RESEARCH SCHOLAR: Materials for Sustained Lunar Presence
National Institute of Aerospace
Hampton, VA

About $44,000 - $65,000 a year

Post Doctoral Research Scholar

Materials for Sustained Lunar Presence

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) has an opening for a postdoctoral Research Scholar with expertise in materials research for extreme environment application. The successful candidate must have knowledge of polymer synthesis, laboratory practices, and materials characterization techniques. A major emphasis of the position is the ability to understand how modification of surface chemical and topographical properties of materials will influence the interaction strength with micrometer-sized particulate materials, especially Lunar dust simulant. This will entail the generation of innovative materials, the use of advanced surface chemical and topographical modification processes, and novel characterization techniques.

The successful applicant will be a member of a technical team within the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at the NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, engaged in advancing novel materials and characterization techniques for application on exploration missions, especially focused toward a sustained Lunar presence and eventual exploration of Mars.

  • PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering or equivalent
  • Experience with surface chemical modification
  • Experience with surface characterization techniques: XPS, ToF-SIMS, SEM, contact angle goniometry etc.
  • Strong understanding of fundamental mathematical principles related to chemistry and materials research
  • Experience with fabrication of electronic devices
  • Demonstrated experience with publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at technical conferences
Desired Skills:
  • Familiarity/experience with designing/constructing analytical instruments
  • Experience with polymer synthesis
  • Familiarity/experience in the use of ChemDraw (or equivalent), MATLAB, and LabVIEW.
Interested candidates should apply via NIA’s career opportunities site located at under the ‘About NIA’ tab. Please include a letter of introduction, resume, and the names and contact information of three current references.

NIA, located near NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia, is a non-profit research and graduate education institute created to perform aerospace and atmospheric research, develop new technologies for the nation, and help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

NIA ranked #3 in the 2019 Top 50 Best Nonprofits to work for in the U.S.!

NIA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited under Federal, State or local laws.