Junior telescope scientist for Science Data Centre operations
  • Expertise
    Astronomical support
  • Section
    Astronomy & Operations
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Are you interested in working at an internationally leading scientific research institute with a stimulating environment? Would you like to develop skills and novel experimental methods on systems using technologies that produce cutting-edge science now and contribute to the development of the SKA? Would you like to assist astronomers worldwide and do research yourself with our facilities? Then you might be our new


Junior Telescope Scientist

for Science Data Centre Operations


The position has 80% support duties and 20% radio astronomical research.


Job description

You will be a member of the Science Data Centre Operations (SDCO) group at ASTRON. This new operational unit is responsible for the interaction with the user community and for operating the Science Data Centre (SDC) services. These enable astrophysicists of all levels to make fundamental scientific discoveries by accessing processing/analysis tools and the instrumental and science-ready data generated by ASTRON’s world-leading instruments (LOFAR, WSRT/APERTIF/ARTS) and, in the future, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

With your astronomical knowledge you will support the operations, maintenance and technical development work by internal software engineers, operators, and instrument engineers. With your technical expertise, you will support the external users/scientists with their research projects.

Depending on your technical background and interests, your support responsibilities may include:

  • definition and involvement in the development of Science Data Centre (SDC) services;
  • astronomical commissioning and testing of SDC functionalities;
  • end to end support of users, advising and assisting them to design, prepare, and execute observations, and with the further processing and analysis of their data;
  • monitoring and optimisation of the performance of the SDC systems;
  • supporting the generation of science-ready data products;
  • act as a liaison between ASTRON and sections of the astronomical community.

Your radio astronomical research can be on any astrophysical or instrumental topic, although some component involving the use of our facilities (LOFAR and/or Apertif) and/or allowing possibilities to collaborate with other ASTRON research staff is preferred.

Job requirements

  • A PhD in astronomy;
  • thorough knowledge of radio astronomical instrumentation and radio interferometry;
  • experience with Linux or other Unix operating systems;
  • good programming skills (preferably in Python);
  • good communication and coordination skills;
  • scientific and/or instrumental interest in our facilities;
  • enthusiastic team player;
  • a good command of written and spoken English is essential.

The following requirements are an advantage:

  • experience with handling LOFAR data;
  • experience with scientific data processing, pipelines, and workflows;
  • experience with using astronomical archives and Virtual Observatory tooling for research;
  • familiarity with data science analysis methods, such as machine learning or other forms of data mining;
  • experience in education.

We offer

  • A full-time (38 hours/week) temporary appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of two years with a possible extension for another year depending on good performance.
  • flexible employment conditions, tailored to your personal situation.
  • a gross monthly salary on a full-time basis in the range of € 2.846 to € 4.514 euro, depending on relevant experience.
  • a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary.
  • a solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • 42 vacation days per year on a full-time basis.
  • we offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation.

The organisation

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Its main mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of new and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. Engineers and astronomers at ASTRON have an outstanding international reputation for novel technology development, and fundamental research in galactic and extra-galactic astronomy. ASTRON is part of the institute organization of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).

ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.


For more information about ASTRON check our website www.jobsatastron.nl. For more information about this vacancy please contact Erika Timmerman, HR Officer, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail: hr@astron.nl. For informal enquiries please contact: Prof. Mark Bentum (bentum@astron.nl), Head of Astronomy and Operations.


You can apply directly for this job via the ‘Apply now’ button below. Applications should include a CV, scientific interests and a research proposal. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to: hr@astron.nl. The deadline for submission is 15 October 2021. Candidates will be considered until the position has been filled.


Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.


Word of a staff member
Jurjen Sluman

Voordat ik bij ASTRON kwam te werken, werkte ik bij een hoogwaardig technisch bedrijf. Hierna wilde ik weer werken in een soortgelijke en uitdagende werkomgeving. Zo kwam ik bij ASTRON terecht, hier heb ik te maken met een uitdagende en hoogstaande technische omgeving. Dit op zowel het gebied van hard- als software. Het onderzoek aan […]

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@Naman_J13 @jivevlbi Yes it is!

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