Deputy Director LSST - JRID47857

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
April 30, 2014
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
April 15, 2014
Job Details
Job Category: 
Science Management
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please apply online
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Job Announcement Text: 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project Office seeks a senior astronomer with demonstrated leadership in scientific research and the management of large scientific construction projects for the position of Deputy Director of LSST.

LSST is a large aperture, wide-field, ground-based facility designed to survey the entire southern sky down to faint magnitudes in six optical colors every few nights. As such it will enable a broad array of diverse scientific investigations ranging from studies of moving objects in the solar system to constraining the structure and evolution of the universe as a whole. Formal construction of this world-leading survey facility is planned to begin in the summer of 2014 as a joint project of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, resulting in the onset of operations in late 2022.

The Deputy Director reports to the Director, and will work with him and the Project Manager to oversee the construction project, and ensure that it proceeds as planned (within budgetary and schedule constraints) to meet the scientific objectives envisioned for the LSST and help represent the Project to its relevant stakeholders and serves in place of the Director when the latter is unavailable.  The Deputy Director will be based in Tucson, Arizona, and employed by the Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), with a joint appointment in a relevant academic department at the University of Arizona. The Deputy Director is also expected to lead a forefront research program in the field of survey astronomy relevant to LSST science.

Essential Functions:

  • Work with the Director to ensure that the LSST Construction Project proceeds as planned within budgetary and schedule constraints to meet the scientific objectives envisioned for this forefront astronomical facility.
  • Help to supervise and mentor scientific staff working on the Project.
  • Interact with the external scientific community, especially in areas of non-cosmological science, to ensure that the design and operation of the LSST is optimized scientifically.
  • Work with the Director to develop and foster international partnerships for the operations phase of the Project.
  • Assist the Director in reporting progress and concerns to the AURA Management Council for LSST (AMCL) and the LSSTC Executive Board.
  • Help to prepare for agency reviews of the Project and make presentations at those reviews.
  • Assist with the production of required reports to the agencies.
  • Ensure that NSF, DOE, and AURA policies and procedures are followed where applicable.
  • Help to carry out the LSST Project in a manner that advances agency goals for broadening participation, advancing technology, and developing future human resources.
  • Help to maintain a safe, effective, and respectful work environment.
  • Supervise students and junior colleagues in the performance of astronomical research.


Ph.D. in astronomy or related field; a distinguished record of published scientific research in survey astronomy (preferably on non-cosmological topics); coupled with extensive relevant management experience including the ability to provide scientific leadership to peers and junior colleagues and experience in the management of large scientific construction projects; and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All complete applications received by April 15, 2014 will be given full consideration.

AURA/LSST is an affirmative action & equal opportunity employer. AURA actively supports efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities. Women and candidates from under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.

Included Benefits: 

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits.