Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Physics

508 25965
Position ID:LBNLPhysics-Physics-DESIOPSPROJSCI [#25965, 99987]
Position Title: DESI Operations Project Scientist
Position Location:Berkeley, California 94720, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Physics / Astrophysics (astro-ph), Computational physics, Cosmology, HEP-Experiment (hep-ex), High Energy Physics, Physics
Appl Deadline: (posted 2023/09/27, listed until 2024/01/02)
Position Description:    

The Physics Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has openings for one or more DESI Operations Project Scientists to join the team. 

The Project Scientist(s) will join the Physics Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to work with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) operations team on topics related to spectroscopic data processing, survey operations, and/or instrumentation. The Project Scientist(s) will take a leading role in one or more of the following areas: developing improved spectroscopic data processing methods in response to the data quality needs of the DESI key science analyses; planning and executing survey operations; and/or developing hardware for DESI and related future projects (e.g. fiber positioners and CCDs). The Project Scientist(s) will contribute to one or more of those areas but do not need to have prior expertise in all of them.  They will also participate in science analyses in support of the collaboration working groups using the DESI data.


What You Will Do:

  • Lead development efforts for one or more of the following: improving spectroscopic pipeline algorithms in response to issues discovered in data and by science analyses; planning and executing survey operations; hardware research, development, and deployment.

  • Participate in DESI collaboration science analyses to assist the working groups with using the DESI data and instrument.

  • Contribute to DESI daily operations through support of the spectroscopic pipeline, survey operations, and/or hardware support.

  • Independently plan and complete projects within the DESI operations team.

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

  • May mentor or oversee Ph.D. students and postdocs.

  • Support Berkeley Lab IDEA initiatives and participate in outreach efforts.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Occasionally travel to Kitt Peak Observatory at ~7000 feet altitude to participate in DESI operations.

  • Occasionally work at night with the DESI observing program, remotely or in-person at the KPNO Mayall telescope.


What is Required:

  • 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; or astronomical instrumentation.

  • Experience with one of the following: astronomical hardware, spectroscopic data processing algorithms and pipelines, and/or astronomical survey operations.

  • Knowledge of astronomical data processing methods or hardware.

  • Ability to work as a team member to accomplish goals within a geographically distributed collaborative environment.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Detail oriented.

  • For a spectroscopic pipeline focused Project Scientist: Strong Python programming skills.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Postdoctoral experience in physics, astronomy, or a closely related field.

  • For a spectroscopic pipeline focused Project Scientist, experience with using and/or preparing large survey public data releases.

  • For a spectroscopic pipeline focused Project Scientist, one or more of the following: C++, multi-node parallel data processing, High Performance Computing parallelism, GPU programming, code profiling and optimization, databases.

  • For a hardware focused Project Scientist: prior experience with fiber-fed spectroscopy hardware and/or CCDs.

  • Python programming.

  • Ability to mentor students and postdocs.


How To Apply:

For full consideration, the application materials listed below must be submitted through Academic Jobs Online by the end of Wednesday November 8, 2023.

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in this position, relevant experience, and research interests connected to DESI,

  2. Curriculum vitæ,

  3. A list of up to ten relevant publications, including a brief description of contributions for multi-author publications,

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

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



The targeted salary range for this position is $7,445 to $10,604 per month depending upon the candidate’s skills, knowledge, and abilities, including education, certifications, and years of experience.



  • This is a full-time 2 year, term appointment that may be renewed to a maximum of five years.

  • 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.

  • The primary location for this appointment is Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA. 


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:
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