Skip to main content

University Of California Observatories Deputy Director (Open until filled. For full consideration, apply by 10/1/18)

Recruitment Period

Open date: May 11th, 2018
Last review date: Monday, Oct 1, 2018 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The University of California Observatories (UCO, at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) is seeking a Deputy Director to serve on its senior management team. UCO's mission is to provide UC astronomers with access to forefront optical and infrared observatories, to design and build advanced instrumentation for the Lick, Keck, and TMT Observatories, and to provide an organization that can coordinate astronomy groups throughout the UC system in support of their ground-based observing. UCO is a multi-campus astronomical research unit of UC, with headquarters on the UC Santa Cruz campus. UCO operates the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton and technical laboratories at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, and funds instrumentation-related activities around the UC system.

UCO is a managing partner of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the focal point for UC participation in the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project. The Deputy Director will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary, talented, and diverse staff throughout UC to help transition UCO into the era of Extremely Large Telescopes and define the future of ground-based optical and infrared astronomy.

The Deputy Director will report to the Director of UCO. In addition to the administrative and managerial duties of Deputy Director, the incumbent may use up to 25% of their time for research or other professional activities. The incumbent is eligible to apply for time on UCO affiliated telescopes, to advise graduate students in collaboration with a UC faculty member, and will prepare and apply for external grants.

Candidates who are self-motivated and able to perform with minimal direction, have demonstrated leadership working in a complex and evolving environment, have clear understanding of the global astronomical research enterprise; and a record of significant research in astronomy and astrophysics are encouraged to apply. The candidate must have excellent interpersonal, communication (both oral and written), presentation, and negotiation skills in order to foster effective collaboration, trust, and cooperation both within UCO and across UC. UCSC strives to embrace diversity in all its forms, and to be an inclusive community that promotes an open, enlightened, and productive environment.

JOB DUTIES (partial):

  • Work closely with UCO Director in the planning and implementation of major scientific projects, services, and facilities. Lead strategic planning process for UCO, working with astronomers from throughout UC.

  • Interface closely with UC's astronomical user community. Work with UC's astronomy community to identify, develop, obtain funding for, and commission new research instrumentation projects and astronomical capabilities.

  • Work with the Director and with the Associate Director for Business and Finance in the overall management of UCO operations, and on high-level budgetary and financial planning.

  • Collaborate with UCO’s senior technical management team to plan technical requirements, capabilities, and facilities.

  • Work with UCO Senior Director of Development on fundraising for UCO, including Lick, Keck, and TMT.

  • Provide leadership and organization for Time Allocation Committees in the assignment of UC observing time at Keck and Lick Observatories.

  • Work with observatory staff to monitor observatory science productivity, impact, and performance.

  • Provide broad management direction and oversight to the Lick Observatory Superintendent.

  • Oversee UCO’s communications needs. Supervise the UCO Communications Manager’s work, including preparation of the Annual Report and other documents, oversight of UCO's social media presence, and written marketing materials for Lick Observatory.

  • Working with the Director, interact with groups such as the UC Observatories Advisory Committee, the Keck Science Steering Committee, the TMT Science Advisory Committee, the Lick Observatory Council, and other external national and international forums.

  • Supervise staff and resources to meet program objectives.

  • Contribute to published articles, presentations, or scientific papers.

Academic Coordinator (75%)/Research Astronomer (25%)

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.


  • Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related field
  • Management experience in an observatory, national laboratory, or similar research laboratory environment
  • Experience working with, and/or leading, a senior management team
  • Experience managing science and engineering teams

As soon as possible after initial review of the applications.

Initial appointment will be for three years with the possibility of reappointment. Should the hiring unit propose reappointment; a review to assess performance will be conducted. Reappointment is also contingent upon the availability of funding. If currently serving in a UC Senate faculty position, academic title will follow UC academic personnel policies.

Applications are accepted via the UCSC Academic Recruit online system. All documents and materials must be submitted as PDFs.

Please refer to Position # JPF00539-18T in all correspondence.

IMPORTANT: The application materials and confidential letters of recommendation are expected to specifically address the requirements and qualifications enumerated in this document.


  • Letter of application with a statement of interest and qualifications, including a summary of scientific management and administrative experience, research experience, and a discussion of how you meet the specific criteria noted above (required).
  • Curriculum vitae, which must include a list of publications (required).
  • A PDF document that contains web links to three of your publications that are most relevant to this position (required).

Reference Requirement
Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation (three are required and a maximum of five will be accepted)*. Please note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

Full consideration will be given to applications completed by October 1, 2018. Applications received after this date will be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see More information is available at the APO website (see or call (831) 459-4300.

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Academic Personnel Office at (831) 459-4300.


Job location

Santa Cruz, CA

Learn More

More information about this recruitment:


Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - Letter of application with a statement of interest and qualifications, including a summary of scientific management and administrative experience, research experience, and a discussion of how you meet specific advertised criteria

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., which must include a list of publications.

  • A PDF document that contains web links to three of your publications that are most relevant to this position

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
Get started: press Apply Now