Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Fundamental Physics Directorate

Position ID:Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory-Fundamental Physics Directorate-ROS1 [#26492]
Position Title: Senior Scientist, Rubin US Data Facility Lead
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Menlo Park, California 94025, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Scientific Computing
Appl Deadline:2024/01/03 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2023/11/02, listed until 2024/05/02)
Position Description:    

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a next-generation astronomical facility currently under construction in Chile, with staff distributed across multiple sites, one of which is SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Rubin Observatory will undertake the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), which will be one of the largest and most comprehensive astronomy surveys of its kind. Rubin will enable countless discoveries in almost every area of modern astronomical research—discoveries made possible by the team that built the Rubin Observatory system, and by the global science community that Rubin Observatory serves. SLAC will be partnering with NSF’s NOIRLab to operate Rubin, and is managing  the Rubin US Data Facilities. The US Data Facility at SLAC is the primary data processing center for the LSST data, handling all of the nightly image processing, over a third of the annual data release processing, hosts the US Data Access Center in the Google Cloud, and is the primary data archive for Rubin Observatory.  

SLAC was the lead lab for construction of the LSST Camera, and will continue to provide scientific and technical support for LSSTCam during Rubin survey operations.  SLAC is also the host laboratory for the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration. More generally, SLAC has a broad and vibrant scientific program in fundamental physics, with current research topics including cosmic survey science, cosmic microwave background, direct dark matter searches, proton collider physics and neutrino physics, as well as theoretical and computational physics. SLAC and Stanford are partners in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), which hosts a broad program in astrophysics.

SLAC invites you to apply for a senior scientist position at SLAC from which you will hold the Rubin Observatory role of US Data Facility Lead. The next few years will be a very exciting time for Rubin Observatory as the USDF becomes a production facility and image data starts to flow from the biggest digital camera in the world. This is a truly unique opportunity to join the operations team that will make Rubin’s LSST reach its ground-breaking science goals.

Given the nature of this position, SLAC is open to on-site and hybrid work options.

Your responsibilities will include the following:

  • Continue the evolution and implementation of the USDF scope, working with other teams in Operations, SLAC Scientific Computing and Google Cloud.
  • Coordinate multi-site processing with the UK and French facilities and data distribution with the Independent Data Access Centers.
  • Ensure the reliable operation of the USDF.
  • Oversee the planning and acquisition of computing hardware needed for the various activities, the largest being Data Release Processing.
  • Represent Rubin and FPD on SLAC advisory panels. As lead for FPD’s largest computing enterprise, advise FPD management on strategies and advocate for FPD’s other projects in SLAC forums.
  • Lead a team of about 20 people organized into 4 groups, which is a key component of the Rubin Data Management Operations (RDM) department. You will be a member of the RDM management team, advising the Associate Director on all matters relating to the Rubin Data Facilities.

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • A Ph.D. in astronomy or physics or related fields. 
  • At least 10 years of experience involving management of a large scientific computing program, such as a major astrophysics mission, an HEP experiment Tier 1 or Tier 2 data center, etc., as well as research in a related field.
  • Organizational and communication skills, with the ability to learn quickly and convey complex technical concepts effectively with a diverse population, such that you are able to work productively in a multinational team.
  • Dependability, flexibility, and willingness to take initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out innovative research, collaborating closely with colleagues working both locally and remotely.

Applying for these positions, you should know that:

SLAC is committed to increasing the diversity of its staff and to fostering an inclusive and respectful work environment, and we encourage applications from candidates who will diversify the lab’s workforce in scientific computing and fundamental physics. Above all we are looking for someone enthusiastic with a desire to learn and experiment in a highly supportive and collaborative environment.

In about 20% of your time you will be expected to contribute to the leadership of scientific computing at SLAC and the broader High Energy Physics community, and if appropriate do research in the SLAC program.  As a senior member of KIPAC you will help shape the scientific direction of the institute.

SLAC offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and an attractive, inclusive and collaborative work environment in the foothills of Silicon Valley. Relocation expenses will be covered.

In your application, you should please include a cover letter outlining your interest in, and suitability for, the position, and a CV that includes a publication list. We will not contact reference writers until later in the selection process. We encourage applicants to follow the structure of the AAS advice on the contents of CVs and research statements given here: ;Applicants are welcome to provide an additional statement (up to one page) that discusses their experience with or commitment to engaging in mentoring, outreach, teaching, public policy, fostering inclusive environments, or activities that diversify the field.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but must be received by January 3, 2024 to ensure full consideration. You should direct questions to the Chair of the Search Committee, Phil Marshall ( More information about KIPAC can be found at

The expected pay range for this position is $190,000 to $271,000 per annum. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location and external market pay for comparable jobs.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
2575 Sand Hill Road, MS 95 Menlo Park, CA 94025