Post Doctoral Research Associate

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory (NSO), Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

The NSO is seeking a post-doctoral research associate to work on the validation of science (level-2) data products in the solar corona, in preparation for the first light of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

The successful applicant will work with senior scientists to develop a pipeline which will deliver scientifically valuable data for the community, with special emphasis on spectro-polarimetry with at least two of the DKIST first-light instruments.  The work will include the development of synthetic models of polarized light from the solar corona, analysis of infrared data from existing instruments such as HAO's CoMP, and, eventually, unique data from DKIST instruments. The associate will develop skills in cutting edge theoretical and observational solar physics, with direct access to some of the first data from DKIST.  The work will be done mostly at NSO's HQ in Boulder, Colorado, but will likely require travel to Hawaii, and international travel. The corona presents special challenges, and DKIST is the largest coronagraphic community facility devoted to measuring the coronal magnetic field. DKIST therefore offers the opportunity to work with data that break through previous barriers with significant potential for new understanding. The skills developed during the two-year appointment will be attractive to future employers at universities and elsewhere.

The main deliverable of this appointment is the development of data pipelines that will be capable of inverting spectro-polarimetric observations of the Corona into physical values of the coronal magnetic field that can be made available to the solar community.

The successful candidate will work under the joint supervision of Dr. Philip Judge (HAO) and Dr. Han Uitenbroek (NSO), and will be located at NSO. The appointment is initially for one year, renewable for a second year contingent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

Requirements: PhD in Physics, Astrophysics, or related sciences. Experience with data visualization methods and tools (e.g., IDL, Python VTK) and high-performance computing is highly desirable.

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.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach a CV or resume to your application.  Should you have any questions, please contact

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 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.

NSO will accept and review applications until the position is filled. Please be sure to submit a completed application along with supporting documents by no later than March 22nd 2019 to be considered in the first review.  Qualified internal candidates will be given preference.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 22, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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