Research Associate, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) (4678)

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Archive Date: 
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Department Name: 
Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)
Street Line 3: 
1003 Lopezville Road
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

 Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is inviting applications for a research associate in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). This position will focus on developing, testing, and using new operational modes on the NRAO Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The VLBA's network connectivity has recently been upgraded to allow some real-time operations.  Improvements in connectivity will be continuing. During the period of this appointment a new high-precision GPS receiver system will be installed across the VLBA and a new digital back-end system for the VLBA will be in late development and testing phases. All three projects will open up new data processing and calibration opportunities.


The primary responsibilities of this position will be supporting a series of non-standard VLBA observations and supporting development projects to enhance the capabilities of the VLBA.  The innovations to be explored include real-time and near-real-time transport of baseband data over high-speed wide-area networks, processing (correlating) the data, developing new data processing algorithms, and automating manual processes.  Both interferometric and single-antenna (baseband data) analysis will be of interest.  25% time will be available for self-directed research.


The appointment will be for two years with one additional year contingent on funding,.  The starting date is flexible, but should be early in 2022.


The position will be based in either Albuquerque, NM or Socorro, NM. The NRAO Domenici Science Operations Center (DSOC) is located in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. Remote or telework arrangements may be considered for highly qualified candidates.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAOs retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participants base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment. Some domestic travel may be required or encouraged


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

PhD in astronomy, physics, or a related field, or expect to have earned a PhD by the starting date of the appointment.


Minimum Experience

The successful applicant must have strong knowledge of radio interferometry. Proficiency in programming (especially Python or C) and familiarity with Unix/Linux are desired.


Additional Requirements

United States citizenship is required for this position. The Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access our facilities.  An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination.  A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button. You will need to be prepared to upload your current resume and a cover letter as a single PDF document consisting of the following items:

Cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position. (maximum 2 pages).

Curriculum vitae

Description of research accomplishments and future research plans (maximum 3 pages)


Applicants should arrange for two letters of reference (max 2 pages) to be sent to [email protected]. These letters should conform to the file name convention “LastName,FirstInitial_RAVLBI_recommendation.pdf”. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the letters of reference have been sent by their referees. All materials should be submitted by January, 21, 2022 in order to receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer.  Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.  To view our complete statement, please visit  If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Walter Brisken
Deputy Assistant Director
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Department Name: 
Socorro Operations
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: