Research Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
Street Line 1: 
Street Line 2: 
Street Line 3: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

NASA’s Kepler and K2 missions delivered high-precision space-borne photometry, which impact all areas of astrophysics in unique and important ways, including exoplanet science, stellar astrophysics, extragalactic physics, and solar system science. The Bay Area Environmental Research Institute seeks applicants for a two year position to undertake a project working with Kepler and K2 data. The successful applicant will work with an established team of scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center to build new Kepler and K2 light curve products, build catalogs, and implement and improve existing open source tools. The skills that will be developed in this project will be highly applicable to the NASA TESS dataset and other time series photometry missions.

In this project the Research Scientist will extract time series photometry from Kepler's archival data using modern techniques, and will work as part of a team with strong experience with Kepler data. The Research Scientist will be developing a pipeline using existing tools from the lightkurve package to extract background and crowded targets from the Kepler/K2 archive. The project will involve Python coding and large volumes of data (>4 TB). The Research Scientist will be mentored and advised by Dr. Christina Hedges throughout the project. Alongside the project, the Research Scientist will have the opportunity to publish papers, mentor interns, and attend astronomy meetings with the team.

The position is expected to last 2 years. The position comes with a competitive salary for the Silicon Valley area ($90-$105k, commensurate with experience) plus health, vision, and dental insurance, and retirement contributions. The expected start date for the position is April 1st, with some flexibility to start the position later.

Required Qualifications: MSc in a relevant science discipline; demonstrated, strong Python coding experience.

Desired Qualifications: PhD, or equivalent experience; broad understanding of astronomical and/or exoplanet science; open source software development skills; excellent communication skills. Additional desirable experience includes familiarity with the Python/AstroPy ecosystem, the GitHub platform, the lightkurve open source package, and time series astronomy. Direct experience with Kepler or TESS data is beneficial, but not essential. The positions are funded through a cooperative agreement between NASA and the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (

To apply send a CV, a list of three references, and a summary of science interests and relevant technical skills (maximum of 3 pages in length) to Applications will be reviewed starting January 24, 2020, and will continue to be considered thereafter until February 15, 2020. For more information on the position or the project, applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Christina Hedges at Interested applicants who will be attending the 2020 Winter AAS meeting in Hawaii are invited to email Dr. Hedges to organize a face to face meeting at the AAS to discuss the position.

Pay Compensation
Salary Min: 
$90000.00 (USD)
Salary Max: 
$105000.00 (USD)
Included Benefits: 

Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute is a growing, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and conducting research in science, particularly atmospheric and space science.  Since its establishment in 1993, BAER has become well recognized nationally for its significant contributions to various fields of scientific research.  BAER’s clientele include various federal government agencies, and BAER has had a long-standing collaborative relationship with NASA.  The Institute’s research and program leadership activities with NASA include work with both the Earth Science and Space Science Divisions at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.  BAER has developed and maintained an outstanding reputation for its project management, financial reporting, and program and partnership development capabilities as well as for its resourcefulness in providing expert scientists, researchers, and support staff for mission-critical Agency projects.

We offer a full benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, life insurance and a generous 403B contribution plan. 

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Samantha McCarthy
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Research Scientist Kepler and K2