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Postdoctoral Fellow, Revealing the chemistry of our cosmic neighbourhood

City: Victoria 

Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics 

Classification: RO 

Tenure: Term 

Duration: 2-year

Language Requirements: English

The NRC Advantage

Great Minds. One Goal. Canada's Success.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system. 


NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

The Program

The NRC’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program offers PDFs access to unique world-class facilities and the opportunity to work alongside multi-disciplinary teams of expert researchers and technicians on projects of critical importance to Canada. PDFs will carry out research on innovative research projects, with opportunities for career development (publications and/or industry interaction).


PDFs will be offered appointments to the staff of the National Research Council on a term basis and will be offered salaries and benefits currently available to Research Officers. Salaries commensurate with experience are taxable and subject to other deductions. As a guide, the current annual PDF recruiting rate is $73,133. In addition PDFs will be allocated a travel fund to support their work.

Project Title

Revealing the chemistry of our cosmic neighbourhood and Milky Way satellites with GRACES and GHOST

Your Challenge

NRC is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to lead research into the chemical evolution of the Milky Way and its dwarf galaxies using new, high resolution, spectroscopic datasets.  The successful candidate will work with Dr. Alan McConnachie, and his research group at NRC, and will collaborate closely with Professor Kim Venn’s research group at the University of Victoria. They co-lead a new large program which will obtain 200 hours of data using the soon-to-be-commissioned Gemini/GHOST high resolution spectrograph, targeting metal-poor stars in Milky Way dwarf galaxies. This program will showcase the unique capabilities of GHOST, including its high throughput, blue (≤400nm) sensitivity, and wide wavelength coverage (360 – 1000nm) in a single exposure at high (R~55000) spectral resolution. Major science goals include discovering and understanding the nature of extreme r-process galaxies, and obtaining a complete chemical census of all moderately bright stars in Milky Way dwarfs visible from the southern hemisphere. The successful candidate will initially lead analyses of related spectroscopic data using Gemini/GRACES, transitioning to GHOST data as it becomes available.


Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics or a closely related field.


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency


Demonstrated research excellence in observational studies of resolved stellar populations. Experience with the reduction and analysis of stellar spectroscopic data is highly desirable, as is experience in stellar model atmospheres analyses and radiative transfer.

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

Who is eligible?

  • Fellowships will be for two years contingent on satisfactory progress achieved during the first year.
  • Candidates should have obtained a PhD (or equivalent) within the past three years (PhD received on or after July 1, 2018) or expect to complete their PhD within 6 months of appointment.
  • Fellows will work in a lab under the direct supervision of an NRC researcher.

Application Requirements

In order to be considered for the program please include the following in your application, please note that you will need to attach the required documents as per the list below when submitting your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.


  • Resume
  • Statement of Interest in the project (maximum one page in length)
  • PhD Transcript - an electronic copy is sufficient, it does not have to be an official version.
  • List of Publications


When submitting your application you can include the required documents in any attachment field such as «Second language evaluation results» or «Other attachments»


In addition, applicants who best meet the requirements of the position will be asked to provide three letters of recommendation at a later stage of the competition process.


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.

Salary Range

The intent of this hiring action is to staff through the Postdoctoral Fellowships Program at the RCO-2/AsRO level, which is an early-career level position with a salary range of $73,133 to $101,569.  


NOTE: Salary determination will be based on a review of the candidate’s expertise, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience relative to the requirements of the level.   As a guide, the current annual PhD recruiting rate is $73,133.


  • NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
  • Fellowships are open to nationals of all countries, although preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
  • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
  • We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (11488) to:


Telephone: 438-455-5335

Closing Date: 19 March 2021 - 23:59 Eastern Time



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