Staff Scientist

Updated: about 9 hours ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech, provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to enhance discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground. IPAC invites applications to the science staff for one full-time position to work with the Roman team at IPAC.

The Roman Space Telescope is a NASA observatory designed to address key questions in the areas of dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics. It is slated for launch in late 2026. The Roman Science Support Center (SSC) at IPAC is part of the Roman Ground Data System, providing algorithm and software development and data processing for the Galactic Bulge Time Domain Survey and all Roman spectroscopic data. In addition, the SSC will support the operations of the Coronagraph Instrument, manage the Roman General Investigator Program proposal solicitations and related data analysis funding, and provide community support for exoplanet and wide-field spectroscopy science with Roman.

For more details, see:  

SSC is looking for a Proposal Team Lead to manage the implementation of its role in solicitations and community funding.

Essential Job Duties

  • Participate and coordinate in the drafting of the annual Roman General Investigator Proposal Call.
  • Manage the peer review and allocation process associated with that Call.
  • Directly support the user community during the preparation, proposal review and grants management for general astrophysics survey programs.
  • Work with software developers to implement and test the proposal submission and panel review tools.
  • Provide technical management for data analysis funding associated with that Call.
  • Assume responsibility for all documentation involving all aspects of the Roman proposal submission and panel review system.
  • Participate in meetings (virtual and in-person) with the Roman Science Operations Center and Roman Project Science team to coordinate activities related to the solicitation.
  • Conduct independent research.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD degree in astrophysics or a closely related field.
  • Eight or more years of experience after PhD.
  • Experience writing and evaluating telescope or archival research proposals, including participation on proposal review panels.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Applicants for this position must be United States (US) persons as defined by ITAR regulations - A US person is a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident alien of the US (“Green Card” holder), or individuals granted refugee and Asylee status under US law.

Preferred Qualifications

Beyond these basic qualifications, there are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of an IPAC Scientist. Any of the following might give you a head start here, but even if these do not describe you or your experience, we would still like to hear from you!

  • Demonstrated ability to work within a large, multi-institutional and diverse team, and at times, work independently.
  • Experience in helping to organize review panels.

IPAC staff have access to Caltech’s benefits programs, facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership. IPAC science staff have access to proposing for Palomar and other Caltech observatories.

Required Documents

  • Full resume.
  • Cover letter.
  • List of three professional references. 
  • Complete applications submitted by June 11, 2024 will receive full consideration, but review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate has been identified.

Preferred start date is September 2024. Depending on start date, an initial remote working arrangement may be considered for up to three months.

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