ESA/AURA Astronomer Opportunities

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Archive Date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Faculty Positions (tenure and tenure-track)
Institution Classification/Type: 
Space Telescope Science Institute
Street Line 1: 
3700 San Martin Drive
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Astronomer positions are available at the Space Telescope Science Institute, sponsored by the European Space Agency, to support the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The European Space Agency (ESA) provides scientific personnel to the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) as part of its collaboration with NASA on the HST. There are currently a couple of openings for astronomers funded by the ESA HST Mission within ESA’s Directorate for Science, through a contract with the STScI. These scientific positions are three-year term, renewable contracts with salaries and benefits commensurate with those of AURA employees at the STScI.

Astronomers work in key areas throughout the Institute including instrument support, user support, observation planning and scheduling, and archival support. In general, functional duties encompass several of the activities associated with the instruments currently on board HST. This includes the characterization, on orbit testing and calibration of the scientific instruments and/or the support to users during the preparation, implementation and execution of the observing programs. Duties for other HST related positions include the scientific oversight of projects to further improve the HST observing efficiency and user interface, or related to the scientific use of the HST archives. Efforts are made to suitably match the background and experience of qualified candidates to program needs.

Some specific posts currently open include the direct support to Users of HST instruments currently on board: WFC3, COS, ACS,  STIS and FGS.

Astronomers spend 50% in support of the science mission of the Institute and 50% of their time on personal research. Therefore, the successful candidates will be expected to maintain an active program of research in astronomy, in addition to carrying out functional tasks related to Institute initiatives. The STScI professional environment is stimulating and intended to facilitate independent research. STScI supports postdoctoral, graduate student and visitor programs, workshops and meetings, and has excellent computer, technical and library infrastructure.

Candidates for these positions must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in astronomy or physics, with a strong, established record of independent research and scientific publications in astronomy. The primary qualifications we are seeking are excellence in observational or instrumental research. Applications are encouraged from both junior and senior astronomers, as the experience and accomplishment of the successful applicant will determine the level of the appointment.

STScI occupies multiple sites surrounding the campus of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, MD. It maintains close connections with the JHU Physics and Astronomy Department and is a partner in both the Pan-STARRS and LSST consortia.  STScI values diversity and has a research staff mentoring program and access to annual training programs.  The research environment engages, stimulates and supports an international research staff with over 100 members. Research projects ( span a wide range of topics and include collaborations with postdoctoral researchers, research instrument analysts and JHU graduate students, as well as researchers from other institutions.  Researchers lead the organization of annual workshops and larger-scale meetings, and participate in the activities of the very successful office of public outreach.

STScI is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer  and one of its goals is to develop an inclusive and diverse environment. Therefore, women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. As these contracts are funded by ESA, nationals from ESA member states are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf file: a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and bibliography, and a 3 page summary of current and future research interests, including a description of technical skills. Candidates should take advantage of the cover letter to describe their particular interest in working on HST for ESA at STScI. Applicants will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of three individuals that will be able to write letters of reference on their behalf. References will be contacted through the application system for the letter submissions. Emails will come from:  [email protected]. Applicants should contact their letter writers separately to inform them of the process, since applications will be given full consideration only when all reference letters have been received.


Applications received by Wednesday, October 31, 2018 will receive full consideration. STScI will request letters of reference upon receipt of a complete application; letters are due no later than Friday, November 9, 2018. Position inquiries may be directed to [email protected].

Pay Compensation
Compensation Notes: 
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Human Resources