Scientist-Community Science and Data Center (CSDC)

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Are you looking for an opportunity to do research with big telescopes and support other scientists to do the same? The Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) of NSF’s National Optical-IR Astronomy Research Laboratory is searching for a Scientist to join the Laboratory's scientific staff and support the National Gemini Office (US NGO) and other programs within the CSDC. Appointment may be made at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or full Scientist depending on qualifications and experience.  The position is located in Tucson, Arizona.

We are especially interested in candidates with a background in data reduction and analysis for observational astronomy at optical and IR wavelengths, ideally with a focus on spectroscopy. This position carries a 20% personal research time allowance, as well as significant opportunity for alignment between research interests and functional assignments.

NSF’s National Optical-IR Astronomy Research Laboratory is a new integrated Center that encompasses CSDC, Gemini Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, and operations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

The CSDC mission is to facilitate and support community open access to telescopes and data archives throughout the US O/IR System. In addition to the US NGO, CSDC also hosts a Time Allocation Committee program, a petabyte-scale Science Data Archive, the Data Lab science platform, the ANTARES astronomical event-broker project and the Alert Event Observatory Network (AEON) initiative, and activities to develop a US Extremely Large Telescope. As an integral part of the CSDC mission, the US NGO’s primary goal is to represent and support US Gemini users in all phases of the astronomical observing cycle, from proposal preparation through data analysis.

Essential job functions:

The US NGO/CSDC Scientist will be part of a small group of astronomers/scientists that works in collaboration with Gemini Observatory and other national Gemini offices to ensure that US users are supported adequately in all phases of the proposal cycle, in particular in reducing and analyzing their Gemini data for publication in scientific journals. The ideal candidate would promote increased collaboration between CSDC and Gemini Observatory staff within the Laboratory for the benefit of the US and international Gemini user communities.

Position duties include:

  • Leading the effort in assisting the community in their data analysis needs.
  • Developing and/or integrating data-reduction software tools.
  • Editing or writing data analysis cookbooks.
  • Development and maintenance of the US NGO web portal.
  • Gemini help desk support, in collaboration with Gemini Observatory staff and other national Gemini offices.
  • With the US NGO Head, representing the US Community at Gemini Operations Working Group meetings, International Time Allocation Committee meetings, and other forums.
  • Collaboration with other CSDC teams on data-intensive astronomy initiatives related to Gemini’s scientific capabilities.

Minimum requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics, or related fields.
  • Publication record in astronomical research.
  • Proficiency and experience in astronomical data reduction.

Additional desired experience/skills:

  • Experience with data reduction and analysis for optical and/or IR spectroscopy.
  • Programming proficiency in Python.
  • Experience with the US O/IR observatory system, and/or experience with Gemini Observatory.
  • Experience with astronomical user support.
  • Experience with astronomical surveys.
  • Experience with astronomical data management and archiving.
  • Experience with time domain astronomy.

Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates.

AURA offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a stimulating work environment.

The application deadline is January 15, 2020, and the position will remain open until filled.  

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach a CV or resume (PDF files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

For questions about this position please contact the US NGO Head, Dr. Letizia Stanghellini at

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and four 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 National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA 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  

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 and all of the centers, do 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.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation. 

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

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Reviewing Applicants
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