Vacant Post – Operations Astronomer

Website ska_africa NRF/SARAO

Contract type: Permanent
Job Level: Skilled / Middle Management
Work Location: Krugersdorp, Gauteng
Closing Date: 25 January 2024

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

The main purpose of the this job is to operate the single dish and VLBI operations, conduct research and supervise junior researcher

Key Responsibilities:
* Scheduling daily single dish operation and maintaining calibration activities.
* Single dish instrumentation and techniques by designing, testing and integrating the replacement spectral-line correlator
* VLBI operations by assisting with both Astronomical (primarily) and Geodetic (secondarily) VLBI Operations
* Supervision and training post-graduate Astronomy Students and post-doctoral researchers.
* Conduct Scientific research and foster scientific collaboration.
* Publish peer-reviewed articles and publish and present in a non-peer reviewed environment

Key Requirements:

* PhD in Physics, Astronomy or related field
* 3 years’ post-doctoral experience in observations in astronomy.
* Proven record of publications in refereed journals.
* Experience in reducing VLBI / single-disk data.
* Able to program in C / Python.
* Extensive IT skills


* Lecturing experience.
* Good communication skills
* Fluent in English


* Radio telescope operations experience.
* Astronomy software development experience.
* Astronomy publication record.
* Lecturing experience.
* Good communication skills
* Fluent in English

Additional Notes:

* Attention to detail
* Planning and organising
* Scientific writing


The website provides more details on the NRF initiatives and activities.


Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging to and apply online. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant􀂷s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Closing Date: 25 January 2024

The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package which is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan.

The NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Correspondence will be sent to short-listed candidates only

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