Research Group

I will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah in 2022. Opportunities are available for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to join my group. For further information, please contact me at

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Time-Domain Astrophysics (Deadline December 1, 2021)

Original Timeline
2021 December 1: Applications due
2021 December 21: Letters of recommendation requested.
2022 February 10: Position closed (no offers made)

Original advertisement follows.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah invites applications for a postdoctoral research position with Dr Tanmoy Laskar in the field of time-domain astrophysics.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in a broad and dynamic research programme on observations, modeling, and theoretical explorations of astrophysical transients. The program’s current focus is on relativistic explosions, such as gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events, and electromagnetic counterparts of compact binary mergers / gravitational wave transients, but we remain interested in building bridges to adjacent sub-disciplines. 

Candidate profile and research program
We are particularly interested in candidates possessing any combination of the following skills, in rough order of importance:

  • Radio astronomy expertise 
  • Experience with or interest in time-domain astrophysics
  • Interest / expertise in high-energy astrophysics
  • Expertise with developing or applying theoretical models to astrophysical transients
  • Expertise in optical, X-ray, or multi-messenger observations
  • Experience in machine learning applications to astronomy

The successful candidate will be encouraged to pursue an independent research program in collaboration with the PI, either using existing data from recent or upcoming approved GRB, TDE, and GW-EM programs at the VLA, ALMA, GMRT, ATCA, and MeerKAT, or by developing new observing programs and enriching the group's portfolio through, for instance, optical and X-ray observational expertise. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to propose for, undertake, and publish fast turn-around multi-wavelength observations and modeling of energetic transients. 

Available projects with existing data include:

  • Investigating GRB jet structure through radio / mm polarization observations
  • Probing the early universe with high-redshift gamma-ray bursts
  • Diving into trans-relativistic explosions with radio forensics of nearby GRBs
  • Searching for off-axis jets in TDEs through radio observations
  • Exploring patterns in the properties of energetic transients through machine learning

A minimum of 20% of research time is available for the candidate’s own on-going research programs. The successful candidate is encouraged to participate in mentoring and co-supervising undergraduate, graduate, and summer students. The PI believes strongly in the importance of good mentoring, and is willing to play an active role in the candidate’s professional and career development, including support with developing observing programs, grant / application writing, and in developing supervision skills, while also remaining open to learning and growing through reverse mentoring. The PI is a strong champion for diversity and equity in the workplace, and is equipped to supervise, support, and encourage interested and motivated researchers from a range of diverse backgrounds. 

Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah
The University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City, a large metropolitan area renowned for its natural beauty, proximity to several state and national parks, and diversity of recreational and cultural opportunities. 

Faculty members in the  Astronomy Group at the University of Utah carry out research on galaxy evolution, planet formation, galaxy clusters, theoretical gravitational dynamics, astrophysical transients, and observational cosmology. The University of Utah is a key contributor to cutting-edge survey science, with faculty playing leadership roles in the DESI, SDSS-IV, and SDSS-V surveys, and the Rubin LSST community; the University is a full institutional member and the data repository of SDSS. The Astronomy Group has comprehensive access to many resources for computation, data management, and data visualization at the University of Utah, including the Center for High Performance Computing, the Scientific Computation and Imaging Institute, and the School of Computing. The postdoctoral associate in this group will be encouraged to take the advantage of the facilities and resources at the University of Utah.

Salary and benefits
The appointment is for 3 years. The position provides a competitive salary ($60,000 per year), a research & travel fund ($3,000 per year), benefits (subject to University / state regulations), and relocation expenses ($3,000 for domestic and $6,000 for international applicants). Applicants should have a Ph.D. in physics, astronomy, or a closely related field by the time of appointment, expected to be September 1, 2022. The start date is flexible up to 6 months from this date.    

To apply
Documents required for this position are the same as that for the new Eccles Fellowship program at the University of Utah. Applicants interested in this position are encouraged to (i) apply first to the Eccles Fellowship, and to note their interest in this position in their cover letter. They should then (ii) fill out this short form, where they are welcome to provide a paragraph of additional information pertinent to their application to this position, if desired. 

Candidates wishing to apply only to this position and not to the Eccles Fellowship may upload the following documents, concatenated into a single PDF in order:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae (with a list of publications)
  • A statement of research interests and plans (roughly 4 pages or less, including references and figures)
  • Contact information for three references

by filling out this on-line form

For full consideration, all materials (excluding letters of recommendation) should be received by Dec 1, 2021. Letters of recommendation will only be requested for short-listed candidates. Candidates will be informed of the outcome in late January.