Data Science Mission Head

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, July 10, 2020
Archive Date: 
Friday, September 4, 2020
To event remaining 25 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Space Telescope Science Institute
Department Name: 
Data Science Mission Office (DSMO)
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) seeks a new Mission Head to lead our Data Science Mission Office from our headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Data Science Mission Office (DSMO) advances state-of-the-art data science at STScI and in the wider astronomical community. We work at the intersection of astronomical research, data science, engineering, and open source software development. We lead strategic programs to increase the scientific productivity of our missions, to realize the potential of data-driven astronomy, and to innovate in these areas. We develop institutional and broad community expertise by in combining data science and astronomy, exploring new technologies and services, as well as building and maintaining world-leading data management infrastructure and services to support past, current, and future NASA missions.

STScI is responsible for many of the highest-value datasets in astronomy, from NASA's flagship observatories including the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, as well as community missions such as TESS. Our data archives in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) house more than 2 petabytes of multi-mission, multi-wavelength data from more than 20 community missions, and MAST is recognized as the premier NASA astronomical archive. DSMO works to expand the scientific value of these holdings and to use them to support astronomy that is inclusive.

The Role:

As the Mission Head you will lead the DSMO team and own the overall strategy for data science at STScI. One significant component of this effort is to enhance research activities, capabilities, and outcomes with in-house astronomers and a broad astronomical community, especially those based on the space missions and archives we support. A second component of the STScI data science mission is to improve operations of, and services provided by STScI through modern data management, data engineering, and data science techniques.

As a member of the senior leadership team of STScI, you will work with other leaders to identify and exploit science-enhancing harmonies across our missions. You will set priorities to explore and deliver new technologies, services, and infrastructures that advance scientific discovery.

The DSMO Mission Head requires a combination of "hands-on" activities, together with delegating work to other team members and organizational units. Given the wide scope of DSMO, both STScI strategic priorities and the Mission Head's individual talents will shape the focus of the role. 

By its nature, STScI’s data science mission is broad, and as a result, we welcome candidates with a diverse mix of skills and backgrounds to apply.

We are looking for candidates who: 

Have significant experience in one or more of the key areas relevant to STScI’s data science mission including: data science, data-driven astronomy, and software and data engineering. You understand that enabling advanced analyses of peta-scale data archives by the astronomical community requires a close partnership among engineering teams, scientists, and the astronomical community.

Thrive in an environment that gives you the freedom to explore a wide range of areas relevant to our data science mission. You recognize that the responsibility to create and realize a vision requires developing consensus from key partners, turning this vision into meaningful activities, and delivering results.

Communicate well, in multiple ways and with diverse groups of people.  You are able to work seamlessly with the full range of an organization, engaging effectively with individuals, teams, and management. You are comfortable representing the work of STScI to external partners such as government agencies (e.g. NASA), advisory and oversight committees, and the scientific community.

Take a strategic perspective to identify and advance high-level priorities. You have demonstrated success in your past leadership roles.

Have a Ph.D., equivalent degree, or comparable experience in astronomy, computer science, engineering, or a related field. You would effectively utilize some of your working time for self-directed research.

How to apply:

Applicants should submit the following materials in a single PDF file: a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and bibliography, a 2–3 page summary of current and future interests in research or intellectual innovation, and contact information for three professional references. Candidates should take advantage of the cover letter to describe their particular interest in leading DSMO at STScI, a brief vision to use the role to advance scientific discovery, and expertise that would support their success in the position. 

Applications received by September 2, 2020, will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

Direct Link to Apply:

About STScI:

STScI occupies multiple sites surrounding the campus of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, MD. It maintains close connections with the JHU Physics and Astronomy Department and is a partner in the Pan-STARRS and Sloan Digital Sky Survey V consortia. The research environment engages, stimulates, and supports an international research staff with over 100 members. Research projects ( span a wide range of topics and include collaborations with postdoctoral researchers, research instrument analysts and JHU graduate students, as well as researchers from other institutions. 

The diversity of the STScI staff enhances the dynamic and collegial atmosphere of our community, and reflects our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense. Accordingly, women, minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, STScI does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or mental or physical handicap. Veterans, disabled or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at . Salaries and benefits are commensurate with those of AURA member universities.

*STScI has all staff working virtually during the COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape. Offers of employment can be extended and new hires will on-board virtually once they are resident in the Baltimore-Washington area. We will then ship systems to enable working virtually until it is safe to report to our Baltimore offices. Relocation benefits will be available to those eligible when travel can be supported.   

Additionally, all employment is contingent on establishing eligibility to work in the United States, including obtaining an appropriate visa, if necessary.  Work outside of the United States is not permitted.**

    We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

    Included Benefits: 
    • Medical, dental, prescription, and vision
    • Employer-sponsored Retirement Plan: 10% direct company contribution
    • Vacation: Up to 5 weeks of paid vacation a year
    • Sick Leave: Up to 12 sick days a year
    • Paid Holidays: 7 regular holidays and 3 personal holidays
    • Employee Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan
    • Flexible Work Schedules / Telecommuting Options Available
    • Free Parking
    • Flexible Spending Accounts
    • Employee Assistance Program
    • Company-paid Life, Short-term Disability, and Long-term Disability
    Application Deadline: 
    Wednesday, September 2, 2020
    Selection Deadline: 
    Wednesday, September 2, 2020
    Current Status of Position: 
    Accepting Applicants
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    Attention To: 
    Lauren Nation
    Employment Specialist
    Space Telescope Science Institue
    Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
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    Attention To: 
    Lauren Nation
    Data Science Mission Head