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University of California Observatories: Assistant Project Scientist (Open until filled. Apply by 1/31/2020)

Recruitment Period

Open date: December 18th, 2019

Last review date: Friday, Jan 31, 2020 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: Monday, Nov 22, 2021 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) invites applications for a Project Scientist position for data reduction pipeline (DRP) development and data analysis support for UCO. Under the supervision of the DRP lead at UCO (currently, Professor and Astronomer X. Prochaska),the selected candidate will participate in research, creative programs and the development of modern data reduction pipelines, and analysis of Keck/DEIMOS data for UCO. The candidate will also lead integration of the DRP at the W.M. Keck Observatory for DEIMOS and other spectrographs. Responsibilities include: identifying shortcomings with existing data reduction pipelines; suggesting new projects at the interface of research, software development, and data analysis; and contributing to publications in the areas of kinematics of local galaxies and structures and/or large galaxy redshift surveys in the distant universe. The selected candidate will be able to apply for observing time on the telescopes at Lick Observatory where the Shane 3-meter telescope is outfitted with the new “ShaneAO” laser guide star adaptive optics system.

Applicants with expertise in the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Experience in astronomical software development, research astronomy, and data analysis.
  • Technical proficiency in python.
  • Demonstrated experience in building version-controlled software packages.
  • Broad knowledge of current themes in astronomical research especially pertaining to galaxy formation, dwarf galaxies, galactic substructure, and high-quality redshift surveys.
  • Knowledge of modern statistical and machine learning techniques.

UCSC strives to embrace diversity in all its forms, and to be an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened, and productive environment.

Assistant Project Scientist

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.


  • Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in astronomy, physics, or a related field at the time of application.
  • Experience in astronomical data reduction pipelines.
  • Minimum of three years’ experience in python.

March 1, 2020, or as soon as possible after the initial review of applications.

The initial appointment will be full time for one year. Should the hiring unit propose reappointment; a review to assess performance will be conducted. Reappointment is also contingent upon the availability of funding. Funding is presently in place for a three-year appointment and a longer-term perspective may also be possible.

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

Please refer to Position # JPF00792-20T in all correspondence.


  • Letter of application containing a statement of interest and qualifications, including discussion of how the candidate fits the above-described requirements for this position (required)
  • Curriculum vitae, which must include a publication list (required)
  • Statement that addresses past or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (optional) See UCSC guidelines for statements at

Reference Requirement
Applicants must provide the names and contact information of their references (a minimum of 3 are required and a maximum of 5 will be accepted). The hiring unit will request confidential letters* from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. 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 January 31, 2020. Applications received after this date will be considered only if the position has not 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.

Our institution is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution


Job location

Santa Cruz, California


Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - Letter of application containing a statement of interest and qualifications, including discussion of how the candidate fits the above-described requirements for this position

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

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. See guidelines at:

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)