Community Scientist for Documentation

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 16, 2022
Archive Date: 
Friday, October 14, 2022
To event remaining 8 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Hilo, Tucson, La Serena
Hawaii, Arizona, Chile
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

NSF’s National Optical Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) invites applications for the position of Rubin Observatory Community Scientist for Documentation.

The core duties of this role are to coordinate and participate in the delivery of user-facing scientific documentation related to the Rubin Observatory data products and software. This role is primarily concerned with validating the scientific content and accessibility of the user-facing documentation, and making optimal use of the existing technical infrastructure for documentation. This position is with the Rubin Community Engagement team (CET) within the Rubin System Performance department.

Candidates working in all areas of astronomy will be considered. Individuals with experience in one or more of the following are particularly encouraged to apply:

  •  science with wide-field optical imaging surveys
  •  optical image data processing pipelines
  •  data products derived from optical imaging surveys (catalogs, coadded images, alerts)
  •  user-facing documentation for software or data products
  •  web-based technical documentation infrastructures

This position will be on the scientist track, with 20% time for independent research. Those appointed to the scientist track are expected to engage in astronomical research projects. They are encouraged to pursue synergies between their service work and their research goals, and to become active scientific stakeholders in the success of the telescopes, instruments, data sets, and software systems that they support. The position can be taken at any of the NOIRLab sites (Tucson, AZ; Hilo, HI; La Serena, Chile).

NOIRLab recognizes the excellence that diversity brings to our research, operations, and community support, and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  We continually seek to broaden participation on our staff and strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. All NOIRLab staff are funded to spend up to 3% of their time on DEI activities of their own initiative or as part of existing NOIRLab programs.


Minimum Requirements:  PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Planetary Science, or a closely related field, and at least two years of research experience post-PhD.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • The work is mostly carried out in an office environment. Long periods of sitting and computer usage may be required. 
  • Travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.

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.

Details on benefits can be found at

At NOIRLab we are committed to diversity and inclusion; our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates.

To Apply:

For full consideration, applications should be received by September 30, 2022.  To apply, please submit: (1) a cover letter describing your interest in the position and any relevant experience; (2) a curriculum vitae or résumé with a bibliography; and (3) a statement summarizing your most important research contributions and proposed program of research at NOIRLab (limit: 2 pages, plus references). 

Please submit all documents as PDF files, named with the following format: Lastname_Docname.pdf (where Docname is CoverLetter, CV or Resume, or Statement). Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected].

Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected] 

COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated including being up to date on boosters, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons. All new employees will be required to comply with this policy and will be required to present proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five (5) business days prior to their start of employment. Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their employment start date delayed. 

This is a requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote work schedule). Currently the vaccination requirement does not apply to any future AURA employees working in Chile, regardless of their nationality or type of contract.

AURA currently offers a mix-model workspace (office & virtual) and stimulating environments for all, with most staff working virtually from home during the COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape and offers of employment can be extended and new hires will onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in their base job location within a limited time from their start date.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three 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 the NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA. 

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. 

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 14, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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