Data Scientist Position for eROSITA and HETDEX

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, December 21, 2018
Archive Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Job Announcement Text: 

The Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching is a world-leading institute in space- and ground-based experimental astrophysics, with leading roles in a number of large astronomical projects.

Applications are invited for a position in support of two astronomical surveys at the MPE. We are searching for a data scientist with experience in handling of large astronomic datasets and software development.

The candidate is expected to work with us on implementing a database for the exploitation of eROSITA and HETDEX surveys. eROSITA will be the primary instrument on-board the Russian "Spectrum-Röntgen-Gamma" (SRG) satellite which will be launched in 2019. It will collect X-ray data of up to a hundred thousand galaxy clusters and stars and millions of active galactic nuclei. HETDEX is a unique spectroscopic survey that will map the evolution of Dark Energy using Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies in the high redshift universe. HETDEX has started its observations in January 2018.

The ideal candidate will be a scientific programmer with a strong interest in working with large astronomical datasets and is expected to carry the responsibility of maintaining and updating the server, including the ingestion of the new data and the development of routines supporting the science. The candidate should have:

  • Understanding of the modern tools and technologies for computational analysis in Astronomy
  • Good knowledge of software design and programming principles
  • Experience of hands-on C/C++/Python/Jupiter/Java software design, development documentation and testing
  • Experience in the full software development cycle, designing and building complex software systems that involve both server-side and user-facing components and their interconnections
  • Experience in database storage system, design and management
  • Experience with SQL databases, Docker and the notions of "containers" and "Images".

Up to 20% of the time may be spent on research on a topic related to the unique data products of eROSITA and HETDEX. Beyond those the candidate will have access to the other facilities available to us (e.g. ESO telescopes).

This position will require the candidate’s ability and willingness to travel to the US to work with our partners there. At least one initial stay is expected to last a few months for training.

The starting date is February 2019 (flexible) for 2 years guaranteed with the possibility of extension depending on the availability of funding. Salary and social benefits are based on the German TVOeD scale, depending on experience.

Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF format) online ( by January 31, 2019, including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a publication list, and a statement software experience and interest. Please also supply three letters of reference to be sent to Dr. Mara Salvato ( and Dr. Maximilian Fabricius ( To the same addresses you can also send informal enquiries about the position. For further details about MPE see .

Later applications may also be considered in case the post is not filled until February 2019.

The Max-Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Mara Salvato and Dr. Maximilian Fabricius
Max Planck Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Mara Salvato and Dr. Maximilian Fabricius