Vacancy Notice: Astronomer - Department of Science Operations

Published: 14 Mar 2019
ACA antennas

For the JAO Department of Science Operations (DSO) in Santiago and the OSF in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, the ALMA Observatory is opening the position of


The closing date for receipt of applications to be considered for the position is 8 April, 2019.  

Successful candidates will work within the JAO Department of Science Operations either in the Program Management Group or Array Performance Group, depending on the specific skills of the applicant. The JAO Department of Science Operations (DSO) is responsible for the ALMA observations. It consists of four groups: The Array Operations Group (AOG), the Program Management Group (PMG), the Array Performance Group (APG), and the Data Management Group (DMG). Overall these groups are responsible for the data collection process as well as data quality assurance. DSO also leads the planning of improvements to the science operations as well are participates in the Development Program as part of commissioning new capabilities.


Astronomers in the ALMA Department of Science Operations will be based in the ALMA offices in Santiago, with regular trips to the ALMA Operations Support Facility near San Pedro de Atacama to serve as Astronomer on Duty (AoD). They will also travel occasionally to the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) to work with the ALMA partners. The responsibilities of these astronomers could include:

  • Commissioning new observing modes
  • Improving the efficiency of ALMA operations
  • Developing, improving, and executing the ALMA calibration plan
  • Testing of and providing requirements for software used for Science Operations
  • Scheduling and executing observations
  • Tracking the progress of observing programs
  • Data processing and quality assurance of ALMA data
  • Developing documentation needed for science operations as well as the content of the JAO web pages
  • Conducting technical reviews of ALMA proposals

The successful candidate will be expected and encouraged to conduct astronomical research. Research components vary depending on contract but are typically 20-25%. Research in areas directed towards use of ALMA will be strongly encouraged.

For more details on submitting an aplication to ESO, please see the full vacancy announcement on the ESO Recruitment Portal website.