VLA/VLBA Science Support Division Head (4932)

Research Socorro, New Mexico


Description

Position Description:  

  

Position Summary 

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) operates some of the world’s most impactful radio astronomy facilities for use by the international scientific community. The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) are operated from the Domenici Science Operations Center on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu) in Socorro, NM, and the Plains of San Agustin in west-central NM.  

  

The NRAO is seeking a leader with experience in management and astronomical observatories to be the Head of the VLA/VLBA Science Support Division. This Division is responsible for all telescope and user-facing science support for the VLA and VLBA, including supporting the development of new capabilities for those instruments. The Division Head is responsible for the overall planning, coordination, direction, safety and management of the VLA/VLBA Science Support Division in NRAO New Mexico Operations (NM Ops). The Division Head develops and administers budgets, policies, procedures and practices to achieve the assigned goals of the Division, and recommends changes to policies and procedures to NM Ops management as needed. The Division Head is also responsible for charting Divisional programs and for broad supervision of their execution. 

  

The position will be hired at the full Scientist (Astronomy) level. Scientists have 25% of their time for independent research, and high consideration will be given to applicants whose research utilizes NRAO facilities. The position will be based in Socorro, NM, a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. A telework agreement that permits a partial work-from-home arrangement will be considered. 

  

What You will be Doing 

The VLA/VLBA Science Support Division Head is responsible for: 

  • All telescope-facing science operations for the VLA and VLBA
  • Coordination of VLA and VLBA-related user-facing science operations items with the NRAO’s Science Support and Research (SSR) Department, the Green Bank Observatory, and North American ALMA science operations in Charlottesville, including telescope time allocation, scheduling, and pipeline operations
  • Line management of all VLA and VLBA scientific staff
  • Coordination of software requirements and computing resources with the NRAO’s Data Management and Software (DMS) Department
  • Division resource allocation
  • Maintaining all operational records and providing reports as required
  • Overseeing the operational activities of the Division and correcting operational deficiencies
  • Overseeing the budget for the Division
  • Attending appropriate coordination meetings and ensuring information is relayed to Division personnel
  • Coordinating with other local division heads to ensure all NM Ops operational activities are managed efficiently

  

Work Environment 

The position is based in an office environment. The successful candidate must be able to work at a computer with detailed and complex textual and numerical information. They may need to drive to the VLA site in a company vehicle, on occasion. 

  

Who Are You:  

  

  • You have a PhD in Astronomy, Engineering or a related science or technical area.
  • You have at least seven years in a related field. The role requires extensive technical knowledge; and experience directing a staff in the support of scientific or technical research.  Relevant experience may include 1) working at an astronomical observatory, 2) a university or, 3) a research lab. Relevant experience includes managing at a level equivalent to that of an Observatory Group Lead and/or university/lab management experience.
  • While not required, familiarity with radio interferometry, the Jansky VLA, and/or the VLBA is strongly preferred.

  

Competency Summary 

Must work well with a wide range of Observatory staff including scientists, engineers, and technicians, as well as Observatory visitors; must have excellent writing and presentation skills in order to deliver clear and concise written and oral reports; must have good organizational skills, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Must demonstrate leadership and planning skills.  

  

Application Instructions:  

For consideration, select the “Apply” button. Please prepare a single PDF document consisting of the following items: 

  1. Cover letter stating why you are interested in this position – the letter should describe how you match the position and qualifications summarized above (no more than 2 pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae including publications list
  3. Summary of past research (1 page)
  4. Future research plan describing specifically synergies with NRAO facilities (2 pages)
  5. Summary of past technical, observational, and management experience relevant to this position (2 pages)
  6. Well qualified candidates who are selected for the screening process will be asked to provide the names and contact information of three individuals familiar with your technical, scientific, and management abilities. Instructions for contact submission will be provided at the time of request. 

The PDF file is to be uploaded with the “Add Resume” feature at the applicant portal; the file name format should follow this convention: LastName,FirstInitial_SSDH.pdf. The deadline for receipt of complete applications is February 29, 2024; review of applications will begin upon receipt. Please direct inquiries to Mr. Allen Lewis ([email protected]). 

  

Total Rewards:  

  

The NRAO offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth. 

  

Compensation 

The NRAO strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance.  

  

Factors which may affect starting pay may include; education, experience, skills, competencies, other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions.   

  

Benefits 

NRAO’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. NRAO provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions. 

  

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: 

  

AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs. If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected]. 

  

 PM20