The South African Astronomy Observatory is Recruiting a Postdoctoral Fellow


The South African Astronomy Observatory (SAAO) intends to recruit a Postdoctoral fellow. As such, applicants may contact staff astronomers they may collaborate with to discuss research plans ahead of the application. SAAO intends the research fellowship to offer an opportunity for excellent early-career researchers to establish a track record of independent research.


The fellow’s primary duty is the completion of research. However, SAAO also expects they actively contribute to the SAAO environment. This may be through student mentorship, service observing, instrument development, contributions to science engagement or astronomy for development.

Key requirements

  • A PhD in astronomy or related discipline
  • Three or more years of research experience (a PhD counts towards this)
  • An excellent publication record, commensurate with career stage


Applicants may direct their informal applications to A/Prof Vanessa McBride. Furthermore, applicants may apply for the position here. Applicants are to ensure their applications include a CV, a cover letter and a research plan as a supporting document. In addition, applicants are to provide the names and contact details of at least three referees.

SAAO is a National Facility of the National Research Foundation and provides research infrastructure for optical and infrared astronomy. Its headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. The Observatory hosts and/or operates a suite of sub 2-m class telescopes and the 10-m class Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) at its site near Sutherland in the Northern Cape.

Likewise, South Africa is the leading partner in SALT, and astronomers based here have access to time on the SAAO telescopes, SALT, and the MeerKAT radio interferometer. In addition, the facility has access to either time on or data from several hosted facilities, including the 1.4- m Infrared Survey Facility, LCO, KMTNet, ATLAS, MeerLICHT, MASTER, and the upcoming 1.8-m near-IR telescope PRIME.

SAAO also has an active outreach and education department and hosts the Office of Astronomy for Development, which focuses on how the tools, skills and methodologies of astronomy can be applied across other fields in service of sustainable development

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