Staff Scientist

The Carnegie Institution for Science invites applications for one of several expected staff astronomer appointments at The Observatories in Pasadena, California over the next few years. These positions may be filled at any level. Candidates using observational, instrumental, or theoretical approaches to the study of exoplanets, stellar, galactic, or extragalactic astronomy and cosmology are encouraged to apply. The Carnegie Institution has a deep commitment to scientific excellence and diversity; we strongly encourage applications from candidates who will enrich and foster a culturally diverse and inclusive environment. 

The Carnegie Institution owns and operates the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile (, which includes the twin 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes as well as the 2.5-meter du Pont and 1.0-meter Swope telescopes. Carnegie is a full institutional member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV and V ( and is a founding partner of the Giant Magellan Telescope ( well. The Observatories also hosts the newly-formed Carnegie Theoretical Astrophysics Center (CTAC: Scientific computing resources available include the Carnegie Memex cluster ( in addition to local computing resources, and a state-of-the-art Visualization Lab. For more than a century, The Observatories has also been a center of innovation in the design and construction of telescopes and instruments. Instrument projects are supported by a dedicated engineering group as well as an onsite, fully staffed machine shop, and benefit from access to lab space that includes a clean room and electronics lab (

Carnegie staff scientists hold 12-month endowment-supported salaried appointments to pursue independent research. Although staff scientists do not have formal teaching duties, we place considerable emphasis on mentoring postdoctoral scholars, hosting a vibrant group of roughly 20 postdoctoral fellows ( The Observatories has active partnerships with several nearby universities, providing opportunities for its staff members to supervise graduate students (, and runs a summer internship program for undergraduate students ( Carnegie also organizes significant education and outreach programs in the local community that staff astronomers are encouraged to lead and/or participate in (

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in relevant areas of physics, astronomy, or engineering.
  • Evidence of innovative research contributions.
  • Evidence of commitment to and support for diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A commitment to mentoring future generations of world leading scientists.
  • Interest in Carnegie Observatories’ ongoing teaching, outreach and public programs.


Applications should include (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae including bibliography, (3) a research statement (5 page maximum) outlining the candidate's previous and future research interests and (4) a written statement which details their commitment to substantially contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion ( at Carnegie (3 page maximum). These materials, along with the names of three references, must be submitted online by clicking the "Apply Now" button below by December 4, 2020. Reference writers will receive instructions on how to submit letters once an application is received. Letters are due by December 11, 2020. Please direct inquiries regarding the position to Dr. John Mulchaey at .

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