SKAO is Hiring Operations Scientists


The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) seeks four talented and motivated Operations Scientists responsible for planning and executing the scientific commissioning and verification for the SKA Observatory. In addition, the Operations Scientists will join the SKA-Mid team based at the Science Operations Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

Key Responsibilities
  • Supporting the development and continual refinement of the science operational model for the SKA telescopes;
  • Ensuring consistency between the SKA System Level requirements with those needed for the successful future operation of the SKA telescopes;
  • Contributing to commissioning and science verification of MeerKAT Extension and SKA-Mid Telescope, including the development of plans, requirements for early array releases and test procedures;
  • Supporting the development of software needed to operate the SKA Telescopes or necessary for the SKA user community;
  • Effectively collaborating with SKAO staff across the three sites. Occasional travel to the SKAO telescope sites in Australia and/or South Africa will be necessary (typically once a year for up to two weeks);
  • Supporting MeerKAT science operations by serving as Astronomer on Duty on a roster basis, conducting feasibility reviews and providing user support as needed;
  • Optionally undertaking a programme of personal research up to 25% of employed hours; and
  • Undertaking other duties as directed by the SKA-Mid Head of Science Operations.
  • PhD degree in Astronomy, Physics, Engineering or another closely related and relevant field, or equivalent experience.
  • Expertise in radio astronomy techniques including in the acquisition, reduction and analysis of astronomical data;
  • Experience with the operation of astronomical observatories;
  • Experience working with a diverse and globally distributed telescope user community and providing appropriate user support; 
  • Effective oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Experience commissioning radio astronomy instrumentation (or similar);
  • Experience working in large collaborative projects; and
  • Experience understanding and articulating the needs of a user (e.g. radio astronomer) to inform the development of requirements (e.g. through a series of use cases) and/or operational policies. 

Candidates must have the following desirable skills, competencies and abilities:

  • Ability to work effectively with engineers and scientists from a variety of cultures and influence people in widely differing parts of a complex organisation;
  • Awareness of equitable practices, including accessibility, to facilitate the broadest possible access to the Observatory from the scientific user community; and
  • Flexibility and adaptability to change.
How to Apply

Interested candidates must apply by 12 September 2023 through the ‘’How to apply’’ within the SKA Observatory recruitment portal.

For more information, click here.

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