Research Scientist/Engineer (Multiple Positions)

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
University of Washington
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Data Intensive Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology (DIRAC) Institute within the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington is searching for multiple research scientists to help design and develop next-generation data processing pipelines for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and to participate in its early science projects.

The Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST; ) will be the most comprehensive optical astronomy project ever undertaken. Beginning in 2024, the LSST will build up the deepest, widest movie of the Universe. The resulting hundreds of petabytes of imaging for close to 40 billion objects will be used for scientific investigations ranging from the properties of near-Earth asteroids to characterizations of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The volume, quality, and real-time aspects of the LSST data present once-in-a-generation research opportunities.

The Institute for Data-intensive Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology (DiRAC; ) is a center within the Astronomy Department at the University of Washington. Its mission is to to build the world's most advanced datasets, algorithms, and tools and use them to explore and understand the universe. The Institute comprises six faculty and senior fellows and over 30 postdoctoral researchers, research scientists, software engineers and graduate students. DiRAC leads the construction of Rubin Observatory’s time domain and solar system processing pipelines, co-leads the LINCC (LSST Interdisciplinary Network for Computing and Collaboration; Frameworks program to provide advances in software infrastructure needed to enable LSST analyses, and operates the LINCC Science Platform (   We are an open, ethical, collaborative community.  We believe in providing a welcoming and inclusive environment, in the importance of quality of life, in embracing diversity, in making a difference, and in having fun.

We seek applicants who combine astronomical software experience with enthusiasm for early LSST science. All applicants will be considered for the following full-time positions:
• Rubin Observatory- Up to two positions with 80% appointment as members of the Rubin Observatory Commissioning and/or Data Management teams and 20% original research time. In this position you will help devise and develop important elements of the LSST data processing algorithms and software (including work on image differencing, coadded image template generation, object classification, and alert streaming), work on commissioning the survey and understanding of first imaging data, and lead or participate in complementary early LSST science.

• LINCC- Up to two positions as Project Scientists for LINCC Frameworks, a novel joint UW-CMU program to develop software for early science with LSST ( Areas of focus include Solar System, time-domain, and extragalactic science. Guided by DiRAC faculty and community input, LINCC Project Scientists will identify high-impact LSST science opportunities, articulate the software needed to fulfill them, guide the engineering team to turn their vision into reality, and carry out a strong original research program enabled by the resulting codes.

LSST and LINCC software are open source and written in Python and C++.  See and for more information.

You are a researcher excited by the scientific potential of the Rubin Observatory.  You're an effective software developer with experience in Python and/or C++. You are a skilled written and oral communicator who effectively collaborates with local and remote colleagues. You are eager to develop new software for a next-generation astronomical survey.


PhD or foreign equivalent degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related field AND 3 months or less of applicable experience

Three or more years of experience developing Python and/or C++ software


Strong written and oral communication skills


Prior experience with astronomical survey data and/or software

Excited to contribute to the science projects enabled by early LSST data in  DiRAC research areas (see

Experience with collaborative or open-source software development

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM to apply.

Application Instructions

Materials must be submitted through UWHires, please use this link.
In your your cover letter please describe your interest in the position and relevant experience through the UW HR website (linked below). The positions will remain open until filled; for full consideration please apply by February 15, 2022. The start date is flexible, but the positions are funded to start immediately.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, University of Washington (UW) workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

Application Process
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 11, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Astronomy Department
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Astronomy Department