Position Description

Staff Scientist
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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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.

IPAC, in 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 from highly qualified individuals for a full-time position to work with the Roman team at IPAC.

The Nancy Grace 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 the mid-2020’s. The Roman Science Support Center (SSC) at IPAC is a part of the Roman Ground Data System, providing algorithm and software development and data processing for the Galactic Bulge Time Domain, High Latitude Wide Area and the High Latitude Time Domain surveys. In addition, the SSC will support the operations of the Coronagraph Instrument, manage the Roman general and guest investigator proposal solicitations, and provide community support for exoplanet and wide-field spectroscopy science with Roman.

For more details, see: https://roman.ipac.caltech.edu

Essential Job Duties

  • Develop and test algorithms for processing data from the Galactic Bulge Time Domain survey.
  • Set and interpret requirements for pipeline modules.
  • Work with software developers to implement and test pipeline modules.
  • Write documentation for the pipeline and for the user community.
  • Participate in meetings (virtual and in-person) with the community and the Roman team.
  • Conduct independent research.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD degree in astrophysics or a closely related field.
  • Experience with astronomical data processing including at least one of the following: microlensing data processing and analysis, time domain data analysis, or survey completeness/detection efficiency.
  • Ability to work in a team environment, including good written and verbal communication skills.  
  • One year of post-PhD experience

Preferred Qualifications  

These are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of the position. The following attributes would make you a better fit for this position, but even if these do not describe you or your experience, we would still like to hear from you.

  • Experience with exoplanet data analysis and interpretation.
  • Experience in software development in C/C++ or python.
  • Experience in developing software for inclusion in automated pipelines.

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and lasting relationships. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. 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.

Required Documents

  • Full resume
  • Cover letter
  • List of three professional references

Application will be accepted via the Caltech website. Applications will be considered starting May 15 with a deadline of June 2. Preferred start date is October 2023.  Depending on start date, an initial remote working arrangement may be considered for up to six months.

Hiring Range

$64,480 - $108,000 Per Year

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick time, parental leave, bereavement, etc.), tuition reimbursement, and more. Non-benefit eligible employees will have access to some benefits such as onsite counseling and sick time. Learn more about our benefits and staff perks

COVID-19 Vaccine Required for All Employees

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). Upon eligibility, employees are required to receive the COVID-19 booster as part of the vaccine mandate. As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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