Astronomy – Research Associate (NN21061)

Position Overview

Organization: College of Arts and Sciences, Astronomy

Title : Research Associate

Search Number : NN21061

Position Details

The DIRAC Institute and LSST group in the astronomy department at the University of Washington have openings for upto three postdoctoral or research scientist positions. These positions are to process and analyze data from the Zwicky Transit Factory (ZTF), and to manage the development of the algorithms and software for the almost real-time processing of images from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).   The University of Washington is a member of the ZTF collaboration, a new time-domain survey that will have first light in 2017 where it will scan more than 3750 square degrees an hour to a depth of 20.5-21 mag and leads the development of software for the real time analysis of the LSST which is expected to see first light in 2019.As part of its contributions to ZTF the DIRAC Institute (a newly established institute for data intensive survey astrophysics at the University of Washington) will lead the development of the database for storing and serving transient and variable sources detected by ZTF.
The positions we are currently seeking are (1) a postdoctoral position to develop a database that can process and serve the ZTF data (2) a postdoctoral position for the development of analysis tools for time domain data (3) a research scientist position to manage and oversee the LSST survey group at the University of Washington. We expect that all three positions will participate and lead the ZTF and LSST science at the University of Washington.The candidates we are looking for are those with a strong research record in time domain astronomy (including transient and variables sources and solar system science) together with a background in computational  techniques. Strong Python skills, experience working with machine learning, image processing of astronomical images, or astronomical databases is preferred. For the research scientist position a demonstrated record  in managing software development teams is required. The successful candidates will work with Professors Andrew Connolly, Zeljko Ivezic, and Mario Juric and the members of the DIRAC Institute.
In addition to LSST and ZTF, ongoing research activities in the survey group at UW include understanding the structure, formation, and evolution of the Milky Way using large surveys (SDSS, WISE, PanSTARRS PS1, and others), Solar system (minor planet) science, as well as development of techniques, algorithms, and software for analysis of large astronomical datasets (“big data” data science).
A Ph.D. degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related subject is required. The initial appointment is for one year, renewable up to three years, and offers competitive salary and benefits. The appointment is expected to start no later than September 2017.
For benefits information, see the University of Washington benefits page:

Application Instructions

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, brief description of research interests, samples of code they have written (preferably a link to github or equivalent) and arrange for three letters of reference to be submitted to Andrew Connolly at with subject line “ DIRAC/LSST postdoctoral application (your name)”. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled, to assure full consideration, please send your application as early as possible.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.