SKA Observatory: Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, October 1, 2021
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 5, 2021
To event remaining 13 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Institution Classification/Type: 
SKA Observatory
Department Name: 
Street Line 1: 
SKA Observatory
Street Line 2: 
Jodrell Bank
Street Line 3: 
Lower Withington
SK11 9FT
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

At the SKAO we are coordinating a global effort to deliver one of the largest science facilities on the planet. The SKAO telescopes will be next-generation instruments that will help to answer key questions in astrophysics, drive technological innovation and support human capital development. 

More than a dozen partner countries and over a thousand scientists and engineers around the world are already on board, making the SKA project an international collaboration like no other, and one of the most ambitious science and engineering endeavours of the 21st century.

Headquartered in the UK, with telescope sites in Australia and South Africa, the SKAO will be one observatory operating two telescopes, an endeavour spanning three continents. Multinational by design, in early 2021 the SKAO became an intergovernmental organisation, one of only a select handful of science infrastructures to do so worldwide.

Our Global HQ is located near the buzzing city of Manchester at the historic Jodrell Bank Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Cheshire countryside. It is home to a rapidly expanding international team of more than a hundred, working in a highly collaborative and inclusive way, in coordination with SKAO teams in Australia and South Africa as part of a global astronomy and engineering community.

Being part of Team SKA means contributing to something extraordinary: a uniquely exciting project to advance human knowledge that will last for decades. In return, we offer a diverse multicultural working environment, 30 days annual leave plus public holidays, a generous pension scheme, regular social events, a family-friendly environment and much more. Come and join us!

An amazing opportunity for a Scientist to join a multicultural, international team and contribute to next breakthrough in radio astronomy.

The Role

The Scientist's role will be to champion and safe guard the scientific capabilities and accomplishments of the SKA Observatory.

The scientific interests and priorities of the community are channelled into the current SKAO design and potential future upgrades. The role entails optimally engaging the science user community throughout the construction, commissioning and operational phases. It is expected that SKAO Scientists are active researchers, with an interest in the key science areas to be explored by the SKAO.

The Scientist will report to the SKAO Director of Science and will be part of the wider SKAO Science Team. They will be expected to engage with the global science community and serve as advocates of the SKAO within both the radio astronomy and the broader astronomical community, and provide a conduit to understand and contribute to the science goals of the SKAO.

In line with our Flexible Working Policy, flexibility around working hours may be accommodated in agreement with the Line Manager where operationally viable, ensuring telescope delivery is not impacted.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

- Lead the development and verification of the SKAO science requirements and play a major role in the 
commissioning of the telescopes

- Lead the development of Science Data Challenges that effectively engage the community prior to the SKAO commissioning phase

- Provide the scientific oversight in the process of translating scientific goals into 
technical requirements

- Engage and work with the SKAO Engineering and Operations teams to ensure that the SKAO will 
deliver maximal science within the boundaries and constraints of the project

- Engage and communicate effectively with the globally distributed scientific user community

- Travel nationally and internationally as required (typically with up to one week, up to 6 times per year)

- 25% of time will be available for personal research

- Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

- A PhD or equivalent in astronomy, physics or a closely related field

- Research experience at postdoctoral level

- Experience with large astronomical science projects

- Ability to form an effective interface between science and engineering teams

- Good communication skills

- Ability to present  work in international and other 

- Ability to work effectively with scientists from a variety of cultures

- A flexible team player who is adaptable to change

- Ability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally as required and when possible in the context of any international travel restrictions (typically with up to one week, up to 6 times per year)

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

- Experience with state-of-the-art simulations of data products

- Effective scripting and programming skills

- Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement

SKA Observatory recognises that our diversity is a strength. We aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. As such, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are at the core of SKA Observatory’s agenda.

Our aim is to recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, nationality or background. 

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Observatory welcomes and encourages female applicants.  
Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided.

SKA Observatory welcome all candidates, especially those from member countries.

The “How to Apply” information contained within the SKA Observatory recruitment portal provides more detail regarding our application and selection approach.

Included Benefits: 
  • Competitve salary
  • Generous pension
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
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