Research Associate in Radio Astronomy: Covington Fellowship

City: Penticton
Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
Classification: RO
Tenure: Term
Duration: 2 years

Language Requirements: English


On October 6, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a mandatory vaccination policy across the federal public service.

The Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the National Research Council requires you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that you attest to your vaccination status prior to the date of your appointment unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.  You can find more specific information on the collection and use of your personal information when you submit your attestation.

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The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.

We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.

At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system.

NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.

Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

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NRC employees enjoy a wide range of benefits that include comprehensive medical and dental, pension and insurance plans as well as annual vacation time and other leave. The NRC also offers learning and development opportunities. For more information, please visit our website .

Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s largest research and technology organization.

We are looking for an early-career Research Associate in Radio Astronomy to support our Radio Astronomy team within the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Research Associate in Radio Astronomy would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

The successful candidate will be an outstanding recent doctoral graduate in astronomy or astrophysics who is highly motivated to exploit facilities administered by NRC for Canadian astronomers and contributes to projects underway at NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre. We are particularly seeking a candidate with research interests in one or more of the following areas:

  • Observational Cosmology;
  • Transient and highly variable sources, including pulsars & fast radio bursts;
  • Magnetic fields in the Milky Way Galaxy;
  • Wide-field radio continuum surveys;
  • Polarization observations;
  • Observations of nearby galaxies;
  • Radio instrumentation.

The successful candidate will be expected to make use of radio facilities at DRAO (Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory), including the Galt 26m telescope, the Synthesis Telescope, the 18-m DVA2, and CHIME, as well as radio instrumentation around the world, such as the Jansky VLA, ALMA, GBT, ATCA, Arecibo, LOFAR, MWA, ASKAP, and MeerKAT.  DRAO is a full partner in the CHORD telescope, whose core array will be located at DRAO, and is actively engaged in technical research and development for cutting-edge instruments including CHORD, the SKA, and ALMA.  The successful candidate will have many opportunities to work closely with our engineering and technical staff as well as local astronomers.

The successful candidate is expected to work independently and perform original research as well as work in collaboration with NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics staff members associated with projects most relevant to his or her area of expertise. Additionally, the candidate is expected to actively engage with the Canadian astronomy community in support of community use of Canada’s astronomy facilities. The candidate will be expected to organize the DRAO seminar series.

The work is performed in a stimulating, collegial environment. The Research Associate will have access to the astronomical facilities operated by NRC, as well as to other facilities with open competition. Travel for the purposes of collaboration and professional meetings is strongly encouraged.

Candidates with strong instrumentation backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

For background information on the RA program, please go to: Research Associate Program ( .

Screening Criteria

**As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Priority may be given to candidates who self-identify.

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


As part of the Research Associate Program you must have received your Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics within the last 5 years or you expect to receive the degree within the next six (6) months.

For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency


  • Five years or less experience in astrophysics, beyond the Ph.D;
  • Experience in conducting original scientific research in radio astrophysics, demonstrated by published papers in the refereed scientific literature;
  • Experience with radio interferometry/aperture synthesis and/or single dish techniques; and
  • Experience with instrumentation would be considered an asset.

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

All employees of the National Research Council are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Assessment Criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies

  • Expert knowledge of astrophysics;
  • Expert knowledge of observational techniques in radio astronomy, and of associated data reduction techniques and/or of theoretical modeling and interpretation of such data;
  • The ability to conceive, conduct and publish independent astrophysical research of international calibre;
  • The ability to work collaboratively;
  • Advanced knowledge at other wavelengths e.g. x-ray, ultraviolet, optical, IR, would be an asset; and
  • Advanced knowledge of radio instrumentation would be an asset.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Research – Communication (Level 2)
  • Research – Creative thinking (Level 2)
  • Research – Teamwork (Level 2)
  • NRC-Wide – Valuing people (Level 1)

Competency Profile(s)

For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profiles: ResearchNRC-Wide

View all competency profiles


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC’s directives.


The intent of this hiring action is to staff through the Research Associate (RA) Program at the AsRO level, which is an early-career level position with a salary range of $73,133 to $101,569.

NOTE: Salary determination will be based on a review of the candidate’s expertise, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience relative to the requirements of the level.  As a guide, the current annual PhD recruiting rate is $73,133.

NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of competitive benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.


Application Requirements:

In order to be considered for the Research Associate program please include the following in your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.
• Cover Letter
• Resume
• Transcript
• Two letters of recommendation
• Research proposal no longer than 3 pages. The proposal should highlight areas that are relevant to one or more of the research areas mentioned above.

When submitting your application you can include the required documents in any attachment field such as «Second language evaluation results» or «Other attachments».

In addition, applicants who best meet the requirements of the position will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation at a later stage of the competition process – specific instructions will be provided.

The initial appointment is of two years duration, may commence in fall 2022 and may be extended for one further year (subject to performance and availability of funds).

• Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
• The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
• We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (15845) to:


Telephone: 438-455-5335

Closing Date: 31 January 2022 – 23:59 Eastern Time

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*If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.

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