed to Dr. Lindsay P. Keller ( before September 1, 2018. Interested applicants should apply to the posting at and must submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae with list of publications, a two- to three-page statement of research interests and plans, and a list of at least three professional references. For general information about LPI please go to

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Minorities / Females / Protected Veterans / Disabled / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity.