Instrument Science Research Associate

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, October 2, 2020
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 13, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Department Name: 
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA)
Street Line 1: 
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO)
Street Line 2: 
Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO)
Victoria or Cawston
British Columbia
Job Announcement Text: 

Desired starting date: March – September 2021

The Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre of the National Research Council (NRC) is pleased to announce the 2020 competition for an Instrument Science Research Associate, tenable at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) in Victoria, or at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in Penticton, BC, Canada, depending on the interests of the applicant. The successful candidate will be an outstanding recent doctoral graduate in astronomy/astrophysics or another closely related discipline who is highly motivated to engage in astronomical instrumentation and technology. They will want to become the Principal Investigators for the next generation of astronomical instruments and facilities, and they will become scientific leaders for astronomy instrumentation projects within the NRC. Instrument science RAs will be expected to undertake leading-edge research activities in astronomical instrumentation, or observational astronomy of relevance to their instrumentation interests.

This hiring is at the research associate (postdoctoral) level. At NRC Canada, these are effectively term limited staff scientists with all the associated benefits, including paid maternity and parental leave, vacation, accruable pension contributions and others. The Instrument Science RA is a new position that is intended to leverage the environment of NRC-HAA, that brings together multi-disciplinary teams includes optical, electrical, mechanical and systems engineers and technicians, project managers, signal processing experts and astronomers.


NRC-HAA is a leading developer of instrumentation for Canada’s current and future ground- and space-based telescopes from optical through to radio wavelengths (e.g., CFHT, Gemini, JWST, MSE, TMT, ALMA, SKA). Additionally, NRC-HAA maintains a strategic R&D program specialising in adaptive optics, optical and near infrared instrumentation, radio receivers, radio dishes and signal processing. This includes the development of modest-scale pathfinder instruments and on-sky demonstrators. This is in addition to astronomical research activities, that spans exoplanets, star and planet formation, near field cosmology and resolved stellar populations, galaxy evolution, supermassive black holes, high redshift galaxies, time domain astronomy, survey astronomy, and other fields. Activities are split between the DAO in Victoria, which houses most of the optical and near-infrared expertise and the millimeter-wave receiver group, and the DRAO in Penticton, which houses most of the radio expertise. 

The successful candidate will:

  • Engage with the instrumentation teams and provide scientific support, advocacy and insight through close interactions with the technical teams and the science user community, under the mentorship of existing instrument scientists. 
  • Participate in professional development activities focused on supporting their development into the next generation of Principal Investigators for astronomical instruments.
  • Conduct original research in astronomical instrumentation and/or observational astronomy, independently and in collaboration with NRC-HAA staff members.
  • Contribute to the scientific exploitation of other NRC-HAA resources, particularly, but not limited to, the expertise of scientific and technical staff, and the astronomical facilities and infrastructure administered by NRC-HAA, including the observatories as well as the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC).
  • Engage with the astronomical community to advance Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics mandate to provide astronomical facilities and services to Canadian researchers. 


Applicants must have acquired their Ph.D. within the last five years or expect to obtain their degree before taking up the position.


NRC is an equal opportunity employer.


Applications should be made by 15 November 2020 via the process described at the URL provided.


Vous pouvez obtenir ces renseignements en français au lien suivant:

Included Benefits: 

NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Hiring Services