Postdoc position - Resolving stellar populations beyond the Local Group with ELT/MOSAIC

Research / Academic

We plan to start a post-doctoral position at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) of the University of Amsterdam preparing for the construction of the MOSAIC instrument on the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The post-doc will be embedded in the research group focused on the formation, evolution and fate of massive stars led by Prof. Dr. Lex Kaper and Prof. Dr. Alex de Koter in Amsterdam, in close collaboration with the MOSAIC instrument team centered at the NOVA optical/infrared group in Dwingeloo.

The Multi-Object Spectrograph for Astrophysics, Intergalactic-medium studies and Cosmology is one of the two planned second-light instruments for the ELT (first light 2028). MOSAIC is a fiber-fed instrument employing both a high-multiplex mode and a high-definition mode (IFUs) in the wavelength range from 450 (goal 390) to 1800 nm. The Netherlands (NOVA) is the lead of the optical spectrograph work package. MOSAIC will provide the ELT with the powerful ability to obtain visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of large samples of astronomical objects, significantly improving upon ESO’s current facilities. It will yield unprecedented observations of objects ranging from resolved stellar populations in a representative number of galaxies up to the Virgo cluster, up to the most distant galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe. MOSAIC is expected to see first light in 2032.


The scientific focus of the advertised position will be on the formation, evolution, and fate of (resolved) massive stars in the Local Group and beyond. At the defining phase of MOSAIC we want to make sure that the capabilities of the instrument are such that the relevant spectral information of these massive stars is obtained, addressing key questions on their formation, mass-loss properties as a function of metallicity, and feedback processes impacting on a galactic scale. Several scientific and technical trade-offs have to be made in close consultation with the technical team; the post-doc is expected to contribute to the scientific motivation needed to make these trade-offs. Up to half of the time the post-doc is expected to work on their own research program.



Interested candidates should have a PhD in astronomy (or the equivalent).

Salary Benefits:

A temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on Fall 2023. The position is offered for a period of 3 years.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Science Park 904