Research Associate in Astronomy

Charlottesville, VA
Jul 10, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Working Title: Research Associate in Astronomy

Position Type: Professional Research Staff

Department: Department of Astronomy

Location: Charlottesville

Posting Date: 11-02-2015

Posting Summary:
The Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia (UVa) invites applications for a Research Associate to work directly with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV). The SDSS-IV Survey, operating over the 2014-2020 period, consists of three, distinct astrophysical projects: eBOSS, which obtains precision measurements of key cosmological parameters; APOGEE, which performs a high-resolution, near-infrared spectroscopic survey of the Milky Way Galaxy; and MaNGA, which generates spatially resolved spectroscopic maps of individual galaxies. SDSS-IV conducts observations from both a Northern Hemisphere Site at Apache Point Observatory (APO) in New Mexico and a Southern Hemisphere Site at Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) in Chile.
UVa is a full institutional participant in SDSS-IV as well as a member of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC, which owns and manages APO).
Duties include, but not limited to:
-Ensuring that the SDSS observing system meets performance and reliability requirements.
-Improving SDSS observing software and procedures and document the various improvements accordingly
-Testing, installing, and debugging newly developed software.
-Tracking and resolving issues reported by the trouble-ticket system.
-Responding to problems that occur during nightly observing.
-Anticipating and planning for future survey operational needs.
-Contributing to the LCO/APOGEE-2 operations software development.

Personal research time may also be available for the successful applicant.

Though the position will be based in Charlottesville, Virginia, travel to the APO and LCO sites will be expected.

This is a one-year appointment; however, the appointment may be renewed an additional two one-year terms, contingent upon available funding and satisfactory performance.

A PhD in Physics, Astronomy or a related field is required by the appointment start date.

To apply please submit a candidate profile online through Jobs@UVA (; search on Posting Number 0617564) and electronically attach the following: cover letter, curriculum vitae (CV) including a publication list, the contact information for three (3) references, and a statement or research interests (particularly as may be related to exploitation of APOGEE data).

Also under separate cover by email, please arrange for three (3) confidential letters of recommendation to be emailed to Barbara K. Johnson,, with subject heading "APOGEE POSTDOC".

Review of applications will begin on December 01, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

Inquiries regarding this position should be directed to: Jennifer Sobeck ( and Connie Rockosi ( Questions regarding the candidate profile process or Jobs@UVa should be directed to Barbara Johnson (

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to making a final offer of employment.

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Persons with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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