Resident Astronomer at Hobby-Eberly Telescope, McDonald Observatory

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Archive Date: 
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
University of Texas at Austin
Department Name: 
McDonald Observatory
Street Line 1: 
82 Mt Locke Rd.
McDonald Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The University of Texas at Austin, McDonald Observatory invites applications for a Resident Astronomer for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) in the beautiful Davis Mountains of west Texas. The HET is a fully queue scheduled 10-m class optical and near-IR spectroscopic telescope. The queue is run by the Resident Astronomers who serve as on-site observing specialists with the HET using multiple facility instruments. Instruments include the Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS), Low-Resolution Spectrograph 2 (LRS2), High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS), and Habitable-zone Planet Finder Spectrograph (HPF).

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead night time science operations safely and efficiently from sunset to sunrise.
  • Work with instrument scientists and engineering staff to maintain and document the performance of the HET.
  • Documenting the current status of the facility through wikis and web pages.
  • Work with the HET partner scientists to optimize the scientific productivity of the facility.
  • Conduct projects to characterize and/or improve night operations.
  • Up to 25% of the work hours are available to conduct personal research to contribute to the scientific life at the Observatory.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in astronomy or physics, or equivalent.
  • Two years instrumentation, observations, or data reduction experience working on 3+m class telescopes in optical and/or near infrared spectroscopy.
  • Experience writing code in Python.
  • A strong demonstrated commitment to service astronomy.
  • Proven organizational, managerial and leadership skills.
  • Ability to conduct personal research projects with the HET or other McDonald telescopes.

See for complete description and to apply for posting number 17-10-20-01-4209. This position is security-sensitive, and a background check will be conducted. UT is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and committed to diversity.

Review of applications will begin December 18, 2017 and the search will continue until the position is filled.

Included Benefits: 

See  Includes on-site housing at McDonald Observatory, financial support for research related travel, a research computer, and publication costs.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Shetrone
Science Operations Manager
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr. Matthew Shetrone
Resident Astronomer inquiry