Research Associate

Job Expired

Charlottesville, Virginia - Socorro, New Mexico, United States

Full Time

7 months ago

Job description

Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a prestigious and diverse research and development organization that plays a vital role in the study of the universe. The Observatory is a hub for technological and scientific collaboration, operating state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. The NRAO also host conferences and workshops, providing opportunities to exchange ideas and expertise as well as build partnerships.


At NRAO we are inviting applications for a research associate in pulsar astrophysics. This position is one of several research positions that are funded through the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) Physics Frontiers Center (PFC); see The goal of the NANOGrav PFC is to detect low-frequency gravitational waves and characterize the low-frequency gravitational wave universe through radio timing observations of pulsars.


The appointment will be for two years, with an optional one-year extension upon mutual agreement. The starting date is flexible, but should be early in 2024.


Available work locations for this position will be at the NRAO Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA or the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM. A domestic remote work arrangement may be possible depending on the incumbent’s work performance in a work-from-home situation.


What You Will be Doing:


  • You will be part of a diverse community of NANOGrav members in the United States and Canada and will benefit from mentoring by and collaboration with other researchers at a range of institutions.
  • You will play a large role in the work of the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) and will have opportunities for international travel and collaboration.
  • You will focus on radio pulsar timing and searching, with 50% time available for self-directed research.


Work Environment

Work is mission driven, team oriented and typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment. Some domestic and international travel may be required or encouraged.


Who You Are:


  • You have a PhD in astronomy, physics, or a related field or expect to have earned a PhD by the starting date of the appointment.
  • You have strong knowledge of radio and/or pulsar astronomy, as well as a strong independent research program. Experience with pulsar timing is strongly preferred. Knowledge and/or experience with radio telescope hardware and software is appreciated but not necessary.
  • While not required, you may have knowledge or experience with radio telescope hardware and software.


Competency Summary


  • High level of competency in Microsoft software products and web-based systems, Visio and SharePoint.
  • Attention to detail is critical
  • Highly organized
  • Excellent communication skills


Total Rewards:


The NRAO offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth.



The NRAO strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance.


Factors which may affect starting pay may include; education, experience, skills, competencies, other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions.



NRAO’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. NRAO provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button. You will need to be prepared to upload the following as a single PDF document:


  1. Cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position. (maximum 2 pages).
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Description of research accomplishments and future research plans (maximum 3 pages)


Applicants should also arrange for three letters of reference (max 2 pages) to be sent to [email protected]. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the letters of reference have been sent by their referees. If you have questions about the position, feel free to contact Scott Ransom <[email protected]> or Paul Demorest <[email protected]>.


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 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 [email protected].



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)


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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