Career Opportunities with Gemini Observatory

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At Gemini we seek individuals who are deeply committed and dedicated to exploring the universe and sharing its wonders. Our success stems from our globally diverse team in Hawaii and Chile, combined with the strong foundation provided by our international partners. You will find a challenging environment with innovative people, operating in a supportive culture that fosters collaboration and teamwork.


Engineering Systems Engineer

Information Systems Information Systems Group Intern

Web Developer Intern

Safety Senior Administration and Safety Specialist

Science Planning System Designer

Science Operations Specialist

Tenure-Track Astronomer OPS102P

Astronomy Research Intern


Systems Engineer

  • Location: La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: Until filled.
  • Job Code: ENG105P

We have an immediate opening for an experienced Systems Engineer for our base facility in La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii. The successful candidate will join the Systems Engineering team that supports the operation of our 8 meter telescopes. This involves proper systems monitoring, configuration control integrity, modeling, constant initiatives towards improvement of efficiency and performance of all systems.

The role of the Systems Engineer is to assist the Science and Engineering groups in solving operational issues related to telescope and instruments operations, as well as provide systems engineering and project management support for new projects and maintenance activities.

Candidates should have experience developing, implementing and maintaining systems and systems controls in order to maximize the efficiency of telescope and instrument operations, while improving the reliability and up time of such systems. In addition, the successful candidate should also have experience in systems documentation and archiving tasks, including the supervision of systems technicians in charge of such archiving systems.

Education Required:

  • BS degree or advanced degree in an Engineering or Science discipline, with courses in systems engineering, industrial engineering, electronics engineering, physics, mathematics, astronomy and other related fields.
  • 4- 5 years related experience.
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desirable skills or qualifications:

  • Must have a good driving record and be able to drive 4-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Must take and pass a high altitude physical to be able to work at 4300-meter (14,000 feet) elevation.
  • Must be fluent in English, Spanish desirable.  
  • Must be able to quickly develop complex systems understanding with minimum of information and documentation.
  • Able to work and make decisions under pressure.
  • Excellent safety awareness.
  • Must be able to document procedures and processes.
  • Excellent planning skills.
  • Must have a good attitude towards others.

Other abilities and skills required for this position are:

Must be able to work effectively and efficiently at 14000 feet.
Able to travel abroad to support Gemini North or Gemini South.
Must be flexible to work weekends and holidays as needed.

How To Apply | Apply Online

Information Systems

Information Systems Group Intern

  • Location: Hilo
  • Deadline for Application: 12/12/2014
  • Job Code: OPI900T

Gemini North has an opening for a 1 year Internship in the Information Systems Group Department to assist in Linux and Mac Systems administration and related technical research and documentation.  The position is part time, averaging between 16-18 hours per week with flexibility on designation of days.

The successful applicant will be enrolled in an undergraduate program with a major in computer science, management information systems, or similar information systems program or possess applicable experience with strong and broad information technology skill sets including:

 Demonstrated ability to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Unix, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems and software.

  • High level of comfort working in a command line, shell environment, both at a local or remote console.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of TCP/IP networking concepts and principles.
  • Ability to work both independently as well as part of a team.
  • Ability to research problems & present solutions to the team.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Articulate verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to learn quickly and adapt to changes.
  • Strong customer service / interpersonal skills.


How To Apply | Apply Online

Web Developer Intern

  • Location: Hilo
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: 15-0048

Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Assist with writing, configuration, testing and deployment of web applications.
2. Work along side the Information Systems Group to troubleshoot, diagnose, repair, web applications.
3. Assist with research and analytics of IT metrics.
4. Assist with documentation of Information Systems Group procedures, policies, tutorials, architectural diagrams, etc.

Job Specifications:
1. Demonstrated ability to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot, create web application software written in PHP and JavaScript.
2. Experience using GitHub to collaborate with others.
3. High level of comfort working in a command line, shell environment, both at a local or remote console.
4. Demonstrated knowledge of TCP/IP networking concepts and principles.
5. Ability to work both independently as well as part of a team.
6. Ability to research problems & present solutions to the team.
7. Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
8. Articulate verbal and written communication skills.
9. Ability to learn quickly and adapt to changes.
10. Strong customer service / interpersonal skills.

How To Apply | Apply Online


Senior Administration and Safety Specialist

  • Location: Hilo, HI
  • Deadline for Application: Until filled.
  • Job Code: ADM405P

Performs senior administrative duties for the Safety Department and other supported Gemini groups.  Acts as liaison between the Safety group and departments/groups within Gemini on the one hand, and external agencies on the other hand.  Works independently to assess urgency and prioritize duties or manage certain systems.  Helps promote a positive workplace safety culture.  Maintains confidentiality of sensitive organization/employee information. Work independently to assess urgency and prioritize duties or manage certain systems.


How To Apply | Apply Online


Planning System Designer

  • Location: Hilo, HI
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: G5412

The Gemini Observatory is a partnership of six countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile and the United States. Forefront astronomical research is carried out with 8-m optical/infrared telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. Gemini has an opening for a Planning System Designer.

Position Summary:  

The Planning System Designer is a term limited position working with the Associate Directors of Operations and Development to develop a self-sustaining project resource allocation and progress tracking process and supporting tools (hereafter, the system) for Gemini Observatory.  The Planning System Designer will manage the current allocation and tracking system while streamlining and simplifying operations to leave the position with a process that fills Gemini’s principal needs and runs with minimal oversight and management.  The system should serve its users and be run by them with little additional effort required. The holder of the position would be the technical lead, overseeing the development and deployment of the system.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Quarter 1: Run the current system as presently implemented.  Note the required inputs and outputs.  Understand other processes in place in the Observatory used for resource allocation and project progress tracking and reporting including those developed for Observatory quarterly financial reports, quarterly public newsletter, and semi-annual oversight committee reports.
  2. Quarter 2: Continue the current system, perhaps with some simplifications in inputs and outputs, where applicable.  Develop requirements for the sustainable system.
  3. Quarter 3: Implement modified system to avoid duplication of inputs and outputs used elsewhere, possibly by working with owners of the other processes and unifying data usage.
  4. Quarters 1 – 3: Complete the work currently underway on identifying and quantifying procedures and staff effort within Gemini South engineering. Complete the dashboard currently being developed.
  5. Quarter 4: Continue system refinement to focus on requirements with no extra inputs or outputs.
  6. Quarter 5: Continue system refinement while documenting process from input to output.
  7. Quarter 6: Continue system refinement to make it easier for users to enter needed inputs and received desired outputs as needed.
  8. Quarters 7 and 8: Support system operation as needed.  By this point, system should be largely self-sustaining and require little support. Finish documentation and make recommendations for future system  improvements.
  9. Support Transition, Development, and other activities as requested (~10% of available time).
  10. Provide easy to locate templates and guidelines for initiating, implementing, and closing projects [Goal].

Job Specifications:

  1. 2 year position with no possibility of extension
  2. Location at Hilo (Hawaii) Gemini base facilities

Education Required:

  1. A BS in Project Management, Engineering, Business or other related discipline
  2. Project Management Institute (PMI), Prince 2, or similar qualifications, desirable

Experience and Skills Required:

  1. 3 to 5 years experience in planning and scheduling, preferably including the design of business processes and related tools
  2. Experience in scientific or engineering operations preferred
  3. Science instrumentation or facility project experience desirable
  4. Must be self-directed and able to take general requirements and objectives and develop processes to satisfy them with little additional direction
  5. Demonstrated ability to work with multiple stakeholders and prioritize requests
  6. Good organizational skills
  7. Demonstration of good written and oral communication skills
  8. Demonstrated aptitude to learn complex manufacturing designs, processes, and systems
  9. Demonstrated ability to provide effective project leadership in terms of setting project plans and expectations and then having both self and team members execute to the plan
  10. Sound written and oral communication skills in English required; Spanish, desired
  11. Good interpersonal skills and ability to lead change and develop buy-in
  12. Well developed computer literacy specifically including standard project planning and tools and office suite software

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  2. Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately

Please attach current resume to your application.  AURA actively supports efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities and fosters a diverse research environment. Women and candidates from under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. AURA/Gemini is an affirmative action and equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. We are also an equal opportunity employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.

To apply on-line, please visit


How To Apply | Apply Online

Science Operations Specialist

  • Location: La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: OPS447P

Gemini Observatory has an immediate openings for a Science Operations Specialist (SOS).  The position will be at Gemini South, La Serena, Chile. The SOS position is 100% support position within the scientific staff.  The SOS operates the telescope, instruments and computer systems on behalf of the scientists and engineers during daytime and nighttime operations. The SOS also provides essential operational, technical and archival support for data handling at the Observatory.

When at the summit at night, SOS is responsible for the safety of the people, the telescope and the instruments. Nighttime responsibilities include operating the telescope and instruments to perform scientific observations; assisting visiting and staff observers; working with engineers and science teams during instrument commissioning; and troubleshooting telescope and instrument systems. The typical SOS schedule is shift work, a combination of day and nighttime work. Daytime responsibilities at sea level include data quality assessment, instrument calibrations, software testing, preparing the telescope and instruments for nighttime operations, troubleshooting faults with the engineering team, analyzing data, and reporting status at daily coordination meetings.

The applicant must be safety conscious, willing to participate in safety training and assume safety responsibilities while on nighttime duty at the summit. Must possess good communication skills, knowledge of software and hardware systems, and be familiar with Unix/Linux.  Must have a good understanding of observational astronomy.  Previous experience in operation of ground-based telescopes and instruments, and/or knowledge of astronomical instruments and optical and infrared observing techniques is strongly preferred.  A good working knowledge of PyRAF/IRAF, as well as experience with high-level scripting in Unix/Linux command shell and Python/Perl is preferred. Bachelor in science, engineering, astronomy, or computer science required.  Master’s in astronomy or physics desirable.  Requires valid driver’s license, clean driving record and ability to drive 4WD vehicles. Applicants must be capable of working in a remote location at an elevation of 2900 meters (8,900 ft) for Gemini South. International travel is expected. Gemini offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefit package.

Gemini South base facility is located in La Serena, Chile, a popular seaside town with a population of about 140,000 people, a temperate climate, and a substantial international astronomical community.  There are currently three observatories operating out of the AURA compound in La Serena, and two other observatories in the area.  The Gemini South telescope has a set of interesting instrumentation like laser-fed multi-conjugate adaptive optics system, GMOS, F2 and Gemini Planet Imager.

The Gemini Observatory mission is exploring the universe and sharing its wonders.  Come join our international team operating two of the world’s leading ground-based 8m telescopes, located in Hawaii & Chile.

Send current resume with cover letter relating your experience, education and background to the needs of the position, along with the names and contact information of three individuals familiar with your work/credentials/qualifications from whom a reference may be obtained

For further information about the positions please contact either Dr. Rene Rutten, Gemini-South Head of Science Operations ( or Mr. Ariel Lopez, Gemini-South Science Operation Specialist Group Manager (  

How To Apply | Apply Online

Tenure-Track Astronomer OPS102P

  • Location: Gemini South - La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application: 01/05/2015
  • Job Code: OPS102P

Gemini Observatory has an immediate opening for a Tenure-Track Astronomer position at Gemini South in La Serena, Chile. Appointment is expected at the rank of Assistant or Associate Astronomer. More senior applicants will also be considered. This position requires a solid commitment to Gemini’s mission to advance knowledge of the Universe by providing the Gemini community with forefront access to the entire sky and requires strong scientific leadership abilities.

The tenure-track astronomer is expected to maintain a strong scientific program with excellent productivity.  The tenure-track astronomer is additionally expected to provide scientific leadership to Gemini South science staff.  Forty percent (40%) of the tenure-track astronomer’s time is available for astronomical research.   The position includes access to the generous research budget shared by all research staff, as well as access to observing time on both Gemini telescopes. 

Gemini science staff astronomers utilize diverse, state-of-the-art astronomical research tools and instrumentation.  The exact support duties of the staff Astronomer will vary depending on the individual’s skills and interests, and the Observatory’s needs.  All staff are expected to become proficient in night-time observing using any of the Observatory’s current instrumentation and to support investigators in the community.  Additional support projects may include new instrument commissioning or other Observatory development projects aimed at improving efficiency, data quality or user support. 

Gemini South is entering an exciting period with new forefront capabilities being implemented. New instrumentation that has recently come online at Gemini South includes a near-IR multi-object spectrograph (FLAMINGOS-2), a facility laser system for multi-conjugate adaptive optics and its associated IR imager (GeMS/GSAOI), and the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). Gemini is particularly interested in applicants whose research is linked to one or more of these capabilities. Candidates will further be encouraged to help shape Gemini South in the era of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

The initial appointment is a three-year renewable term, with application for tenure generally expected during the second three-year term, or earlier, depending on seniority. The position is based in La Serena, Chile, a popular beach town with a mild climate, modern amenities, and a substantial international astronomical community supporting four nearby observatories.

Requirements: Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline, and related work experience.  Substantial ground-based observing and/or instrumentation experience is highly desirable, particularly using modern facilities. Experience/knowledge in one or more of the following areas is a plus:  infrared imaging, spectroscopy or multi-object spectroscopy; adaptive optics; and high spatial resolution imaging and coronagraphy. Scientific productivity and impact will be considered, as judged by the candidate’s top contributions to astronomy, which may include research publications, contributions to software or technical projects, contributions to education, etc.

Must be safety conscious; possess or be able to obtain a valid passport; willing and able to travel internationally; have a valid driver's license with good driving record, and be able to drive 4WD vehicles.  Applicants must be willing to work nights at the summit of Cerro Pachon, at 2900m.

Please apply on-line and submit a cover letter relating your experience and interest in the position, along with a full Curriculum Vitae, publication record, and a statement of current and future research. The names and email addresses of three professional references must also be provided.

Applications received by January 5, 2015 will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

AURA/Gemini is an affirmative action & equal opportunity employer. AURA actively supports efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities. Women and candidates from under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.



How To Apply | Apply Online

Astronomy Research Intern

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: 02/28/2015
  • Job Code: G5905

Interns - Astronomy Research – Gemini/HST Galaxy Cluster Project

Gemini North - Astronomy Research Interns

Gemini North has two openings for a research interns (undergraduate students or recent graduates) to work with Dr. Inger Jorgensen and Dr. Kristin Chiboucas on the Gemini/HST Galaxy Cluster Project in the period for four months, with start in April or May 2015. The students are expected to be available for work full time, though part time work over a longer period will also be considered. The start date is flexible, however will preferably be no later than June 1. Both positions are paid student internships.

One student will work on processing of spectroscopic data of both low and high redshift galaxy clusters, obtained with the multi-object spectrograph GMOS on Gemini. The other student will work on processing of imaging data of redshift 1.2-2 galaxy clusters, obtained with Hubble Space Telescope. The work involves fitting 2-dimensional models to the galaxy images to derive sizes, shapes and luminosities.

The observational data are part of a large data set obtained by an international group of researchers to study the evolution of galaxies from redshift two to the present. Both students will work closely with Drs. Jorgensen and Chiboucas at Gemini North.

The successful applicants must have good English communication skills, including being able to clearly document performed work. Students with prior experience with UNIX/Linux/MacOS-X, processing of either spectroscopic or imaging data, and handling larger data sets will be given preference.  Training in the relevant processing techniques will be provided.

Further information about the positions can be obtained from Dr. Inger Jorgensen,

To apply, submit a cover letter, CV, grade sheet for courses completed, and provide names and contact information for two professional references, using the electronic application procedure for Gemini positions.

Assessment of applications will start February 28, 2015.


How To Apply | Apply Online

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Employment FAQs

Employment FAQs

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* All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. We are also an equal opportunity employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.

* Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.