Astronomical Software Engineer II

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, July 31, 2020
Archive Date: 
Friday, August 28, 2020
To event remaining 18 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Space Telescope Science Institute
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Space Telescope Science Institute is seeking an Astronomical Software Engineer to join our team! In this role, you will be part of a tight knit, collaborative team of software engineers and astronomers developing the Exposure Time Calculator, a Python-based web application and compute engine that is used by astronomers to plan observations for the Hubble, James Webb, and Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescopes.

Your work on the compute engine will range from engaging with instrument scientists about scientific requirements, algorithms, and instrument data to developing, analyzing, documenting, and validating the accuracy of the results. You will have the opportunity to contribute to user support work and closely collaborate with teammates to produce a reliable, high quality user experience.

You will participate in technical discussions and code reviews involving all components of the application, contributing your research, analysis, to developing, monitoring, and improving the entire application.


  • Clear understanding of the terms and physical principles underlying astronomical observing, instrumentation, and data reduction
  • Experience with data-driven scientific programming and validating the accuracy of results
  • Advanced degree in astronomy, astrophysics, or a related field. A bachelor's degree and at least two years of experience with astronomical observing, instrumentation, and/or data reduction may be substituted
  • Familiarity with object-oriented programming


  • Experience with spectroscopic observing and/or data reduction
  • Experience-based understanding of infrared, optical, or UV detectors
  • Experience collaboratively developing scientific software
  • Solid understanding of statistical analysis
  • Knowledge of good software engineering practices and experience with software engineering tools such as debuggers, version control systems (e.g., git or subversion), and ticketing tools (e.g., Jira or GitHub issues)
  • Familiarity with any of the following: Jupyter notebooks, Astropy, NumPy

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: 
Friday, August 28, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, August 28, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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