NOAO Project Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Archive Date: 
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) invites applications for a full-time Project Manager within the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) division. This position will provide project-management support for the development and operation of software systems for data-intensive astronomy, and will maintain overall program plans and schedules for the CSDC as a whole.

Current CSDC projects include the NOAO Data Lab, the NOAO Science Data Archive, the ANTARES project, and the development of support for rapid follow-up observing of transient and variable objects identified by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and other real-time astronomy surveys.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide project-management support to multiple user-facing software-system development efforts.
  • Plan, track, and balance considerations of scope, schedule, and cost according to diverse constraints and stakeholder inputs.
  • Develop, maintain, and evolve the overall 1- to 3-year development and operations plan for CSDC as a whole, in collaboration with CSDC and NOAO management teams.
  • Assess traditional versus agile project-management approaches to individual development projects within CSDC, and deploy appropriate methods in each case.
  • Work closely with the NOAO Associate Director and Deputy Associate Director for CSDC to ensure alignment of CSDC staff activities with CSDC vision and strategic priorities. Track technical and collaborative dependencies between projects within CSDC, and between CSDC and other partner institutions.
  • Contribute to preparation of reports and presentations describing past performance, present status, and future plans of individual CSDC projects and the CSDC program as a whole.
  • Collaborate in the development and tracking of annual budgets for CSDC activities


  • Master’s Degree in science, engineering, or management, or equivalent experience.
  • 3 or more years’ experience in project management, including management of multiple projects simultaneously, and experience with software-intensive projects.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Knowledge of both traditional and agile project-management methods.
  • Experience with major project-management software systems.
  • Ability to perform in a dynamic field and organization.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Education or professional background in astronomy.
  • Ability to sustain user-community focus within project teams.
  • Commitment to public service consistent with the mission of a National Observatory.

The Project Manager reports to the NOAO Associate Director for CSDC. This position is funded for three years, with the possibility of extension to an open-ended appointment subject to job performance, funding, and observatory program needs.

Headquartered in Tucson, AZ and funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), NOAO is the US national center for nighttime ground-based optical and infrared (OIR) astronomy. The fundamental mission of NOAO is to enable scientific discovery by a global research community. NOAO’s Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) operates archives, software, and services to enable data-intensive astronomy, and coordinates access to the full array of OIR astronomy resources available to the US community, including the twin 8.1-m telescopes of the International Gemini Observatory. In addition to the CSDC, NOAO operates world-class telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) on the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona, and at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. NOAO is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA).

NOAO offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

Applicants are requested to submit a resume or CV, a list of 3 professional references, and a cover letter describing how their skills and experience are matched to the essential functions of the position (PDF Files preferred). Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0188LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to This position will be open until filled, however applicants are encouraged to apply by 01 November 2017 to ensure full consideration.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) manages several astronomical observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) and construction projects (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Daniel. K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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AURA Human Resources
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