Scientific Data Analyst I (4489)

Observatory Service and Science Socorro, New Mexico



Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has initiated the Science Ready Data Products (SRDP) project which will change radio astronomy by delivering data products that are ready to use for scientific study by a wide range of astronomers, including those not expert in interferometry, thereby making radio astronomy more accessible to the broader astronomical community. As part of this initiative NRAO is in the midst of the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) – a multi-year, all-sky, radio survey using the Very Large Array, located in New Mexico.

The NRAO currently requires the addition of one Scientific Data Analyst to support the SRDP and VLASS operations, as well as general user and observatory operations support.


In general, the Scientific Data Analyst will assist Observatory users by executing routine data reduction and imaging; assessing the quality of data products produced by data processing pipelines; improving the editing, calibration, and imaging of pipeline products as necessary, and providing informative summaries and scripts to the user community. In addition, the Scientific Data Analyst will respond to, refer, and follow up on routine data analyst requests submitted through the helpdesk.  This is a non-exempt classification subject to FLSA overtime regulations.  Nominal work hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00 with a standard one-hour lunch period.


The position is based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

The typical duties of the Scientific Data Analyst consist of the following:

  •              Assist Observatory users with data reduction and imaging; assess the quality of pipeline data products for users, for SRDP, and for VLASS deliverables; provide informative summaries and scripts.
  •              Respond to, refer, and follow up on queries submitted through the helpdesk.
  •              Assist visiting scientists in data reduction, data analysis, and archive access, through one-on-one support (helpdesk and face-to-face visits) and group training activities (workshops and tutorials).
  •              Participate in scientific testing of software and procedures for user support and/or telescope operations.
  •              Pro-active compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  •              Other duties as assigned.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office environment.  The successful candidate will be required to sit for long periods and operate a personal computer.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A Bachelor's Degree in Astronomy, Physics or related field is required.


Minimum Experience

No prior experience is required


Preferred Experience

Some experience working with radio astronomical data products and/or operating radio telescopes is preferred.


Computer Skills

Able to use computers with Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris operating systems. Experience with data reduction software and experience with Python is preferred.


Competency Summary

Required competencies: strong communication skills (written and verbal); ability to remain calm while supporting demanding clients; analytical thinker; able to learn new systems quickly.


Application Instructions:


Select the "Apply" button below..  Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.


 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  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


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.