Postdoctoral opportunity – Black Hole Group

Job description

The Black Hole Group at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), led by Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen, is seeking postdoctoral fellows interested in high-energy astrophysics and theory/simulations of black hole accretion, more specifically:

  • Gamma-ray astronomy with focus on AGNs/blazars
  • Theory and numerical simulations of black hole accretion and outflows
  • Analysis and modeling of multiwavelength observations (radio to gamma-rays) of AGNs, particularly radio-loud AGNs

As a postdoctoral fellow in the BH group you will take lead of investigating one of the research directions pursued by the group. Since the BH Group touches on a wide variety of implications, there is substantial freedom in the choice of project. There are opportunities to get involved in the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) and Fermi LAT Collaborations, and in the mentoring of students. For an impression of the diversity of projects available, have a look at the PI’s website. The group is currently using the public (GR)MHD codes Pluto, HARM and the GPU-accelerated H-AMR, different radiative transfer codes, and the Fermi ScienceTools and ctools for analysis of gamma-ray observations.

The Fellow and Supervisor will discuss together what best fits the interests and expertise of the fellow and what best strengthens the team. The BH group members closely interact with other groups in the department. You will also be strongly encouraged to start international collaborations and develop further skills that prepare you for more senior positions following this one. Teaching is not required, but there are possibilities if desired.


Applicants must have a PhD in astrophysics or related field. Previous experience on one of the topics of the group is required.

Application procedure

Please send one PDF file to rodrigo.nemmen [[at]] iag usp br including:

  • Cover letter indicating your preferred starting date. If you feel you can strengthen the BH group team in any other way, feel free to indicate that in your cover letter.
  • Curriculum vitae with publication list (please highlight your 2 most relevant papers)
  • Research statement, indicating highlights of your previous/current work or expertise (3 pages limit)
  • Research plan with project/questions you would like to work on as member of the BH group
  • Contact of two reference letter writers

There is no deadline—applications are accepted all year long.

Conditions of employment

This is a pre-application. The selected candidate(s) will be sponsored for a postdoctoral fellowship application to the Sao Paulo funding agency FAPESP.

If approved, the position will be funded for two years with the possibility of extension for a third year contingent on performance. The starting date is negotiable. The annual salary (tax free) is 82000 Brazilian reais. There is a research/travel budget of R$12274 per year. Airfare + R$6819 relocation costs are available for fellows from abroad.

We are an equal opportunity employer and greatly value the diverse nature of our institute. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Employer and department

Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciencias Atmosfericas

USP is ranked as the best university in South America, and IAG is a leading institute of excellence in Astronomy and Astrophysics in Latin America, with a staff of 32 professors, 30 postdocs, over 60 graduate students, and an international visitors program. IAG-USP facilities include the SOAR, Gemini, S-PLUS (T-80), ESO facilities and Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre (J-PAS). It is one of Latin America’s leading centers for research in computational astrophysics, which includes the 2300-core Alphacrucis cluster. The institute is contributing to development of the upcoming Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) and LLAMA.

The current faculty has strengths in observational astronomy (radio to gamma-rays), theory, numerical simulations and instrumentation, with particular focus on stellar astrophysics, cosmology, galaxy evolution, active galaxies and high-energy astrophysics.

Sao Paulo is the cosmopolitan, lively scientific capital of South America, located in southeast Brazil. It hosts several major research centers, including ICTP SAIFR. It has a vibrant cultural scene and is famous for its restaurants and night life. Within 3 hours of the city there are numerous entrancing beaches, easily accessible on a weekend trip. All year around the weather is quite pleasant.

Additional information

Informal inquiries regarding this position are welcome and can be sent to Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen.

Graduate scholarships

There are currently one Msc (mestrado) and one PhD (doutorado direto) FAPESP scholarships available, to work in high-energy astrophysics projects related to Fermi-LAT gamma-ray observations.

There are other possibilities of graduate scholarships at the MsC and PhD level. Please contact Prof. Nemmen for inquiries.