Postdoctoral Positions

LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, has been leading the rapid advancement of gravitational wave physics and astronomy since its first historic direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015. The LIGO Laboratory, managed by Caltech and MIT, operates laser interferometric detectors at Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, and is funded by the National Science Foundation. A vigorous LIGO Laboratory R&D program supports the development of enhancements to the LIGO detectors, astrophysical data analysis, and the development of future detectors and detector technologies.

The LIGO Laboratory often hosts one or possibly more postdoctoral research positions at one or more of the LIGO sites – Caltech, MIT, Hanford,  or Livingston. Posts are dependent upon the availability of funding. Successful applicants will be involved in the operation of LIGO itself, analysis of LIGO data, both for diagnostic purposes and astrophysics searches, and/or the R&D program for future detector improvements.

We seek candidates across a broad range of disciplines. Expertise related to astrophysics, modeling, data analysis, electronics, laser and quantum optics, vibration isolation, and control systems is desirable. Most importantly, candidates should be broadly trained scientists, willing to learn new experimental and analytical techniques, and ready to share in the excitement of building, operating, and observing with a gravitational-wave observatory. Appointments at the post-doctoral level will initially be for one-year with the possibility of renewal for up to two subsequent years.

Applications for postdoctoral research positions with LIGO Laboratory should indicate which of the LIGO sites (Caltech, MIT, Hanford, or Livingston), if any, are preferred, and which (if any) are likely to be unworkable. Applications should be submitted via the following Academic Jobs Online (AJO) advertisements:

Information provided is subject to LIGO's privacy policy. Caltech and MIT are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employers. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Be prepared to include the following with your application:

  • Cover letter describing past experience and current and future research interests,
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • List of publications (with refereed articles noted), and
  • Names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three or more references.

Applicants should request that three or more letters of recommendation be submitted directly via the posting on AJO. Electronic Portable Document Format (PDF) submittals are preferred. NB: AJO provides instructions for how to ask your letter writers to submit a letter in support of your application.

Consideration of applications happens continuously.


Additional Resources

  • LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) Job postings page. Lists LSC jobs and postdoctoral positions. To find LIGO Lab-specific positions, search for "LIGO Lab", "LIGO Hanford", "LIGO Livingston", "LIGO Caltech" or "LIGO MIT"
  • Caltech's Division of Physics, Math, and Astronomy (PMA) Postdoctoral listing page