ATA Project Scientist

Position Title: ATA Project Scientist
Reports to: Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI
Job status: Full Time, Exempt



The SETI Institute is seeking a highly motivated and experienced scientist to serve as Project Scientist for the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) hosted at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory. The incumbent will be tasked to serve as the science program lead for the ATA, and will be responsible for implementing an overall science program developed in consultation with SETI Institute leadership and other stakeholders, researching current telescope technology, designing and testing new hardware and software, and ensuring the telescope functions as a well calibrated and effective scientific instrument.

Salary range: $73,610 and $133,154 


  • Lead a diverse science program on the Allen Telescope Array.
  • Research and analyze current telescope technology to identify areas for improvement.
  • Lead or support the system design and testing of new software and hardware components.
  • Conduct extensive testing and calibration of the instrument.
  • Train and supervise a team of observers, scientists and engineers to operate and use the telescope.
  • Publish research findings in reputable scientific journals.


  • A PhD or equivalent degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or a related field.
  • Expert competency at one or more of: fast-transient radio astrophysics and compact objects, radio astronomical studies of the interstellar medium, widefield radio surveys at cm-wavelengths, observational astrochemistry and/or the detection and characterization of synchrotron transients in the image domain and their progenitors.
  • Experience with high-speed digital signal processing and/or signal detection in the time or frequency domain.
  • Experience with many petabyte data sets, distributed scientific data analysis, and / or training deep learning algorithms on large and complex datasets.
  • A record of publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals involving both astrophysics and algorithm design or instrumentation.
  • Experience with high to low level programming languages such as python, C, C++, and CUDA.
  • Experience with UNIX/Linux-based systems, shell scripting languages, and the command line.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in English is required.
  • Commitment to open, transparent, and reproducible science.
  • Must be a team player and work in close collaboration with the team members at the observatory.


  • Frequent to continuous sitting.
  • Frequent to continuous use of computer monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
  • Frequent use of standard office equipment.
  • Occasional bending, reaching, kneeling.

Salary/Benefits: The SETI Institute provides competitive salary, excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The Institute sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

The SETI Institute is an Affirmative Action Employer and members of underrepresented communities and demographics are particularly encouraged to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ and people with disabilities. 

EO/AA/Disability/Veteran Employer.

Note:  The Institute will not sponsor applicants for work visas.

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