Staff Scientist

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA

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Job Summary

IPAC at Caltech has an opening for an entry-level scientist to participate in the Euclid mission and to support part time the IPAC Communications and Education team (ICE).

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (www.caltech.edu), provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground.

Euclid:  Euclid is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the geometry and nature of the dark Universe, which launched on July 1, 2024. NASA has established the Euclid NASA Science Center at IPAC (ENSCI) in order to support US-based investigations using Euclid data. ENSCI participates in the Euclid Consortium’s Science Ground Segment, with algorithm and software development, and by performing data processing. In addition, ENSCI will support the US research community by providing expert insight into the Euclid surveys, data processing, calibration, and products. For more details, see http://euclid.caltech.edu.

ICE: our team provides strategic planning, development and programming in public outreach, formal and informal education programs, science visualization, graphic design, media relations, strategic and crisis communications, video, animation, website, and applications development, planning and execution of STEM workforce pipeline development and more.

Who do we work with? Our partners and collaborators include other Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (WEPOC) specialists and teams, as well as a broad range of the science community including individual researchers, science collaborations, science projects, missions, and centers. Our work includes people and projects both within IPAC, but also NASA and NSF projects, NASA centers including JPL and GSFC, Caltech, as well as public and private institutions across the U.S. and internationally.

Essential Job Duties

The position will be 80% with ENSCI and 20% with the ICE team.

As a member of ENSCI, your specific tasks would include: (1) designing and testing forced photometry services for the public Euclid archive (2) working with software developers to implement and test relevant pipeline modules; (3) working with ENSCI to support the US-based research community in using Euclid data; (4) writing documentation for the user community; (5) leading workshops (in person or online) on the use of Euclid data; and (6) participating in meetings, tele- and video-conferences, together with travel to Euclid meetings in Europe and relevant conferences to meet the user community in the US.

With the ICE team, your voice as a scientist with WEPOC interest and experience is essential in ensuring the fidelity of our work and helping make the science and discoveries engaging for all. You will be responsible for managing several of our ongoing projects with the NASA’s Universe of Learning collaboration, providing scientific inputs and oversight into our outreach programs and products, and helping develop a community of practice for WEPOC professionals.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in Astronomy, Physics, or a related field. Applicants should have at least eight years of experience beyond the PhD.
  • 5+ years of experience post-PhD as a research scientist in infrared astronomy.
  • Experience working with a distributed team.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.

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 research scientist working with Euclid and ICE:

  • Familiarity with Euclid and its science.
  • Expertise with photometry and/or forced-photometry software.
  • Practical (volunteer or professional) experience in education, outreach and/or public communications.
  • Experience mentoring students or postdocs.
  •  Strong teamwork, collaboration, verbal, and written communication, along with demonstrated creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
  • A passion for science communication, community engagement.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Names of three professional references.

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and positive relationships. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership



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