Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Physics

508 20176
Position ID:LBNLPhysics-Physics-DESIPOSTDOC [#20176, 94105]
Position Title: DESI Postdoctoral Fellow
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Berkeley, California 94720, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Physics / Astrophysics (astro-ph)
Appl Deadline:2021/12/15 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/10/20, finished 2022/06/18, listed until 2022/04/20)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) Physics Division has an opening for a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the team.

In this exciting role, you will assist the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Data Management operations team, focusing on evaluating data quality and improving data processing algorithms to meet the needs of DESI science analyses.  Responsibilities will include supporting the spectroscopic data processing pipeline through improvements to algorithms, workflow, quality assurance tracking, and monitoring survey progress.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled, however for full consideration, please apply by midnight on December 15, 2021.

What You Will Do:

  • Monitor and report quality of daily spectroscopic data processing.

  • Maintain and improve spectroscopic pipeline algorithms in response to issues discovered in data and by science analyses.

  • Interact with DESI collaboration science working groups to assist them with using the DESI data and improve the data processing algorithms in response to the needs of the science analyses.

  • Coordinate with the survey team to schedule calibrations and observations based upon data quality.

  • Coordinate regular DESI software releases for reprocessing runs, including testing and documentation.

  • Contribute to the operations of the spectroscopic pipeline at NERSC, both the daily runs and the reprocessing for the data assemblies.

  • Independently plan and complete projects within DESI Data Management.

  • Contribute to larger collaborative projects with others from the DESI Data Management team.

  • Conduct original research independently and in collaboration, interacting with LBNL and other investigators on similar or related scientific problems.

  • Prepare research papers for publication and present results at seminars and conferences.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Occasional travel to Kitt Peak Observatory at ~7000 feet altitude to participate in DESI operations (when COVID travel restrictions are lifted).

  • Occasional working at night with DESI observing program, remotely or in-person at telescope (when COVID travel restrictions are lifted).

  • May mentor or oversee Ph.D. students.

  • Other duties as assigned.

What is Required:

  • Recent Ph.D. or equivalent in physics, astronomy, or a closely related field.

  • Experience in cosmology, astronomy, or particle physics research.

  • Analysis experience with astronomical spectra and/or imaging data.

  • Experience with data processing on Linux clusters and/or High Performance Computing systems.

  • Strong Python programming skills.

  • Knowledge of astronomical data processing methods.

  • Ability to work as a team member to accomplish goals on a collaborative software project.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Detail oriented.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of spectroscopy.

  • C++, Julia, and/or Javascript.

  • MPI programming and/or non-MPI parallelism methods.

  • GPU programming.

  • Code profiling and optimization.

  • Ability to mentor students.


How To Apply:


Note that applications can only be made via this Academic Jobs Online URL. For full consideration, please apply by midnight on December 15, 2021, but the position will remain open until filled. For inquiries please contact Kelly Rushing (

The following requested application materials listed below must be submitted through Academic Jobs Online:


  1. Curriculum vitae.

  2. A list of up to ten relevant publications, including contributions for multi-author publications.

  3. A statement describing current and future research interests (3-page limit excluding figures and references).

  4. A statement describing past activities and future interests in diversity, outreach and leadership (1 page maximum).

  5. Arrange to have 3 letters of reference submitted (at least one reference from outside LBNL/UC Berkeley).


  • This is a full-time 2 year postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.

  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

  • Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates and years of experience post-degree.

  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Based on University of California Policy - SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit for more information.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab's mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:

Know your rights, click here for the supplement: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. 

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:

Further Info:
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