VLA/VLBA Science Support Division Head (4532)

National Radio Astronomy Observatory
July 2, 2020
Socorro, NM
Job Type


Position Description:

Position Summary
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) operates some of the world's most impactful radio astronomy facilities for use by the international scientific community . Its Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) are operated from the Domenici Science Operations Center on the campus of New Mexico I nst itute of Mining and Technology ( www.nmt.edu ) in Socorro, NM , and the Plains of San Agustin in west-central NM.

The NRAO is seeking a leader with experience in management and astronomical observatories to be the Head of the VLA/VLBA Science Support Division. This Division is responsible for all telescope and user-facing science support for the VLA and VLBA, including supporting the development of new capabilities for those instruments. The Division Head is responsible for the overall planning, coordination, direction, safety and management of the VLA/VLBA Science Support Division in NRAO New Mexico Operations (NM Ops). The Division Head develops and administers budgets, policies, procedures and practices to achieve the assigned goals of the Division, and recommends changes to policies and procedures to NM Ops management as needed. She/ he is also responsible for charting Divisional programs and for the broad supervision of their execution.

The position will be hired at the Scientist/A level. Scientists have 25% of their time independent research, and preference will be given to applicants whose research takes advantage of NRAO facilities.

In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO's retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant's base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions. The position will be based in Socorro, NM, a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque . With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Socorro offers ample access to outdoor recreation.

Job Duties Summary
The VLA/VLBA Science Support Division Head is responsible for:

  • All telescope-facing science operations for the VLA and VLBA
  • Coordination of VLA and VLBA-related user-facing science operations items with the NRAO's S cience S upport and R esearch (SSR) Department , the G reen B ank Observatory , and North American ALMA science operations in C harlottesville , including telescope time allocation, scheduling, and pipeline operations
  • Line management of all VLA and VLBA scientific staff
  • Coordination of software requirements and computing resources with the NRAO's Data Management and Software (DMS) Department
  • Division resource allocation
  • Maintain ing all operational records and provid ing reports as required
  • Oversee ing the operational activities of the Division and correct ing operational deficiencies
  • Oversee ing the budget for the Division
  • Attend ing appropriate coordination meetings and ensur ing information is relayed to Division personnel
  • Coordinat ing with other local division heads to ensure all NM Ops operational activities are managed efficiently

Work Environment
The position is based in an office environment. The successful candidate m ust be able to work at a computer with detailed and complex textual and numerical information. They m ay need to drive to the VLA site in a company vehicle, on occasion.

Position Requirements:

Minimum Education
Minimum of a PhD in Astronomy, Engineering or a related science or technical area.

Minimum Experience
Seven years working at an astronomical observatory which should include management experience at a level equivalent to that of an Observatory Group Lead .

Preferred Experience
F amiliarity with radio interferometry , the Jansky VLA , and/or the VLBA is strongly preferred.

Competency Summary
Must work well with a wide range of Observatory staff including scientists, engineers, and technicians, as well as Observatory visitors; must have excellent writing and presentation skills in order to deliver clear and concise written and oral reports; must have good organizational skills, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Must demonstrate leadership and planning skills.

Application Instructions:
For consideration, select the Apply button. Please prepare a single PDF document consisting of the following items:

  1. Cover letter stating why you are interested in this position the letter should describe how the you match the position and qualifications summarized above (no more than 3 pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae including publications list
  3. Summary of past research (2 pages)
  4. Future research plan describing specifically synergies with NRAO facilities (3 pages)
  5. Summary of past technical , observational , and management experience relevant to this position (2 pages)

The PDF file is to be uploaded with the Add Resume feature at the applicant portal; the file name format should follow this convention: LastName ,FirstInitial _SSDH.pdf. The deadline for receipt of complete applications is July 1, 20 20 . Each applicant should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be submitted by individuals familiar with their technical , scientific , and management abilities directly to cgallego@nrao.edu . These letters MUST be received by July 8, 20 20 (please have the referee use the file name format convention LastName ,FirstInitial _SSDH_recommendation.pdf). Applicants are responsible for ensuring that letters of recommendation are sent by the referees. Please direct inquiries to Dr. Claire Chandler ( cchandle @nrao.edu ).
Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:

AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs . If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to resumes@nrao.edu .

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.


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