Science Fellow

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 10, 2021
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 19, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
AURA/NOIRLab/Gemini Observatory
Department Name: 
Research & Science Services
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The international Gemini Observatory, part of the NSF's NOIRLab, has two openings for Science Fellow positions to perform independent astronomical research and support observatory operations.  One position is located at Gemini North (GN) in Hilo, Hawaii, and the other at Gemini South (GS) in La Serena, Chile. These positions are normally for 3 years, subject to satisfactory performance.

Science Fellow positions are split 50/50 between research and observatory operational support work. Science Fellows at Gemini acquire significant training and experience in large ground-based telescope operations—becoming proficient both in state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and research and in the techniques of modern, queue-based observing methods.  Each successful applicant  will have demonstrated research productivity and possess the motivation and ability to identify and carry out new projects while assisting in the day-to-day operations of the observatory.  Science Fellows must also possess excellent teamwork skills in order to work collaboratively with Gemini staff and scientists in our international community, and participate in NOIRLab committees and external scientific organizations.  

To apply, please submit: (1) a cover letter describing your interest in the position and relevant experience, (2) a CV with a bibliography, and (3) a research statement summarizing your most important research contributions, future plans, and any observatory support interests (up to 3 pages). Please also include a list of 3 professional references with contact information.  For full consideration, applications should be submitted by November 15, 2021.

NOIRLab and the Gemini Observatory are managed by The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), a consortium of over 45 US institutions and international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the construction of Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.  NOIRLab includes the international Gemini Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, and Rubin Observatory operations. For further information about science at NOIRLab, see:

Activities and Functions of the Job

As a Gemini Science Fellow at NOIRLab, the successful applicant will:

  • Conduct independent research in any area of astronomy.
  • Prepare and present scientific papers at astronomical meetings and symposia.
  • Provide scientific and operational support, including calibration and testing, of instrumentation and telescope sub-systems. 
  • Prepare nightly queue observing plans and execute queue-based observations for astronomers in the international Gemini community.
  • Support Gemini users in defining their observing programs using Gemini tools, and introduce visiting observers to the telescope and instruments.
  • Develop documentation of new and existing astronomical equipment, including control and data acquisition systems.
  • Participate in development activities related to instrumentation and facilities
  • Training will be provided in these functions where needed

Required Education/ Experience/ Skills/ Abilities:

We seek an individual with a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or related discipline. Our telescopes and instruments specialize in optical and in IR astronomy. Therefore, we are looking for a person with experience using optical/IR observations, analyzing data, and producing and publishing science results. Candidates must have experience performing independent research in optical/IR astronomy. The job requires working in a culturally diverse environment and may require some international travel.  It is important to have good communication skills in order to communicate with a wide variety of staff, visiting observers, and remote investigators throughout the Gemini partnership. 

Preferred Education/ Experience/ Skills/ Abilities:

In working with Gemini Observatory’s telescopes and instrument capabilities, the following experiences are valued:  Experience using, developing, and/or commissioning of optical/IR instrumentation, telescopes, and/or adaptive optics capabilities. The job involves working with technical staff and people from other disciplinary teams. Therefore it is helpful if you have a demonstrated ability to perform well in a diverse multidisciplinary team to investigate issues and solve problems.  At the same time, it is important that you can work independently when necessary. 

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 does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, 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.

Included Benefits: 

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 15, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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AURA Human Resources
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