European Astronomical Society
EAS Job Directory
|Head of Science Operations||Closing date: 2022-04-25
Contact: Hiring Manager
|An exciting opportunity for a motivated and experienced radio astronomer with knowledge, experience and understanding of the end-to-end operations of a (radio) observatory to join an international team and contribute to the delivery of one of the largest science facilities on earth.|
|The SKA Observatory (SKAO) has begun the construction phase of its two telescopes and will partner closely with a global network of SKA Regional Centres through which astronomers will access SKA science data products and a suite of software tools and resources to analyse their SKA data.
The SKAO will operate for 24 hours every day, executing its observing schedules in a flexible manner, to maximise its scientific productivity and access to the southern sky. Although the two SKA telescopes operate over different frequency ranges using different technologies, there will be opportunities for joint observing programmes.
The Head of Science Operations will lead and manage the Science Operations team at the SKAO Global Headquarters in the UK and will define, implement and guide the observatory-wide science operations planning and execution. They will lead a science operations functional group with the respective SKA-Low and SKA-Mid Heads of Science Operations (who will be responsible for telescope specific science operations).
The Head of Science Operations will be responsible for planning the observed science programme of the SKAO, as well as coordinating user-support for the SKAO community. During the construction phase, they will provide support to science commissioning activities and interface with the science community to lead a programme of science verification of SKA observing modes. They will lead and direct a team of Operations Scientists in order to achieve these goals.
The role lies within the SKAO Operations group and the post holder will be reporting to the Deputy-Director of Operations.
In line with our Flexible Working Policy, flexibility around working hours may be accommodated in agreement with the Line Manager where operationally viable, ensuring telescope delivery is not impacted.
Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties
- Participate and contribute to the management of SKA Operations as a senior science leader, providing the strategic direction, and development of SKAO operations.
- Work collaboratively with the SKA-Low and SKA-Mid Heads of Science Operations, leading the Science Operations functional group.
- Develop and deliver a cohesive, cross-observatory vision for SKA Science Operations.
- Lead the Science Operations team in supporting the time allocation process, and lead the planning and construction of the science programme.
- Lead the development and implementation of the strategy for Science Verification, working with the SKA commissioning and SKA-Low/SKA-Mid Science Operations teams.
- Work with the SKA-Low/SKA-Mid Heads of Science Operations and the SKA commissioning teams to ensure effective support is provided of the commissioning of the SKA telescopes.
- Lead the SKAO GHQ Science Operations team, putting in place a roadmap for its future growth and development.
- Represent the Science Operations perspective to support and guide SKAO project managers and software development teams delivering the SKA telescopes, on the interpretation and implementation of the top-level requirements of the SKA Observatory.
- Provide analysis of and reports on the scientific performance of the SKA telescopes.
- Develop and implement a strategy and process for a SKA Helpdesk for the SKAO community.
- Interface with the SKAO user community to gather, analyse and report on community feedback, and promote SKAO activities.
- Pursue a programme of personal research up to 25% of employed hours (optional).
- Communicate openly, effectively, and respectfully with internal and external stakeholders (in the interests of good business practice, collaboration, and enhancement of SKAO?s reputation).
- Occasionally travel nationally and internationally as necessary and when possible in the context of any international travel restrictions (typically for one week, 2-3 times per year).
- Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed.
Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience
- PhD in Astronomy, Physics or another closely related or relevant field.
- Internationally recognised expertise in radio astronomy techniques in the acquisition, reduction, and analysis of interferometric data, including a demonstrable research record through the full cycle of applying for time through to refereed publications.
- Experience in commissioning radio astronomy (or similar) instrumentation and capabilities.
- Experience in a telescope operations leadership position, building on significant experience in the practical, day-to-day Science Operations of an astronomical observatory, or evidence of the potential to fulfil such a leadership position.
- Experience working with and influencing a diverse and globally distributed telescope user community and providing appropriate user support.
- Demonstrated record of successful leadership and management of teams, promoting diversity and developing an inclusive, high-performing culture, with experience of all aspects of people management including recruitment, capability development and performance management.
- Ability to work effectively with engineers and scientists from a variety of cultures, and to lead and influence people in widely differing parts of a complex and rapidly changing organisation.
- Effective oral and written communication skills in English.
Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience
- Experience working as part of a geographically distributed team.
- Demonstrated commitment to equitable practices to facilitate the broadest possible access to the Observatory from the scientific user community.
- Experience of overseeing and supporting an observatory time allocation process.
- Ability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally as required.
Full details & apply here: https://recruitment.skao.int/vacancy/head-of-science-operations-478281.html
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