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Requisition Number 17-0158
Post Date 8/1/2017
Title Science Fellow
City La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, 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.

Gemini Observatory has an opening for two Science Fellows; one at Gemini North, Hilo, Hawaii, and one at Gemini South, La Serena, Chile. These Science Fellow positions are for fixed three-year terms, with half of the Fellow's time spent on personal research, and half on Observatory support duties. These positions offer exciting opportunities to advance research in the dynamic environment of a modern world-class observatory.

The Gemini Observatory is a partnership of five countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and the United States. Forefront astronomical research is carried out with 8-m optical/infrared telescopes in Hawaii and Chile (see

Science Fellows at Gemini acquire significant training and experience in large ground-based telescope operations—becoming proficient both in state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and research, and in the techniques of modern, queue-based observing methods. Fellows may train as queue-scheduled observers and support external investigators in the preparation of their observations. Additional observatory duties may include support of Gemini instrumentation, employing queue planning tools to construct nightly observing plans, and/or working on Observatory development projects, depending on the Fellow's interests.

Gemini offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefit package. The majority of the successful applicants’ time is spent at the base facilities in Hilo, Hawaii, or La Serena, Chile. Hilo is a town with a very diverse population of about 43,000 people, a tropical climate, and a substantial international astronomical community supporting the observatories on Mauna Kea. La Serena is a mid-sized city on the ocean, with a population of about 400,000 in the metropolitan area, also supporting a number of professional astronomical facilities. It is a popular tourist destination in the (Chilean) summer.


Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline. Observational, data analysis and/or instrumentation experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: near-IR spectroscopy and imaging; optical and multi-object and IFU spectroscopy; adaptive optics and high spatial resolution imaging. Applicants must be safety conscious, possess or be able to obtain a valid passport, and be willing and able to travel internationally.

The following documentation is required for the application:

  •  A cover letter relating your experience and education to the requirements of the position, indicating also whether you are interested in the position in Chile or in Hawaii. Three professional references must also be provided along with your application;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A research statement that provides a summary of your most important contributions to research in astronomy and describes your future plans;
  • A statement of observatory support interests.

All documents are required in order to be considered for the position. Application materials should be submitted online through the Gemini web site: Applications received by November 6, 2017 will receive full consideration. The starting date is negotiable but is expected to be between April and August 2018. For further information about the positions please contact Dr. Atsuko Nitta, Gemini-North Head of Science Operations ( or Dr. René Rutten, Gemini-South Head of Science Operations (

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.

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