Western: Postdoc in foundations of physics

We invite applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy of Physics. The Fellowship will provide a new scholar in foundations of physics with a unique opportunity to pursue research in collaboration with physicists and philosophers.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Description

The Fellow will be a member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, at Western University in London, ON. Western is home to one of Canada’s leading departments of philosophy. The Rotman Institute brings together philosophers and scientists to work on problems of global significance.

The Fellow will be supervised by theoretical physicist Markus Müller, working on a project funded by the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)in the “Physics of the Observer” program, titled “Emergent objective reality – from observers to physics via Solomonoff induction”. The main goal of the project is to provide a philosophical basis for (and evaluate the prospects of) theories of physics in which the first-person perspective of observers is fundamental, and objective reality is emergent. This is related to the question whether physics can be regarded as computation, and includes problems in areas like the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Cosmology, or Bayesian probability theory. For more information, please email Prof. Müller.

The Fellow will benefit from joining an active group of postdoctoral fellows working at the Institute, as well as interactions with faculty. Within the philosophy of physics, faculty pursue topics in the foundations of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and history and philosophy of space-time theories, as well as in connections between physical theory and general questions in methodology, epistemology, and metaphysics. The Postdoctoral Fellowship has a duration of two years. The initial appointment is for one year, with renewals annually conditional on satisfactory performance. The Fellow will have an office within the Rotman Institute. Fellows are required to involve themselves fully in the research life of the Institute by conducting research leading to peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, and by participating in conferences, research groups, reading groups, and outreach activities.

Candidates must have had a PhD in philosophy or physics or related field conferred within five years of the start of the Fellowship. Background in (quantum) information theory and/or computer science (in addition to philosophy and physics) is desirable. All PhD requirements must be completed by the starting date of this Postdoctoral Fellowship. The stipend is competitive, and depends on background and experience of the applicant. Additionally, the Fellow will be provided a travel budget of about $4,000 US, plus a reasonable allowance for further expenses like publication costs.

Required Documents

To be considered for this position, applicants are required to submit the following documents:
– Curriculum Vitae
– Writing Sample (no more than 8000 words)
– Research Statement
– Three Letters of Recommendation

Application Instructions

For applicants using Interfolio: Please submit all of the required documents as a single pdf via email to rotman.postdoc@gmail.com. Please format the subject line for your email as follows: Application Materials from [Full Name] (Foundations of Physics Postdoc Application)

For applicants who are not using Interfolio: Please combine your curriculum vitae, writing sample, and research statement into a single pdf file. Submit the pdf via email to rotman.postdoc@gmail.com. Please format the subject line for your email as follows: Application Materials from [Full Name] (Foundations of Physics Postdoc Application)

After an initial review of application materials, reference letters will need to be furnished upon request. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to have three letters of reference sent directly by their referees to rotman.postdoc@gmail.com.
Review of applications will begin on August 22, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

Applicants should have fluent oral and written communication skills in English. Western University is committed to employment equity and welcomes applications from all qualified women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with disabilities.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please send an email to rotman@uwo.ca.

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