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Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Research Positions in the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Applications will be accepted beginning September 1, 2023.



Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Research Positions in the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. One of the primary objectives of the ITC is to integrate conceptual theory with computational modeling. We are, therefore, interested in candidates working in any field related to theoretical and/or numerical astrophysics. Successful candidates will have access to our new computing facilities and will have the opportunity to interact and work with researchers in both the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).

We welcome applicants, who as a component of their research statement, discuss their experience or commitment to engaging in mentoring, outreach, teaching, fostering inclusive environments, or activities that diversify the field.

Current senior members of the ITC include Harvard faculty Charles Alcock, Xingang Chen, Charlie Conroy, Daniel Eisenstein, Doug Finkbeiner, Lars Hernquist, John Johnson, Lisa Kewley (CfA Director), John Kovac, Avi Loeb (ITC Director), Ramesh Narayan, Karin Oberg, Dimitar Sasselov, Irwin Shapiro, Chris Stubbs, and Ashley Villar; as well as SAO scientists Rosanne Di Stefano, Matt Holman, Eric Keto, Mark Reid, Alexey Vikhlinin, and Catherine Zucker.

The nominal starting date is September 1, 2024, but earlier appointments are possible. The positions are for one year, renewable for a second and third year, contingent on performance and funding.

Please submit applications electronically at by 5:00pm EST, November 13, 2023. Further information about the ITC may be found at here; please direct any questions on the application process to

Applicants facing strong extenuating circumstances may contact the CfA to request an extension to the deadline. This includes individuals affected by the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.  An email containing the request should be sent to before November 3, 2023. The length of the approved extension will depend on the need but will not in any case exceed two weeks beyond the original deadline.

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


Deadline: 5:00pm EST, November 13, 2023

All the following online application materials are due by the November 13, 2023 deadline:

  • Personal Information Section
  • Thesis Information Section
  • Proposed Research Section
  • 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 of November 13, 2023, 17:00 EST. 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

All application materials are due by the above deadline. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions tab 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 September 1, 2023 to November 13, 2023, 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 13, 2023, 17:00 EST. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by the deadline. Incomplete applications and/or applications received after November 13, 2023 will not be considered.

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 ITC 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