Science Fellow

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The international Gemini Observatory, part of the NSF's NOIRLab, has an opening for a Science Fellow position based at Gemini North in Hilo, Hawaii.  Gemini Science Fellows split their time equally between independent astronomical research and supporting observatory operations. The position is for 3 years, subject to satisfactory performance.

NOIRLab and Gemini Observatory are committed to diversity and inclusive practices, and we seek individuals who thrive in a culturally diverse environment. Our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and promote equity throughout the astronomical workforce. Learn more at

In addition to carrying out a program of independent astronomical research, Science Fellows at Gemini acquire significant training and experience in large ground-based telescope operations—becoming proficient both in state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and research and in the techniques of modern, queue-based observing methods.  The successful candidate will have demonstrated research productivity and possess the motivation and ability to identify and carry out new projects while assisting in the day-to-day operations of the observatory.  Science Fellows must also possess excellent teamwork skills in order to work collaboratively with Gemini staff and scientists in our international community, and participate in NOIRLab committees and external scientific organizations.  

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid vacation leave, parental leave, and retirement contributions.

To apply, please submit: (1) a cover letter describing your interest in the position and relevant experience, (2) a CV with a bibliography, and (3) a research statement summarizing your most important research contributions, future plans, and any observatory support interests (up to 3 pages). Please also include a list of 3 professional references with contact information.  For full consideration, applications should be submitted by December 31, 2022.

Activities and Functions of the Job

As a Gemini Science Fellow at NOIRLab, the successful candidate will:

  • Conduct independent research in any area of astronomy.
  • Prepare and present scientific papers at astronomical meetings and symposia.
  • Provide scientific and operational support of instrumentation and telescope sub-systems. 
  • Execute queue-based observations for astronomers in the international Gemini community.
  • Support Gemini users in defining their observing programs using Gemini tools, and introduce visiting observers to the telescope and instruments.
  • Develop documentation of new and existing astronomical equipment and systems.
  • Participate in development activities related to instrumentation and facilities.
  • Training will be provided in these functions where needed.

Required Education/ Experience/ Skills/ Abilities:

We seek an individual with a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or related discipline. Our telescopes and instruments specialize in optical and in IR astronomy. Therefore, we are looking for a person with experience using optical/IR observations, analyzing data, and producing and publishing science results. Candidates must have experience performing independent research in optical/IR astronomy. The job requires working in a culturally diverse environment and may require some international travel.  It is important to have good communication skills in order to communicate with a wide variety of staff, visiting observers, and remote investigators throughout the Gemini partnership. 

Physical Demands:

The work of a Gemini Science Fellow is mostly carried out in an office environment near sea level. Long periods of sitting may be required. You will be expected to perform night-time duties as well as day time, working to a prearranged schedule.  Given the international nature of the observatory, you may also need to travel, and occasionally work at high elevation (Maunakea, 4200m; Cerro Pachon, 2700m) may be required. 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.

Deadline for Applications:  December 31, 2022.

COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons.  All new employees will be required to comply with this policy and will be required to present proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five (5) business days prior to their start of employment.  Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their employment start date delayed. 

This is a requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote work schedule).  Currently the vaccination requirement does not apply to any future AURA employees working in Chile, regardless of their nationality or type of contract.

AURA currently offers a mix-model workspace (office & virtual) and stimulating environments for all, with most staff working virtually from home during the COVID-19 crisis through Fall 2022. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape and offers of employment can be extended and new hires will onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in their base job location within a limited time from their start date.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 31, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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