National Solar Observatory (NSO) – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Astronomery/Scientist

August 2, 2018, from Richard Morton

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory (NSO), Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

The NSO, within its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Program has an immediate opening for an Assistant, Associate or Full Scientist or Astronomer depending on qualifications.  The DKIST, will be the world’s largest most advanced solar telescope and will help resolve the fundamental interactions between solar magnetic fields and the dynamic atmospheric plasma on scales below 0.1 arcsec over entire active regions.  The DKIST is currently under construction in Maui, Hawaii on the summit of Haleakala and scheduled for completion in 2019. This position will be located in Maui; or Boulder is an option. Research areas might include photospheric, chromospheric and coronal magnetomery, connectivity science, instrument development, data mining of large data sets with a clear science objective, comparison of models and observations.  Additional information on the Astronomer/Science Track can be found by visiting the AURA Website and clicking on the Policies and Procedures Link; Section III-Employment and Appointments of Research Scientific Staff;


The incumbent will provide science support and scientific guidance to the ongoing effort to ramp up to DKIST operations. He/She will support community members while planning Critical Science Plan observations and analysis.  The incumbent will pursue a vigorous personal research program preferably using the broad range of DKIST capabilities. Research areas might include photospheric, chromospheric and coronal magnetomery, connectivity science, instrument development, data mining of large data sets with a clear science objective, comparison of models and observations. Engagement of students in research and development is highly encouraged. During the ongoing construction phase of DKIST the successful candidate will support the science verification process and activities. The incumbent will closely interface with the DKIST operations development effort and contribute to planning and support a smooth transition from construction to operations.  With the start of DKIST operations in 2019 he/she will provide support to DKIST users. He/She is expected to be an effective representative and advocate for DKIST science to the community and participate in outreach activities to promote the DKIST science goals to the broader science community and the public.


  •  Support development of analysis tools and procedures.
  • Support science verification of DKIST systems for spectroscopy and polarimetry
  • Interface with DKIST Data Center effort and support definition and implementation of data processing algorithms
  • Support and participate in definition and, during operations, execution of DKIST critical science plans
  • During the available research time perform scientific research in accordance to NSO mission. Publish results.
  • Support community in their efforts to prepare for DKIST observations and DKIST science.



  • Excellent scientific productivity demonstrated by publication record.
  • PhD in Physics, Astronomy or related discipline.
  • Substantial experience in observational solar astronomy.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform independent research.
  • Experience using solar spectrometers and polarimeters, performing spectro-polarimetric observations, analyzing spectro-polarimetric data and producing forefront science results would be desirable.
  • Experience with infrared instrumentation and observations would be a plus.
  • Experience with ground-based solar telescopes and instrumentation
  • Experience with working closely with engineering teams during science commissioning of astronomical instrumentation would be a plus.Excellent communication skillsSelf-motivated and able to work independently.


Please list 3 professional references in your application, attach a Research Interest Statement and CV or resume to your application.  Should you have any questions, please contact

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

NSO will accept and review applications until the position is filled. Please be sure to submit a completed application along with supporting documents by no later than August 15th 2018 to be considered in the first review.

Please apply at: AURA Jobs –