Scientist (Open Rank)

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Archive Date: 
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Green Bank Observatory / AUI
Green Bank
West Virginia
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Position Summary

The Green Bank Observatory is seeking an enthusiastic and energetic scientist to join the staff of the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. The successful applicant must have knowledge of astronomy and familiarity with, or desire to learn, radio astronomical instrumentation and techniques.  We are especially interested in individuals whose research complements the high-frequency capabilities of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT); but those in other areas whose research could utilize the GBT will be considered.

The Green Bank Observatory oversees the development and operation of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, as well as numerous smaller telescopes used for a variety of scientific and educational purposes.   Working at wavelengths 1.5m through 2.6mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research.  Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and development projects that keep the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology.  New instrumentation on the GBT includes ARGUS, a 16-pixel feed horn array operating from 85-116 GHz and MUSTANG2, a 223-pixel, 90-GHz bolometer array.  Three major development projects are currently underway, including a telescope metrology system that will substantially increase the amount of GBT time available for high frequency (>30 GHz) observations, a new wideband feed focused toward pulsar timing studies, and a digitized system to mitigate radio frequency interference in real time.     Long term plans for the GBT and the site can be found online at Green Bank Observatory Science 2020-2030.

The successful candidate will have 25% of their time available for independent research, while 75% of their time will be devoted to instrument development, support of visiting astronomers, and other activities in astronomical research.  Job responsibilities can include providing user support for GBT observers, testing and commissioning GBT instrumentation, working with software and hardware engineers to support GBT operations, and assisting with public outreach and education activities at the GBO.

The Green Bank Observatory combines an academic atmosphere with a rural location and lifestyle.  Individual research is encouraged and supported with funds for travel, publication, etc.   The position includes vacation accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance.  The position will be at the assistant, associate, or scientist level, depending on experience.


  • On call support for GBT observers.
  • Acting as “friend” for GBT proposals, which includes aiding a project from initiation through publication.
  • Calibration and testing of existing GBT instruments.
  • Aiding in the development of new instruments for the GBT, including writing requirements, project oversight, testing, and/or commissioning of the instrument.
  • Providing scientific leadership for the Green Bank site.
  • Maintaining an active independent research plan which includes the use of Green Bank telescope(s).
  • Proactive compliance with Green Bank Observatory and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field

Required Technical Experience: 

  • Knowledge of radio and/or millimeter wavelength astronomy.
  • At least 1 year of post-graduate experience.

Desired Technical Experience:

  • Knowledge of radio astronomy instrumentation.
  • Three or more years of post-doctoral experience.
  • Interest in education activities such as student mentoring, public talks, etc.
  • Ability to clearly convey technical information to software developers, engineers and scientists, interact with peers in a positive and respectful way and calmly resolve conflicts is strongly desired.


Physical Conditions/Nature of Work:  Work is typically performed in a research environment consisting of desk work and lab work. Must be able to operate a personal computer and lab instruments.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

The position is located at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, WV, an Observatory which combines and academic setting with a rural environment. The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education.

Included Benefits: 

In addition to competitive pay, the Green Bank Observatory provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. GBO's retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 1, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Hiring Committee
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Karen O'Neil
Staff Scientist