Citizen Science Researcher

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
SETI Institute
Mountain View
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 



Position Title:                          Citizen Science Researcher

FLSA Status:                           Full Time, Exempt

Location:                                 Mountain View, CA


Position Summary: 

SETI Institute, a research institution located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, is leading several projects related to citizen science with the Unistellar network. In collaboration with the SETI Institute, Unistellar is engaged in developing a large network of citizen astronomers and has demonstrated the potential of its network to produce citizen science results in planetary science as well as exoplanetary science. This network could provide a large amount of data for NASA & ESA upcoming missions, as well as to support the study of transient events detected with current and upcoming surveys (Vera Rubin Observatory for instance). The data processing and data analysis of this large amount of data coming from various observers around the world are unique and challenging. We are looking for a scientist with strong interest in citizen science, good skills in network computing as well as in outreach and communication.  The position will become available in February 2022 and will report to the Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar, while collaborating with researchers at the SETI Institute.

The primary responsibilities of this position in addition to the responsibilities listed below, will be to organize and conduct campaigns, process, and analyze data received from the Unistellar Network, provide mentorship to students, and raise funding for your research.


  • Collaborate with Unistellar team and SETI Institute researchers to perform scientific investigations/research.
  • Process observations of asteroids (planetary defense and occultation) from raw images to finalize light curves using a Python-based pipeline.
  • Develop citizen science campaigns in partnership with our partners such as ESA, AAVSO and space agencies.
  • Measure and publish asteroid properties extracted from the campaigns.
  • Assist in communicating results to the citizen scientist observers (e.g., via Slack and email).
  • Create reports for submission to the professional repositories (e.g., NASA PDS) for publicly archiving observations.
  • Maintain results of observations for internal records.  


  • Ph.D. in Astronomy.
  • Knowledge in data analysis, and Python code development.
  • Passionate about technology and willing to learn about systems and products.
  • Must be receptive to ideas from team members, able to work independently, and provide mentorship, guidance, and direction to students.

To apply:

Physical Requirements:

  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Sort, file paperwork, grasp lightly, and use fine manipulation, lift, carry, push and pull objects that weigh up to 25 lbs.
  • Stand, walk, reach or work above shoulders and use a phone.
  • Valid Driving license is necessary.

Diversity and Equity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

The SETI Institute is an Affirmative Action Employer and members of underrepresented communities and demographics are particularly encouraged to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ and people with disabilities.

EO/AA/Disability/Veteran Employer

Note: The Institute will not sponsor applicants for work visas

Included Benefits: 

Salary/Benefits: The SETI Institute provides competitive salary, excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The Institute sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Franck Marchis