System Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Archive Date: 
Saturday, September 12, 2020
To event remaining 33 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation
Street Line 1: 
65-1238 Mamalahoa Highway
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Canada France Hawaii Telescope Corporation (CFHT) operates a world-class 3.6-meter telescope at the summit of Maunakea in Hawaii. With state-of- the-art instruments working in the visible and NIR wavelength bands, CFHT consistently rates among the highest in the world in science impact. Over the next decade, CFHT will be transformed into the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) (, an 11.25m aperture telescope feeding a massively multiplexed spectroscopic survey machine, capable of capturing thousands of astronomical objects simultaneously.

The MSE Project Office is seeking a talented, creative and inspired system scientist to become an integral member of a small, multidisciplinary team to support the technical and operational development of the MSE Observatory. The primary role of the System Scientist will be to work in collaboration with the Project Scientist and Systems Engineer to ensure that MSE is designed and constructed in a manner that meets the optimal science requirements.  The System Scientist also represents the MSE project to the national and international communities.

This position is hired on a 2 year, renewable contract while MSE is in the preliminary design phase.  Upon successful completion and approval of the preliminary design, this position may be renewed for final design and construction phase activities.

Relevant experience:

If you are passionate about impacting next generation ground based astronomy exploration, we would like to speak with you.

We are particularly interested in scientists with previous experience in instrumentation and facility development with an ability to balance the competing demands of scientific, technical, budgetary and risk related factors.  The ideal candidate for this position will be someone with an established record of scientific and technical publications and an interest in developing instrumentation for continuing research activities.  The System Scientist will interact with scientific and technical teams at both the local and international level to further the goals of the project.  Previous astronomical observatory, national lab, or aerospace experience and exposure to large scale projects and the development of requirements and documentation that go along with a large project are highly desirable.


The System Scientist position is currently based at CFHT Headquarters in beautiful Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii. While our preference is for the position to be based in our Hawaii project office, we will consider accommodations for remote work.  The position requires intermittent travel, including internationally, and periodic trips to the summit observatory.

Internships and mentoring

CFHT believes strongly in helping to develop a STEM workforce in Hawaii. So it participates in numerous outreach and mentoring activities for students within Hawaii and abroad, including the Akamai Workforce Development Internship Program ( and Maunakea Scholars programs ( A desire and capability to mentor student interns would be a plus.

Important dates

The position will be open until filled. For full consideration please apply via the attached website on or before September 15, 2020.

More Information:

All applicants must submit their application through our online portal at The full position description may be downloaded at this site.

Included Benefits: 

CFHT offers a competitive compensation package based on experience and employment history.

CFHT is committed to the ideal of gender equity and diversity. We offer an exceptional benefits package, including but not limited to, 100% health coverage for the employee and their immediate family, including: medical, vision, and dental coverage and life insurance for the employee along with a very generous retirement package.

CFHT offers up to $40K per year per family in tuition assistance for K-12 dependents. We are a family friendly workplace, with a policy allowing children in the workplace at our Waimea headquarters.

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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MSE System Scientist Job Posting