Job Listings

Research Technician IV (Multiple Positions)

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, Arizona
Laboratory and Research

Posting Number: req9986

Department: Steward Observatory

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

Research interns will work on simulated data for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to improve the code and optimize it for exoplanets. Interns will improve the stages of the JWST pipeline to best correct for detector noise and systematics. Interns will also improve code to fit light curves to turn the data products into physical parameters.

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Duties & Responsibilities

  • Improve Stage 1 to best reduce the impacts of detector noise.
  • Improve Stage 3 of the pipeline to optimize the aperture sizes and centroiding in the presence of telescope jitter.
  • Work on generalized code that makes it easy to run the pipeline on many objects

Improving documentation, testing and debugging software tools.

These include :

  • the official jwst pipeline usage
  • modifications to the jwst pipeline
  • how to use the "tshirt" pipeline
  • how to use the "jtow" wrapper for the jwst pipeline
  • how to use the "splintegrate" tool to split up integrations

Training new students in the science, software tools, detector conventions to prepare for future research. Experienced interns will be responsible for teaching new interns how to us Python, the basics of exoplanet science and how to conduct research and organize themselves.

Fitting lightcurves of the data to obtain physical parameters of the simulated planets. Interns will use the publicly available "exoplanet" tool to fit lightcurves with Bayesian inference. This will include setting up the input data, setting priors for the model, fitting multiple lightcurves simultaneously and synthesizing the results. "exoplanet" will require installing and debugging the pymc3 Bayesian inference tool.

Reading scientific literature to understand the context of exoplanet atmospheres, attending seminars and workshops. Interns will need to read papers and documents about JWST, exoplanet science, time
series, Bayesian inference and detectors. Science talks and seminars will be available to learn about new science results and JWST tools.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or
    equivalent advanced learning attained through experience required.
  • Minimum
    of 3 years of relevant experience required in addition to education

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience applying research skills, organization, independence, and attention to detail in the work environment.
  • Experience with Python programming
  • Experience with astronomy tools and data.

FLSA: Non-Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.00

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: No Benefits

Rate of Pay: $20

Compensation Type: hourly rate



Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research & Lab

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Number of Vacancies: 2

Expected End Date: 7/31/2022

Contact Information for Candidates

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume and Cover Letter

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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