AtLAST Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

AtLAST Scientist
Salary: Band D £31,931 - £34,709
Benefits: 30 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + 2.5 privilege days + exceptional defined average salary pension + excellent work life balance
Location: UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh
Contract Type: Fixed Term 3 year
Closing Date for applications: Sunday 15th January 2023

Come and do the kind of science that made you want to become a scientist. Explore the unknown and get to grips with the biggest challenges in Big Science. And, alongside world class engineers and technologists, use everything you've learnt to find real-answers that shape society and improve lives. Put simply, discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world.

About the role

We have an exciting opportunity to join our Project Science team at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh at the post-doctoral level. The UK ATC is the national centre of expertise for the design and production of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and systems. It provides a friendly and flexible environment, on a beautiful site combining a historic observatory with modern state-of-the-art facilities.

We are looking for an enthusiastic astronomer to work with our scientists and engineers in the development of the science cases for AtLAST ( to the project completion expected in mid 2024, and other projects beyond that deadline.

The AtLAST project is a Horizon 2020 design study funded to create a baseline telescope design built around the science specifications of the community. The role is primarily in support of the community, as we derive the overall science priorities of the observatory and their impact on the telescope requirements. This includes, but isn’t limited to, facilitating discussions, leasing with the AtLAST instrumentation group, and refining the sensitivity calculator. The UKATC is involved in many projects, including the SKAO, ALMA, ESO and ESA missions, and while initially you will focus on the AtLAST you will also have the opportunity to participate in other sub-mm/radio projects and studies for future instruments. This position will give you an excellent opportunity to grow expertise in project work, complementing astrophysics research.

Along with these responsibilities, there is the expectation that you will pursue your own research programme in an area reflecting the science priorities of the UK ATC, including in particular the evolution of our Galaxy and star formation. A statement of your research interests should be included with your application.

The UKATC is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are invested in creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all, to help us achieve the highest possible standards in our work and organisation together. In this regard, we encourage applications from under-represented groups.

About You

We are looking for a reliable and flexible person with good interpersonal skills who can integrate and work effectively within our project teams. Good written and verbal communication skills (in English) and the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and project partners are essential. You must be willing and able to travel to our partner institutes and to project meetings both in the UK and overseas.

In addition to the above, you will have a PhD in Astronomy, or related field, and a track record of published research in astronomy and or astronomical instrumentation. You will have knowledge of a numerical coding language and a working knowledge of radio/sub-mm astronomy and single-dish data analysis.

How to apply – please provide a CV/publication list and a letter explaining your interest in and suitability for the role.


  • PhD in astronomy/related field
  • Scientific data analysis and reduction
  • Carrying out observations at major telescope facilities
  • Evidence of independent astronomical research
  • A high degree of computer literacy in particular in python or related skills
  • Presentation of results in seminars/conferences


  • Good research track record in observational astronomy,
  • Good team working skills
  • Be adaptable and able to work on own initiative
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A broad interest in science from nearby star formation to galaxy evolution
  • Experience of international collaborations
  • Experience of sub-mm/infrared astronomy in our galaxy

We are offering a 3 year fixed term position with a whole host of benefits including:

  • 30 days holiday (in addition to 10.5 bank holidays and privilege days).
  • Flexible working hours.
  • An excellent defined average salary pension scheme.
  • Employee shopping/travel discounts.
  • Excellent learning and development opportunities.
  • Visa Sponsorship for candidates applying outside of the UK.

We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are invested in creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all, to help us achieve the highest possible standards in our work and organisation together. In this regard, we encourage applications from under-represented groups.

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme. For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

How we support EDI in the workforce

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.


Application Deadline: 
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Selection Deadline: 
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: