Research Associate/Senior Research Associate

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Archive Date: 
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
University of Cambridge
Department Name: 
Institute of Astronomy
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 March 2022 in the first instance.

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious Astronomical Data Analysis Scientist to work within the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) located in West Cambrdige as part of the WEAVE spectroscopic analysis system development team.

WEAVE is a major new massively multiplexed optical spectrograph currently under development, to be deployed on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope. WEAVE will enable large spectroscopic surveys to be undertaken, observing millions of stars and galaxies during its initial 5 year survey period. WEAVE will be commissioned later 2019, and commence full operations in 2020. The CASU team has developed the spectroscopic pipelines for WEAVE and has responsibility for the final development, commissioning and operations of the data pipelines.

The successful candidate will work within CASU's WEAVE software development team and be responsible for contributing to the development of novel scientific algorithms and applications in the areas of spectroscopic analysis and data mining of the catalogues extracted as an output of the analysis of WEAVE spectroscopic data. The role will also involve: contributions to the supporting computational infrastructure, liaising with the wider WEAVE project team and external science users; contributing to the documentation and user manuals; and collaborating in the WEAVE related research programs to optimise interpretation and use of such WEAVE data. The candidate will also contribute to the development of the analysis pipelines for 4MOST and potentially MOONS. In addition there will be opportunities to participate in image analysis algorithm development, supporting both astronomical and medical image programmes.

Applicants will have a Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field, and have a strong computing and programming background. Candidates are expected to be familiar with the acquisition and reduction of data from astronomical facilities and with the use of database and web-based systems. Previous experience in large-scale spectroscopic and image surveys would be advantageous. Experience and practical knowledge of unix based operating systems Linux and/or MacOS and Python scripting languages is a requirement, while knowledge of SQL and database systems would be advantageous.

Salary will be up to circa £32,236 - £39,609 (Research Associate) or for exceptional candidates £40,792 - £51,630 (Senior Research Associate) depending on experience and qualifications.

The position is tenable initially for a fixed term period to 31st March 2022, with good prospects for further extension subject to grant funding.

Starting Date: From 1st September 2019 or as early as possible thereafter.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

Please submit your application by midnight of the closing date of Wednesday, 19th June 2019. If you have any queries about your application or require further information, please contact Ms Joy McSharry (

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Nicholas Walton (naw(at) ).

It is anticipated that interviews will be held 19, 22 or 23 July 2019.

Please quote reference LG18962 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Included Benefits: 

What can we offer you.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
On-line applications only
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Miss Joy McSharry
LG18962 Research Associate/Senior Research Associate