Scientist (Open Rank) - 4263

Observatory Service and Science Green Bank, West Virginia


                  Scientist (Open Rank)




Job Number:





Secondary Job Title:





Number of Openings:





Job Type (Employment Type):

Direct Hire




Internal Posting Begin Date:





Internal Posting End Date:






West Virginia





Green Bank





United States









Job Schedule:

1.0  FTE




















Position Description:

We are seeking an enthusiastic and energetic scientist to join the staff of the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

The Green Bank Observatory oversees the development and operation of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, as well as numerous smaller telescopes which are used for a variety of scientific and educational purposes.   Working at wavelengths 1.5m through 2.6mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research.  Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and development projects which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology.  

The successful applicant will be joining a staff of over 100 people, including 11 astronomers, who are tasked with the operations, maintenance and long term planning for this facility.

Initial duties of the successful applicant will include providing support for GBT observers as well as developing thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of the microwave holography system which is used for measurement and improvement of the GBT primary surface, working in the area of data reduction and post-processing mathematical analysis.  The applicant would eventually assume primary responsibility in this area.  Over time, the successful applicant will join other projects, potentially including the development and commissioning of new instrumentation on the telescope, working with the engineering staff to improve the overall telescope performance, and aiding with the data reduction pipelines needed for the GBT.

The successful applicant must have strong knowledge of astronomy and/or astronomical instrumentation. A knowledge of, or interest in, mathematical analysis techniques and/or surface holography techniques is desired but not required. The successful candidate will have 25% of their time available for independent research.  Support for research and travel are provided, as well as vacation accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance.  Position will be at the assistant, associate, or scientist level, depending on experience.



  • On call support for GBT observers
  • Acting as “friend” for GBT proposals, which includes aiding a project from initiation through publication
  • Understanding and ultimately ownership of the GBT surface analysis techniques and algorithms
  • Calibration and testing of existing GBT instruments
  • Aiding in the development of new instruments for the GBT, including writing requirements, project oversight, testing, and/or commissioning of the instrument.
  • Providing scientific leadership for the Green Bank site
  • Maintaining an active independent research plan which includes the use of Green Bank telescope(s)
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Position Requirements:


Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field


Required Technical Experience: 

  • Knowledge of radio and/or millimeter wavelength astronomy
  • At least 3 years of post-graduate experience


Desired Technical Experience:

  • Knowledge of radio astronomy instrumentation
  • Knowledge of surface holography techniques
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis techniques
  • Experience in scientific computing, perhaps including some proficiency in software system(s) such as Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, Python, C/C++
  • Ability to clearly convey technical information to software developers, engineers and scientists, interact with peers in a positive and respectful way and calmly resolve conflicts is strongly desired.


Physical Conditions/Nature of WorkWork is typically performed in a research environment consisting of desk work and lab work. Must be able to operate a personal computer and lab instruments.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

The position is located at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, WV, an Observatory which combines and academic setting with a rural environment. The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education.




Application Instructions:


Apply online at the Associated University Inc. / NRAO / GBO / LBO Careers page; upload CV/Resume and letter of interest.


Before you apply, you will need the following materials, combined in a single file, to upload with your application:

  1. Cover letter stating why the candidate is interested in this position – the letter should describe how the candidate matches the position and qualifications summarized above (no more than 3 pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae including publications list
  3. Summary of past research (2 pages)
  4. Future research plan describing specifically synergies with the GBT and other AUI facilities.
  5. Summary of past technical and observational experience relevant to this position (2 pages)


Each applicant should arrange for letters of reference to be submitted by three individuals ("referees") familiar with her or his scientific abilities directly to  These letters MUST be received by August 1, 2017 (referees should use the format file name "ApplicantName_Sci4263_ref.pdf").  Applicants are responsible for ensuring that letters of reference have been sent by referees.  All required application documents, with the exception of referee letters, should be combined into a single file and uploaded when the application is submitted.  The deadline for receipt of complete applications is August 1, 2017. 





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