Technologist, WFIRST Coronagraph Instrument

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Archive Date: 
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology invites applications for a researcher who will take an active role in support of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) as part of the Project Science Team. You will collaborate closely with both the Project instrument team and the external CGI science teams to maximize the scientific and technological yield of CGI.

You will take initiative in areas such as: data processing, calibration, and observing strategies; performance predictions; error budgets flowdown from high-level objectives to engineering requirements; observation planning tools; and support of internal and external reviews. As a secondary responsibility, you will keep abreast of the state of the art in high-contrast imaging through active engagement in research. Finally, you will be expected to actively contribute to equity, diversity, and inclusion at JPL.

This position requires the following qualifications: 

An advanced degree in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, physics or a related field, along with a strong track record in high-contrast science and instrumentation. A PhD is highly desired; we may also consider otherwise exceptional candidates with a Master’s degree and at least five years of relevant experience. Expertise may be demonstrated through experience in several of the following areas, which the applicant should develop in the research statement: data processing, survey design, publication record, instrument commissioning and calibration, and/or hardware design and assembly. The applicant is expected to have excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work effectively and with initiative in a large team setting.

Preferred additional areas of expertise include one or more of the following: WFIRST CGI, high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy data processing and calibration, high-contrast polarimetry, direct imaging survey and observation design, and/or detector characterization and calibration, particularly with electron multiplying CCDs.

Please visit (Job ID 2019-11130) to view the full description and apply.

Complete applications will include:

  • a cover letter describing the applicant’s vision for their role as a Coronagraph Technologist at JPL working with, and in support of, the WFIRST mission
  • a curriculum vitae including a bibliography of refereed and other work
  • a statement of research experience and objectives for the role, as well as experience and/or willingness to engage in activities that would enhance JPL’s diversity and equity efforts
  • Contact information for three professional reference writers.

Applications received by November 4th, 2019 will receive full consideration.

Information on the people and projects in Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences at JPL are available at

For more information about the position or working at JPL and Pasadena in general, please contact the hiring committee chair (Dr. Vanessa Bailey, or the Section Manager of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (Dr. Leonidas Moustakas,

Pay Compensation
Compensation Notes: 
Included Benefits: 

Very generous benefits package

Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 4, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Vanessa Bailey
Jet Propulsion Laboratory