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Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Research Fellows in the Black Hole Initiative (BHI) at Harvard University. 

Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2022.



Applications are open for Postdoctoral Research Fellows in the fields of Astronomy and Physics in the Black Hole Initiative (BHI) at Harvard University. BHI is an independent, interdisciplinary center within the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University. Involving a collaboration between Principal Investigators (PIs) from the Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, History of Science and Philosophy departments, the BHI is the first center worldwide to focus on the study of black holes. Current senior members of the BHI include Peter Galison (BHI Director, History and Philosophy of Science), Sheperd Doeleman (Astronomy), Netta Engelhardt (Physics), Abraham Loeb (Astronomy), Ramesh Narayan (Astronomy), Priya Natarajan (Astronomy), and Andy Strominger (Physics).

Successful candidates will have access to our computing facilities and will have the opportunity to interact and work with the researchers above in multiple fields, including, but not limited to: Fundamental physics of black holes and the information paradox, Mathematical stability of spacetime and gravitational memory, GR Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of accretion flows, Formation, fueling, and feedback from supermassive black holes, Gravitational Waves and black hole mergers, The Philosophical and Historical context of black holes, Horizon-resolving observations and analysis using the Event Horizon Telescope and the Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope. 

The start date for this position is September 1, 2023, although flexibility is available. Applications should be submitted electronically by 5:00pm EST, November 30, 2022.. This grant-funded position is for one year, renewable for up to three years, contingent on performance, funding, and grant approval. Resources for research expenses, publication charges, related conference travel and computing resources will be available.

Further information about the BHI may be found at

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. AAE/EOE


All the following online application materials are due requested

  • Personal Information Section
  • Thesis Information Section
  • Prior Research Interests (Please offer information on prior black hole research and research you plan to pursue in the near future)
  • Three Uploaded Forms in PDF (preferred) or Plain Text Format:
    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Publication List
    3. Research Proposal
  • Three Letters of Reference and Referees Information

Letters of reference should be submitted by three "referees" and must be received by the application deadline. The preferred format is pdf, but plain text is also acceptable. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that letters of reference have been received. Use the "View Status" feature to check receipt of a reference letter.

The steps for submitting a letter are:

  • The applicant supplies the name and e-mail of each referee in the application form.
  • A message providing a unique URL is e-mailed to each referee. The referee uses that URL to upload the letter.
  • Once the reference letter has been uploaded, the applicant will see "Complete" when checking the appropriate area of the application status page.

PLEASE NOTE: Completion of the Ph.D. is required to begin a Postdoctoral Fellowship; successful candidates who have received their degree within three years of the effective start date of the fellowship must provide verification of their Ph.D.

Application Instructions

Please review the FAQ page before beginning the online application.

Fellowship Application Login

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, sex or national origin.


How do I apply?
Applications are accepted online from October 27, 2021 to November 30, 2022, 17:00 EST.

Can I print the application form and mail it?
If you are unable to use the online application, contact for more information.

How do I register online?
Go to the Fellowship Application Login page. Select "Update Account," then "Register." On the Registration page, enter your full e-mail address and a password of your choice. Repeat the password for verification and select "Register Now."

When is the deadline?
The deadline is November 30, 2022, 17:00 EST, but applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by the deadline.

Do I need to have finished my Ph.D. to apply?
You may apply in the final year of your doctoral program, but you must satisfy all the requirements of the Ph.D. before you begin your fellowship, including successfully defending your thesis. If you will have finished your degree within three years of the effective start date of the fellowship, you will need to provide verification of completing your Ph.D.

If I am also applying for other fellowships at the CfA, do I need to have separate letters of recommendation sent for each fellowship, or will they be shared?
Letters of recommendation received for the BHI Postdoctoral Fellowship will not be shared with other fellowships at the CfA and vice-versa.

What format is required for uploading files?
Files should be in pdf format. If this is not possible, plain text is also acceptable.

Can I edit my application online?
Yes, you can access the application as many times as you want until the deadline. You can enter more information or edit existing information each time. You can upload new files to replace existing ones until the deadline.

If my password does not work, what should I do?
On the "Fellowship Application: Login" page select "Reset Password," and a new password will be e-mailed to you if you have already successfully registered.

How will I know if all my application materials have been received?
After logging in to the application, select "View Application Status" to check what remains incomplete in your application. In addition, when viewing your application online, you can check previously uploaded files by clicking on the numbered button provided.

What should I do if I notice an error in my application after I submit it?
Until the deadline, you can access the application to make corrections, including uploading new versions of the pdf files.

What if I decide to withdraw my application?
If you want to withdraw your application, send an email to stating your full name and which fellowship application you wish to withdraw.

What if I have other questions?
Please e-mail all inquiries to

Application Questions: Please send an e-mail to the BHI Administrator, at