The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) has established a high-profile postdoctoral fellowship program for research in exoplanets, gravitational wave science, X-Ray astronomy, cosmology, Optical/IR Astronomy, or other topics in the broadly defined area of astrophysics and space research. MKI postdoctoral fellowships offer independence, generous stipends and resources, access to a variety of ground-based and space-based observatories, and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, research scientists, and engineers. MKI postdoctoral fellowships are awarded for three years, and offer health insurance as well as stipend. Fellowship solicitations are posted in Academic Jobs Online.
Past MIT-Kavli Postdoctoral Fellows
Kevin Schlaufman (August 2012 – August 2015)
Kevin was the inaugural MIT-Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow. Kevin is a theoretically-oriented observational astronomer working at the intersection of Galactic astronomy and exoplanets. He received his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011. Before coming to MKI in August 2012, Kevin spent a year as a Senior Data Scientist at LinkedIn Corporation. Following his three years at MKI, Kevin was a Carnegie-Princeton Fellow, Carnegie Observatories and Princeton University, from 2015-2016. Kevin is currently Assistant Professor, Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University.
Denis Martynov (September 2015 – January 2018)
Denis obtained his M.S. from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in mathematical physics. His first research projects included simulations of gas flows in micro-scale devices. Denis received his PhD in instrumental science at the California Institute of Technology in the LIGO laboratory in 2015. Denis is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham UK where he works on the design of the future gravitational-wave instruments.
Current MIT-Kavli Postdoctoral Fellows
Tansu Daylan (June 2018 – present)
Tansu holds a double major in electrical and electronics engineering (2012) and physics (2013) from METU, Turkey. Between 2011 and 2013, he was an undergraduate researcher at CERN working on the AMS-02, a particle detector on the ISS measuring cosmic rays from outer space. He received his PhD in physics from Harvard University in 2018. Tansu’s research covers a broad range of problems in astrophysics, including the detection and characterization of planets beyond our Solar System and searching for dark matter in the Universe. He is currently a vetting lead in the science team of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a spaceborne telescope surveying the sky for transiting exoplanets.
Juan Mena-Parra (September 2018 – present)
Juan studied Electrical Engineering at Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia) before moving to Canada to study Honours Mathematics and Physics at McGill University. He obtained his PhD in Physics from McGill University in 2018. Juan is an observational cosmologist who designs and builds novel instrumentation to improve the understanding of the origin, composition and evolution of the Universe. Juan is part of the team that designed, commissioned, and now operates the digital correlator for the CHIME telescope (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment).
Future MIT-Kavli Postdoctoral Fellows
Hsin-Yu Chen (September 2023 – )
Hsin-Yu is currently a NASA Einstein-MKI Fellow. Before coming to MIT in September 2020, she was a Black Hole Initiative Fellow at Harvard University. Hsin-Yu received her PhD from the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago. Hsin-Yu’s research interest is in gravitational-wave astrophysics and cosmology. She’s a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium. With Advanced LIGO-Virgo’s gravitational-wave detection of compact binary mergers, she is trying to answer the question of how old the Universe is—one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology. In addition, Hsin-Yu is helping to capture electromagnetic signals from the LIGO-Virgo’s binary mergers, so that the joint detections can shed light on the origin of the heavy elements in the Universe. Finally, the mergers of neutron stars observed by LIGO-Virgo will teach us how matter behaves at low-temperature and high-density environments—another question Hsin-Yu is trying to study.