Post-doctoral Position (Physics) in the APXS Team of the Mars Science Laboratory

Department of Physics – College of Physical and Engineering Science University of Guelph

Temporary full-time for 1 year with possible second year

The University of Guelph is committed to equity in its policies, practices, and programs, supports diversity in its teaching, learning and work environments, and ensures that applications for members of underrepresented groups are seriously considered under its employment equity policy. All qualified individuals who would contribute to the further diversification of our University community are encouraged to apply.
The Planetary Exploration group is looking for a Post Doctoral fellow to work on various aspects of the MSL Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) which is presently undertaking elemental analysis on Mars through the combination of the XRF and PIXE techniques. The work will include experimental support in the terrestrial calibration laboratory and possible design improvements of the instrument’s detector or radiation sources. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in operations of the APXS on the Mars Rover Curiosity, analysis and interpretation of the data, and continuing refinement of the instrument calibration. There may be the possibility to undertake local micro-PIXE analysis of terrestrial materials that emulate Martian samples encountered by the Curiosity rover.

The position is funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).in support of MSL.

The position requires an applied physicist with a strong background in instrument development and nuclear spectroscopy methods, including x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray detectors and their read-out electronics. Hands on experience in XRF, PIXE or other related nuclear spectroscopy methods and radiation physics is mandatory.

The position is for 1 year, but might be extended beyond that depending on performance and funding. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

To apply, send a CV, including a description of research interests and the contact details of three referees, to Prof. Ralf Gellert, Physics Department, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (

Applications will be accepted until May 16, 2014 or until a suitable candidate is recruited.

 This position, as it relates to the Controlled Goods Program, requires an extensive background check as outlined by the Security and Information Services Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada. As this position requires access to goods regulated by the Controlled Goods directorate, an offer is contingent upon a successful security assessment. For further information, please refer to: or

Closing Date: Friday, May 16, 2014