Astronomical Data Scientist - #0002424

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, July 23, 2021
Archive Date: 
Friday, August 20, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Space Telescope Science Institute
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Street Line 1: 
3700 San Martin Drive
Street Line 3: 
3700 San Martin Drive
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is a multi-mission science operations center for NASA’s flagship observatories. Our world-class astronomical research center is based on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland. (Click here to learn more about STScI). STScI offers a flexible and welcoming workspace for all. (Click here to learn more about our culture)

The Data Processing and Archive Services (DPAS) team at STScI operates the data calibration pipelines and ensures that data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), are properly archived and cataloged for the scientific community.

DPAS is seeking a scientist to provide scientific, technical, and computational expertise to support the data calibration and archive operations for JWST, which is scheduled to launch in late 2021.

This is a 100% functional position. It will be possible for the successful candidate to buy back up to 20% of their time for independent research through the use of any approved external funding or grants you may receive.

Astronomical Data Scientist Role & Responsibilities:

  • Data calibration pipeline operations for JWST. Note that this position requires shift work to support day, evening, overnight, and weekend shifts during the JWST commissioning activities during the first six months after the JWST launch.
  • Functioning as a subject-area expert on astronomical data, techniques, and tools to support continued software development.
  • Procedure writing, testing, and maintenance.
  • Trouble-shooting system and data problems in the pipeline.
  • Monitoring the archive help desk to support JWST archive users

Your Experience, Skills & Qualifications:

Familiarity and experience with:

  • Scientific data processing, pipelines, and workflows
  • Use of astronomical archives for research
  • Astronomical imaging and/or spectroscopic data
  • Relational databases (SQL)
  • Software and programming languages such as Python, MS SQL Server, or other technologies
  • Familiarity with Linux operating system

Experience with the following is helpful but not required:

  • Familiarity with large data sets and associated analysis methods
  • Cloud computing on platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Working with teams in an agile/scrum environment.
  • Data science methods such as machine learning
  • Astronomical instrumentation and observational techniques
  • System configuration management (DevOps)

Substitution of additional relevant education or experience for stated qualifications may be considered.

Candidates must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident for ITAR clearance.

Education/ Experience:

Experience in astronomical research or observatory scientist/support functions is required.

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Astronomy, Planetary Science, Physics, or a related field.

We will consider applicants with advanced degrees up to a PhD in Astronomy, Physics, or a related field.

TO APPLY: Share your experience by completing an online application and uploading a resume and cover letter in one document. Applications received by August 27, 2021 will receive full consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered until the position is filled.

Direct Link: Astronomical Data Scientist - #0002424

We offer an excellent and generous benefits package (Click here to explore our benefits).

*COVID-19 UPDATE - Restricted On-site Presence: Staff members will not be required to work on-site unless their presence is necessary to carry out specific functional activities. Staff without on-site functional work have the option to work from home (telework) in 2021. A hybrid telework and on-site presence is planned for 2022. 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 onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in the Baltimore-Washington area within a limited time from their start date.*

Beginning July 1, all onsite personnel will need to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR prior to arrival onsite. Effective September 1, 2021, STScI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework). Exceptions to the vaccination requirement may be granted in for documented medical or religious reasons or for staff who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

STScI embraces the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in creating a first-rate community. We reflect this deep dedication in strongly encouraging women, ethnic minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities (Click here to learn more about how we foster Diversity & Inclusion) Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at [email protected] EOE/AA/M/F/D/V

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements that are included for protection and to assist us in our record-keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, August 20, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Shelly Abrams
Lead Employment Specialist
Space Telescope Science Institute
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Shelly Abrams
Astronomical Data Scientist - #0002424