Introduction

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) offers a variety of positions that allow staff members to optimize their scientific expertise and potentially perform astronomical research. Learn more about these positions:

 

 

Research Astronomers

These positions are generally equivalent to faculty positions at universities. Instead of teaching, staff provide operational and developmental support for STScI missions as well as engage in their own independent research. A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or related field is required. Staff are appointed to one of two tracks based on scientific background, expertise, and interest.

The first track requires that 50 percent of time is allocated to functional work on projects for our missions, including work to support the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST); the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST); or the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), which has data from more than 20 missions, including the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and Kepler Space Telescope. The other 50 percent of fully funded time is available for independent research. Individuals appointed to this track are considered to be tenure-track and are eligible for tenure.

The second track requires that 80 percent of time is allocated to functional work on projects for our missions. The other 20 percent of fully funded time is available for independent research. In these positions, staff may buy back up to an additional 30 percent of their time for independent research.

Support Scientists

These positions are offered for a fixed term of three years and are renewable based on performance and availability of funding. Support scientists are required to provide operational and developmental support for our missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), and the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), for 80 percent of their time. The other 20 percent is fully funded for independent research. In these positions, staff may also buy back up to 30 percent of their time for additional independent research. A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or related field is required.

Science Postdoctoral Fellowships

These three-year positions are for postdoctoral scientists interested in working on specific scientific projects led by research staff at STScI. Fellows may buy back a fraction of their time for independent research. A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or related field is required.

Prize Fellowships (Hubble, Giacconi, Lasker, Exoplanet Science, and STScI Postdoctoral Fellowships)

These multi-year fellowships are awarded to postdoctoral scientists with outstanding research proposals that address theoretical research, observational research, the analysis of large astronomical databases and massive data processing, or exoplanet science. These postdoctoral fellowships have 100 percent of their time devoted to independent research, with the exception of the STScI Postdoctoral Fellowships. The latter have 50 percent of their time devoted to independent research and 50 percent devoted to support of our missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), and the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). A PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or related field is required.

 

Additional Scientific Careers

The support that STScI provides for NASA missions and the global astronomical community have resulted in the growth and development of scientific careers in a variety of disciplines essential to the institute’s and astronomy’s success. These positions offer a wider range of options to establish and grow a scientific career. These positions range from entry-level analyst roles requiring a bachelor’s degree to more complex scientific positions requiring advanced degrees in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related field. In many of the advanced science roles, a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, or related field is required and staff are permitted to buy back up to 50 percent of their time for independent research.

Archive/Data Analysts and Scientists

These positions support the operations and development of the multi-mission data and high-level science products in the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). Part of these staff members’ time may also be assigned to support specific scientific, and/or strategic projects at STScI.

Education and Outreach Scientists

These positions support the public outreach and news programs related to STScI missions, and education programs incorporating discoveries and data from across NASA Astrophysics. Part of staff members’ time could also be assigned to support specific scientific and/or strategic projects at STScI.

Mission Support Analysts and Scientists

These positions are for cross-instrument and cross-mission software development, calibration, and user support activities related to the science operations of STScI missions. Part or most of staff’s time in these roles may also be assigned to support specific scientific and/or strategic projects at STScI.

Science Operations Analysts and Scientists

These positions support science planning and scheduling operations for space science missions operated by the institute for NASA. They create long-range plans, observing schedules, and command loads for execution onboard an observatory to realize the maximum science return from the observations and ensure the safe operation and most efficient possible use of the assigned science observatory. Part of these staff members’ time may also be assigned to support specific scientific, and/or strategic projects at STScI.

Research and Instrument Analysts and Scientists

These positions are for software development, calibration, and user support of the science instruments onboard the telescopes of STScI missions: the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). Part or most of staff members’ time may also be assigned to support specific scientific, and/or strategic projects at the institute.

 

Additional Links

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