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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0262
Post Date 11/20/2017
Title Data Research Assistant
City Boulder
State CO

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation (NSF). AURA also has cooperative agreements with the NSF to construct the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

The National Solar Observatory currently has an opening for a Data Research Assistant. This position provides scientific, technical, and/or research support for one or more related detail phases of a project or division of a scientific program by assisting scientists in astronomical investigations.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop approaches for extracting metadata from historical H-alpha full-disk daily solar observations.
  • Organizes, analyzes, and interprets data. Specifically, analyze processed solar images to identify properties of chromospheric filaments on the Sun as a function of solar-cycle phase.
  • Solves problems through scientific research as required to achieve assigned project or mission objectives.
  • Cooperates and coordinates closely with all personnel involved with the assigned scientific problem.
  • Responsible for meeting scientific requirements of assigned work and approved time schedules when applicable.
  • Bachelor of Science, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Computational Physics or equivalent.
  • Excellent mathematical skills.
  • Experience with IDL and SolarSoft.
  • Knowledge of computer/algorithmic feature identification and minimization techniques.
  • Basic understanding of solar features.
  • A least two years of experience in scientific research or engineering support activities.
  • Ability to resolve scientific and technical problems through research, engineering, and/or physics.
  • Ability to speak and write effectively including preparation of reports.
  • Ability to cooperate with and obtain the support of others.
  • Knowledge of new scientific and technological developments and the ability to apply them to existing assignments.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience with C++ and Python.

Please list 3 professional references in your application. Please attach a letter of interest and CV/resume (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0262LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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