Gemini Observatory announces an opening for the position of Head of Science Operations at Gemini South, in La Serena, Chile. This is a full-time, regular position, available immediately. The start date is negotiable, however a start date before February 2014 is highly desirable.
The Head of Science operations is responsible for delivery of science operations for users of Gemini South, and manages the Science Operations group at the site. The Science Operations group performs the core duties which comprise science operations at Gemini. These include the following: supporting the time allocation process carried out by the international partners and the ITAC; maintaining the telescope schedule, supporting the National Gemini Offices in their work with Principal Investigators on observation preparation; carrying out queue observing and supporting classical observing, providing scientific support for instrumentation, maintaining user information on the Gemini web pages, and conducting astronomical research. Within the science operations group there are the research staff: scientists, astronomers and Science Fellows with support duties; the non-research Science Operations Specialists group (whose duties are detailed elsewhere); and the Data Processing Development group. The Head of Science Operations, of which there is one at each site, is a research astronomer, responsible for oversight and direction of all of these activities, either directly or via intermediate managers; identifies and implements organizational improvements; and performs staff management and scheduling for most members of the group. The Head of Science Operations is also involved in strategic planning at the Observatory level, in reporting to various governance bodies. They carry out a program of personal research in an agreed fraction of their total time.
Requirements: Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline. Significant optical and/or infrared observational, data analysis and/or instrumentation experience is highly desirable, as well as a desire to facilitate scientific research for others. Candidates must have strong understanding of observatory operations in all aspects: instrumentation, data collection and analysis, PI needs and support. Must be familiar with observatory systems and instruments, including computer systems, software tools, communication systems. Must possess leadership, organizational and communication skills and be able to manage a multidisciplinary group. Must be fluent in English. The post requires a significantly above-average level of personal initiative. Requires outstanding judgment and ability to communicate firmly when issues of safety of personnel or the telescope are apparent. Must possess the ability to work productively in a multinational team. Previous experience of staff management would be an advantage.
Must be safety conscious; possess or be able to obtain a valid passport; willing and able to travel internationally; possess a valid driver’s license with a good driving record; and be able to drive 4WD vehicles. Applicants must be able to work nights at the altitude of the Cerro Pachon summit, 2700 m.
Send a cover letter relating your experience and education to the requirements of the position, your resume, and a research statement. The names and email addresses of three professional references must also be provided. All documents are required in order to be considered for the position.