Research Staff Positions at STScI- General Astronomy & Planetary Science

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Archive Date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2022
To event remaining 9 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Faculty Positions (tenure and tenure-track)
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
Space Telescope Science Institute
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is the operational home of the Hubble Space Telescope, the new James Webb Space Telescope, and the future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, along with ever-growing data archives and public outreach. These missions are guided by a world-class staff of astronomers who support all areas of mission activity and conduct their own self-guided independent research. With the successful commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope, STScI begins a new and exciting multi-mission era that will grow again with Roman and future strategic missions. We are now seeking astronomers with expertise in any research area of astronomy or planetary science, whether observational, instrumental or theoretical, to fill several open positions in key areas -- Exoplanet Science, Infrared Imaging and Surveys, and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy -- with additional positions available for general science support.

Exoplanet Science

Exoplanet science, highlighted as a growth area in the recent Decadal Survey, is a strategic priority for STScI. Exoplanet science programs, in particular for transit spectroscopy, routinely accounts for ~20% of observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, with similar-scale demands on the newly commissioned James Webb Space Telescope. We are seeking researchers with expertise in this area, particularly those with experience in transiting exoplanet spectroscopy and related fields, to provide critical science support to the current institute’s missions and pave the way for future space missions.

Infrared Imaging and Surveys

Infrared imaging and survey expertise is another focus area for STScI. The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is anticipated to launch in the middle of the decade, with instrument thermal-vacuum testing and further development of science operations on the horizon. We seek astronomers with expertise in infrared imaging and surveys to join the research staff in support of the development of this flagship observatory. The successful candidate will bring knowledge of relevant areas including survey design and operations, time-domain analyses, instrument calibration and/or commissioning, data simulations and calibration pipelines, and catalog or data-driven scientific methods.

Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Ultraviolet spectroscopy remains a crucial area of expertise for STScI. Ultraviolet capabilities continue to be in high demand on the current Hubble Space Telescope and will be key for the Large Infrared/Optical/Ultraviolet Space Telescope recommended as the first mission in the recent Decadal Survey. We are seeking astronomers with an active research portfolio involving ultraviolet spectroscopy to help support this strategic scientific area.

General Astronomy and Planetary Science

In addition to the areas specifically called out above, we welcome applications from scientists with expertise in any research area in astronomy or planetary science, whether observational, instrumental or theoretical.


The Space Telescope Science Institute aims to expand the frontiers of space astronomy by serving the science community and public in their endeavors to explore and understand the universe, to foster an environment of honesty, respect, inclusiveness, trust, and ethical behavior, to build on our achievements by laying the foundations for the next generation of astronomy space missions, and to enable the extraordinary in our missions by leveraging the skills of our diverse staff. The research staff is an integral component of achieving the success in science operations for the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and any future STScI’s space mission.

Several astronomer-track (equivalent to tenure-track) positions and scientist-track positions at any level of seniority are available. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree and research experience in astronomy, planetary science, or a related discipline. The successful applicants will provide operational and developmental support in one or more areas of the Hubble, James Webb, and Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescopes, and the data archive (MAST, including TESS and Kepler data). Astronomer-track researchers spend 50% of their time supporting the science operations of the Institute’s missions and 50% on independent research. Scientist-track researchers typically spend 80% of their time supporting science operations and 20% on independent research. With grant support, scientist-track staff can increase their research fraction up to 50%. Successful candidates must be able to cultivate strong working relationships and communicate effectively within cross-disciplinary teams composed of individuals from our many mission partners. 

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of their research impact, experience and vision, and on their potential match against STScI functional requirements, weighted appropriately for the astronomer-track and scientist-track positions.

Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf file:

a cover letter (maximum 2 pages), 

a curriculum vitae and bibliography,

and a summary of current and future research interests, including a description of technical skills (maximum 3 pages). References will not count towards the page limits.

Applicants will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of three individuals who will be able to write letters of reference on their behalf.

Candidates should take advantage of the cover letter to describe their particular interest in working at STScI. Candidates will be considered for both astronomer-track (tenure-track) and scientist-track positions, and they may indicate if they have a preference in the cover letter. The better match will be discussed as part of the selection and interview process.

Please ONLY use this link to apply:

The STScI on-line application portal will open on Friday August 12, 2022. Applications received by Friday October 14, 2022 will receive full consideration. References will be contacted through the application system for the letter submissions. Emails will come from: [email protected]. Applicants should contact their letter writers separately to inform them of the process. Letters are due no later than Friday October 21, 2022.

STScI occupies two 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, LSST, and SDSS V consortia.  STScI values diversity and has a research staff mentoring program and access to annual training programs.  The research environment engages, stimulates and supports an international research staff with over 120 members. Research projects ( span a wide range of topics and include collaborations with postdoctoral researchers, research support analysts and JHU graduate students, as well as researchers from other institutions.  Researchers lead the organization of annual workshops and symposia, and participate in the activities of the very successful office of public outreach. Functionally, research staff members support the wider community through calibration and characterization of current and upcoming instrumentation, development of tools for analyses of archival holdings, overall mission planning, and science policies. Research-staff members also help to formulate the strategic goals of the Institute.

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

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 [email protected]. Salaries and benefits are commensurate with those of AURA member universities.


Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 14, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Christine Rueter
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