Postdoctoral Research Positions at University of Idaho

The Opportunity
We are pleased to announce two open postdoctoral research positions in Geodynamics as part of a collaboration between Dr. Eric Mittelstaedt at the University of Idaho and Dr. Katie Cooper at neighboring Washington State University. The post-doctoral researchers will conduct global mantle convection simulations using the state-of-the-art finite-element code ASPECT to investigate the potentially competing effects of Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) and continents on Earth’s cooling history. A principle goal of the project is to quantify how simultaneous LLSVPs and continents may introduce fluctuations in the global thermal state, mantle dynamics, and upper/lower mantle interconnectivity, as well as alter the distribution and cycling of critical elements.
These up to two-year positions (one year, renewable for a second year) are funded by a National Science Foundation award to the University of Idaho and an internal award from the University of Idaho, where these in-person positions will be based. The postdoctoral researchers will be expected to modify and run the ASPECT code, visualize and analyze simulation results, write and submit manuscripts to appropriate peer-reviewed journals, participate in group meetings, and provide occasional mentoring to graduate and undergraduate students within the research group. See below for further details on minimum requirements and career development opportunities.
If interested, please send Dr. Eric Mittelstaedt ( a Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications, a list of at least three references with contact information, and a cover letter describing your research background and academic preparation for the position, motivations for applying, and career objectives. Salary upon appointment will be $56,000 with a 3% increase upon renewal for a second year. The start date is flexible with a preferred date of August 1, 2024. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2023. The positions will remain open until filled.
Join an inter-institutional research group that includes two faculty, five graduate students, and several undergraduates. As a post-doctoral researcher, you will be taking a central role in this multi-level, dual-institution project, while receiving training to help catalyze a dynamic, cutting-edge academic career.

The University of Idaho is a land grant research University located in the tight-knit town of Moscow, Idaho. Home to ~25,000 people, Moscow is full of vibrant activities, businesses, and events that led Seattle Magazine to name it “a college town with a soul that shines through year-round”. Located less than 10 miles away, Pullman, Washington (~35,000 people) is the home of Washington State University, a land grant, multiple-campus Research 1 institution. The Moscow/Pullman region is on the homelands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and Palus people. The rolling hills of the Palouse offer a wide range of outdoor activities and a true four-season climate. Located 80 miles south of metropolitan Spokane, Moscow and Pullman are also a quick drive away from the scenic Idaho panhandle and Moscow Mountain.

Minimum Requirements
➔ Completed coursework in advanced physics and/or mathematics
➔ Demonstrated computational research experience including at least one computationally focused study published in a peer-reviewed journal
➔ Demonstrated computer programming experience
➔ Proficiency in English and demonstrable communication skills
➔ Ability and desire to work both independently and within a team
➔ Ph.D. in a relevant field must be awarded by the start date

➔ Experience with the ASPECT computational code
➔ Background in Earth and/or Planetary Science

Not sure if you meet all the requirements? Before ruling yourself out (or deciding not to apply), email us and ask!

Career Development Opportunities
In addition to participating in a cutting-edge research project, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive mentorship program including a range of professional training as outlined below:

  • Individual Development Plan - Work with your mentors to build an individualized game plan and assessment guide.

  • Networking & Travel Support – Funds are available each year to travel to and participate in the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting to present your research and grow your career network.

  • Mentoring – Meet regularly with your mentors to discuss research progress as well as career-oriented goals as outlined in your Individual Development Plan.

  • Additional Proposal Development – The Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED) at the UI offers support to post-doctoral researchers with finding funding opportunities, developing and submitting proposals, managing awards, and disseminating research results.

  • Institutional Support – The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) at the University of Idaho serves the needs of all postdocs at the U of I and provides a platform for personal growth and professional development. The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) at the University of Idaho creates and coordinates events, workshops, and classes while also providing services that will help ensure the success of postdocs as they launch their careers.