Career Opportunities with Gemini Observatory

Open Positions

Subscribe by email


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 Mechanical Engineer

Sr. Control Software Engineer

Electronics Technician

Systems Engineer

Instrumentation Project and Configuration Management Associate

Science Assistant or Associate Scientist

Gemini Science Fellows


Mechanical Engineer

  • Location: La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: OPE412P

Engineering Operations group:

The successful applicant will be a member of the Engineering Operations team based at Gemini South.

This multi-disciplinary team consists of around 20 engineers & technicians that operate,  maintain and implement upgrades to the telescope, instruments and all auxiliary systems, furthermore the engineering staff is involved in a variety of development projects.

Position Summary:

The successful candidate will be providing mechanical engineering analysis, design and support in a multi-cultural environment for a wide variety of areas. On the telescope and instrumentation, maintenance, reliability engineering, continuous performance improvement and obsolescence mitigation are import aspects. Furthermore the appointee is expected to understand the operational needs of new instruments. The working  time will be divided between the telescope site and the sea level base facilities, some international travel may be required.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Provide mechanical (precision) engineering support to the operations and maintenance work on the telescope and instrumentation.

2. Provide mechanical engineering analysis, design, fabrication, integration and test support for ongoing and future development programs related to the telescopes and instrumentation. Represent operational stakeholder interests in design reviews.

3. Take (cross-functional) responsibility for one or more systems and/or instruments according Gemini’s system based organization.

4. Prepare technical reports, drawings, purchase requisitions, fabrication contracts and other forms of documentation related to the work.

Job Specifications:

Requires a high degree of professionalism and discretion. Must be able to work in a team environment  and perform well under pressure of deadlines. Ability to grapple with competing mechanical demands and ensure important issues get handled along with urgent or emergency issues. Requires knowledge of and a proactive attitude toward safety.

Education Required:

Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering related field, or a combination of education and experience in mechanical related fields that ensures suitability for this position.

Experience prefered:

  • Precision (opto)-mechanical systems.
  • Observatory experience
  • Some cross-functional experience
  • (Cryogenic) instrumentation
  • Numerical analysis software (Matlab/Mathematica or other)
  • Interaction with internal/external (scientific) stakeholders
  • Being part of multi-disciplinary work teams

Skills Required:

1. Proficiency in mechanical engineering sciences like mechanics, precision engineering, mechatronics, dynamics, optics, opto-mechanics and machine shop processes.

2. Computer aided drafting/design (AutoDesk  Inventor a plus).

3. Proficiency in Word, Excel, Microsoft Project, Adobe, Internet, etc.

4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Knowledge of the Spanish language is an advantage.

Essential Job Functions:

Part A - Must possess:

a)         Ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job.

b)        Sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses.

c)         Sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, horns or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid.

d)        Ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.

Part B – Must be able to:

a)         Sit for long periods of time.

b)        Drive a 4-w drive vehicle and possess a clean driving record.

c)        Travel internationally.

How To Apply | Apply Online

Sr. Control Software Engineer

  • Location: La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: OPE457P

Position Summary: Provide technical leadership and expertise in the field of control system software for large astronomical telescopes and instrumentation. Provide control system solutions that support the needs of the observatory. Support and maintain existing, installed software for the optimum performance of the telescopes and instruments. Actively participate in training and technical leadership for software engineers, new hires and summer interns.  

Duties and Responsibilities :

  1. Provide daytime and night-time operational support by troubleshooting, diagnosing and solving problems with installed control systems.
  2. Develop conceptual / detailed control system designs that integrate with existing telescope systems.
  3. Develop, maintain and configure high and low level control system software to operate and calibrate high performance, custom designed telescope systems.
  4. Develop and maintain high level Adaptive Optics software tools and wave front sensor correction algorithms.
  5. Develop and maintain system models, diagnostics and support utilities.
  6. Follow a rigorous software development life cycle, including all phases: requirements gathering, design, documentation, development, testing, deployment, production and disposal.
  7. Collaborate with engineers from other disciplines as well as the science staff to gather and document requirements for new software systems and improvements to existing systems.  
  8. Participate in planning, documentation, and tracking of software development projects and processes.
  9. Assume technical ownership and future development, for one or more software systems applying the software development cycles employed at the Observatory.
  10. Provide clearly written documentation, both technical and user-oriented, including software interface control documents, user manuals and operational procedures.
  11. Review software designs done by external contractors and participate in the integration, testing and commissioning phases of new hardware and software systems.
  12. Provide technical leadership and mentoring of software engineers, supervising their work and giving direction as needed.
  13. Research new technologies and investigate ways in which they may be applied to solve problems faced by the observatory. Write proposal documents and whitepapers that explain software systems in a language that can be appreciated by an educated but non-expert audience.
  14. Perform other duties as assigned.

Job Specifications:

The position requires the ability to support existing tools and utilities used in the control of Observatory systems, including the cutting edge Multi Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) system.  This position will also participate in development of the next generation of Observatory systems and tools. While the primary role is focused on motion control software, wavefront sensor correction algorithms, and high level adaptive optics software, the candidate is also expected to work with other systems as well. The ideal candidate will be a senior level C developer with an in-depth understanding of the EPICS framework. Experience with Java, Python and other programming languages is also a plus. He/she must be able to work as part of a team (i.e. able to collaborate constructively with other developers, participate in peer reviews, etc.) and also be able to work independently. We are always looking to improve our processes and prefer engineers that are eager to contribute in this area. We develop software using VxWorks/RTEMS and Linux using the EPICS control system framework.  Our target platforms include VME-based Motorola CPUs and Linux-based soft IOCs.

Education Required:

Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field. Master's degree may be considered in place of some of the required experience.

Experience Required:

Must have a minimum of five years of experience in software development for control systems with significant exposure to low level device programming. Previous experience in an astronomical research or scientific environment highly desirable.

Skills Required:

Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.  Must be proficient in a wide range of software design principles.  Experience in the astronomy field is not mandatory, but previous experience in scientific environments will be an advantage. Engineers with the background indicated below and proficiency in several of the following areas will be preferred:

  • Working experience with the EPICS framework
  • Experience with the VxWorks/RTEMS operating systems and Linux.
  • Sound experience with C. Python and other scripting languages is a plus. DSP programming, PLC programming, and C++ or Java desirable
  • Familiarity with wavefront sensing and Adaptive Optics is highly desirable
  • System automation, motion control, or real-time control experience desirable.
  • Experience with VME-based systems
  • 5+ years of software development experience
  • BS or higher (CS, ECE, EE or similar); or 6+ years of experience if no degree.

How To Apply | Apply Online

Electronics Technician

  • Location: Cerro Pachon
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: OPE213P

Position Summary:
As part of the summit crew candidate supports all electronic activities required to deliver working  telescope and instrumentation on a daily basis. 
Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Perform routine maintenance on telescope and instrument systems 
2. Troubleshoot and make appropriate repairs on telescope and instruments
3. Candidate can be expected to take responsibility for one of more Telescope/Facility sub-systems: prepare preventive maintenance plans, spares analysis and obsolescence mitigation and documentation. 
4. Assist with commissioning and upgrades of telescope and instrumentation systems
5. Perform daily check out of telescope subsystems, enclosure operation, and instrument configuration and assist in daily operations coordination. 
6. Assist with installation and removal of instruments
7. Maintain documentation 
Job Specifications:
Requires a strong background in electronics.  Excellent interpersonal, teamwork, decision-making, judgment and oral and written English communication skills are necessary.  Must have an excellent safety attitude.     
Education Required:
Bachelors degree in electronic technology or equivalent training.
Experience Required:
Experience and proficiency in the maintenance of electronics systems is required. Previous observatory experience and in one or more of the follow areas, vacuum, cryogenics, motion control, PLC, astronomical instrumentation and telescope systems is highly preferred.  
Skills Required:  
Requires excellent troubleshooting and repair skills.  

How To Apply | Apply Online

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


Project and Configuration Management Associate

  • Location: La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: DEV206T

Position Summary:

Contribute to Gemini Observatory’s highest priority projects, including the next major instrument “Generation 4#3” and upgrades to the Gemini South laser guide star facility. The Project and Configuration Management Associate assists Project Managers in daily project management activities, team logistics, event logistics, content development and information management. The Associate also performs configuration management for the observatory as a Docushare administrator, and further supports the Development Division as the web content manager. The Associate may also develop policies and training materials, and conduct training related to configuration management.

Please note this is a one year position. There is a preference to locate the position at Gemini South but applicants at either location are encouraged to apply. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Project Management Support:

·         Develop content for project documents and webpages.

·         Manage the storage and distribution of project documents.

·         Maintain project task lists, risk registers and vacation calendars.

·         Handle meeting and event logistics and capture meeting minutes, action items and decisions.

·         Assist with budget, expense reports and monthly/quarterly reporting.

·         Assist with procurement processes and taking inventory of purchased equipment.

Configuration Management:

·         Manage Docushare contents and permissions, enforce policies and resolve non-technical issues.

·         Develop content for Development Division documents and webpages.

·         Manage Development Division webpages and public web presence.

·         Develop training materials and conduct training for Observatory on configuration management.

Job Specifications:

The ideal candidate is a motivated individual who can work independently with minimal supervision, and who is comfortable working with technical concepts and terminology. She or he is well-organized and able to multi-task, and able to appropriately handle sensitive and confidential information. The ideal candidate is also comfortable working with technology such as word processing and presentation software and is able to quickly learn other observatory software tools used for document management, web content  development and project management. This position has the potential for a limited amount of international travel.

Education Required:

BS or equivalent; may be satisfied with comparable work experience.

Experience Required:

Minimum two years experience performing a majority of the duties and responsibilities described above. Must have experience using Microsoft Office products.

Candidates are requested to include a cover letter relating their experience to the position and duties described herein.

Skills Required:

Excellent English verbal and written communication skills. Bilingual (English/Spanish) in spoken and written formats is desired. Skills in using various technologies for content development and management, as described in the Job Specification, is  necessary.

Essential Job Functions:

Part A - 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.

Part B - 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, horns 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.

Part C – Must be able - to sit for long periods of time; must be able to drive a 4-w drive vehicle and possess a clean driving record; to take and pass high altitude physical; to travel internationally and must possess or be able to obtain a valid passport.  

How To Apply | Apply Online


Assistant or Associate Scientist

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: Until filled.
  • Job Code: 15-0163

Position Summary:
The successful applicant will have demonstrated scientific leadership in research, and possess the motivation and ability to identify and carry out new projects to completion while assisting in the day-to-day operations of the observatory.  The successful applicant will also possess excellent teamwork skills in order to work collaboratively with Gemini staff and external scientists, as well as participate in observatory committees and external scientific organizations. The position is split 80/20, with 80% of the Scientist's time spent carrying out functional duties, and 20% on personal research.
Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Providing science support of instrumentation, telescope sub-systems, and facility.
2. Participating in commissioning of instrumentation and support facilities.
3. Preparing nightly queue observing plans and executing queue-based observations for other astronomers in the Gemini communities.
4. Supporting Gemini users with specification of their observing program using Gemini tools, and introducing visiting observers to the telescope and instruments.
5. Conducting tests, calibration, and maintenance and developing documentation of new and existing astronomical equipment, including control and data acquisition systems.
6. Conducting personal research.
7. Preparing and presenting scientific papers at astronomical meetings and symposia.
Job Specifications:
Must be able to work independently.  An ability to communicate with a wide variety of staff, visiting observers and remote investigators throughout the Gemini partnership is essential.  Requires excellent team player skills.  Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.  An aptitude for dealing with practical problems and issues is necessary.  Must have a willingness to travel internationally and work in a culturally diverse environment.  Must possess the motivation and ability to identify and carry out new projects in a team environment while participating in the day-to-day operations of the observatory.  
Education Required:
Ph.D. in Astronomy or Astrophysics., or a related field.

How To Apply | Apply Online

Gemini Science Fellows

  • Location: La Serena, Chile and Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: 12/01/2015
  • Job Code: 15-0136

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 (see ).

Gemini has an opening for one Science Fellow at each of Gemini North, Hilo, Hawaii, and Gemini South, La Serena, Chile. These Science Fellow positions are for fixed three-year terms, with half of the Fellow's time spent on personal research, and half on Observatory support duties.

The successful Science Fellow will propose a 3-year research program in which Gemini observations figure prominently. Individual scientific research is supported by a research budget. Information on current and future instruments at each telescope can be found on the Gemini web pages. Fellows are members of the Gemini Research Faculty, actively and independently contributing to the research environment at the Observatory; collaboration with other Gemini staff is also encouraged.

Science Fellows at Gemini acquire significant training and experience in large ground-based telescope operations—becoming proficient both in state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and research, and in the techniques of modern, queue-based observing methods. Fellows may train as queue-scheduled observers and support external investigators in the preparation of their observations. Additional Observatory duties may include support of Gemini instrumentation, employing queue planning tools to construct nightly observing plans, and/or working on Observatory development projects, depending on the Fellow's interests.

Gemini offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefit package. The majority of the successful applicants’ time is spent at the base facilities in Hilo, Hawaii, or La Serena, Chile. Hilo is a town with a very diverse population of about 43,000 people, a tropical climate, and a substantial international astronomical community supporting the observatories on Maunakea. La Serena is a mid-sized city on the ocean, with a population of about 400,000 in the metropolitan area, also supporting a number of professional astronomical facilities. It is a popular tourist destination in the (Chilean) summer.

Requirements: Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline. Observational, data analysis and/or instrumentation experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: near-IR spectroscopy and imaging; optical and multi-object and IFU spectroscopy; adaptive optics and high spatial resolution imaging. Must be safety conscious; possess or be able to obtain a valid passport; willing and able to travel internationally; possess a valid driver's license with a good driving record; and be able to drive 4WD vehicles. Applicants must be able to work nights at the altitude of the Cerro Pachon (2900 m) or Mauna Kea (4200 m) summit.

Send a cover letter relating your experience and education to the requirements of the position,   your curriculum vitae, a research statement that provides a summary of your most important contributions to research in astronomy and describes your future plans, and a statement of observatory support interests.  Three professional references must also be provided along with your application. Letters of reference should be sent directly from the referee to Therese Glowania, HR Manager Gemini North at All documents are required in order to be considered for the position. Application materials should be submitted online through the Gemini web site:  Please include the AAS Job Register number in your cover letter. Applications received by December 1, 2015 will receive full consideration. The starting date is negotiable but is expected to be between April and August 2016. For further information about the positions please contact Dr. Sandy Leggett, Gemini-North Head of Science Operations (, Dr. René Rutten, Gemini-South Head of Science Operations ( or Dr. Nancy Levenson, Deputy Director and Head of Science (


How To Apply | Apply Online

How to Apply

How to Apply

Use the navigation items to browse or search the available job openings.

Browse jobs to see current job openings. Search jobs to query our job database for a specific job(s) using the filters you set in your search criteria.

See a job of interest?
Click on the post date, requisition number, or job title to view the full job description. Click Apply On-line at the bottom of any job description.

A red star denotes required fields when setting up your profile. Bold text indicates a required field in the assessment question section.

First Time Applicants
To initiate the application process, first time applicants must create a new account to continue. To create a new account, click on the create a new account link on the log in screen. You may cut and paste your resume or CV into the to Resume box or skip this option and upload your resume or CV as an electronic file on the next screen. If you cut and paste your resume and click the Parse Resume link, the system will extract data from your resume and automatically populate some of the standard fields on this screen.

If the parse resume option is skipped, all responses must be entered manually. It is best to supply as much information as possible; however, if a field is not applicable, but required, enter “n/a.”

Uploading Files
To upload electronic files, from the Upload Resume screen, click on the browse button to locate the electronic files you want to attach to your application. Click the upload button to attach a file. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have attached all the required documents (publications list, letter of intent, reference letters, essays, etc.).

For the remainder of the application process, follow the directions on each screen, completing each field as required and applicable.

When you have successfully completed the application process, you will receive an acknowledgment.

Returning Applicants
Returning applicants will not be required to repeat the entire application process because your profile is saved in our database. For each position you apply, you will be required to revisit each screen to successfully submit your application.

The application requirements vary for each position. This option gives candidates an opportunity to supply additional information, make changes or update information and add or delete files as necessary.

Edit Profile
The edit profile option enables you to see your profile and upload materials. Please note that changes/deletions made to your profile affect all applications on file.

Don't see the job you want right now?
Keep our site bookmarked and feel free to check back periodically to browse the new and exciting opportunities at Gemini. You are also encouraged to subscribe to one or more of our job announcement mailing lists. Click the "Subscribe by email" icon located on the "Open Positions" tab for more information.

Having Problems?
Applicants who need assistance with the online application process should visit our FAQ page or contact

Employment FAQs

Employment FAQs

How do I edit my profile?
Where do I upload documents other than my resume?
When will I hear from you?
How do I check the status of my application?
I was not selected for a position, can I apply for others?
What do I do, I have forgotten my password?
Do you have internship opportunities?
How do I withdraw my application?

How do I edit my profile?

  1. Click on Edit Your Profile at the top of the page.
  2. Log in.
The Edit Profile option allows you to view your profile and any documents that have been uploaded and attached to your application(s). This is also where you update your information, as well as add and/or delete files. Please note that changes made to your profile affect all applications on file.

Where do I upload documents other than my resume?
The Upload Resume screen is where all documents are added, even if it is not a resume, i.e. publication lists, reference letters, letter of intent, essays, etc.

When will I hear from you?
Once your application has been successfully submitted, the recruiters and hiring managers will review your materials and assess your skills with the requirements of the position, for which you applied. If there is further interest in your candidacy, you will be contacted directly by our HR Department to coordinate the next step in the process.

Due to the high volume of applications received, we are unable to personally contact candidates who have not been selected to continue in the recruiting process.

To check the status of your application, follow the directions for checking the status of your application (below).

How do I check the status of my application?

  1. Click on View Application Status at the top of the page.
  2. Log in.
The application status screen displays date applied, job code, title and status of position any position(s) for which you have applied.

Application Status Legend
Being ReviewedForwarded to Hiring Manager for review
Not ReviewedReceived but not yet forwarded to Hiring Manager for review
Phone InterviewApplicant interviewed over phone
On-Site InterviewApplicant interviewed in person
Selected Another CandidateApplicant not selected
Considered for another jobApplication shared with another Hiring Manager
Candidate WithdrewApplicant withdrew application
Offer ExtendedJob offer extended
Offer DeclinedApplicant declined offer
Job CancelledPosition cancelled, no applicant hired
Not QualifiedDid not meet minimum qualifications
HiredApplicant accepted offer, position filled

I was not selected for a position, can I apply for others?
There is no limit to the number of positions for which you may apply. When you see a position of interest, click "Apply Online," found at the bottom of all of our job announcements.

What do I do, I have forgotten my password?

  1. Click on Edit Your Profile at the top of the page.
  2. Click on the link next to "Can't remember password"
Your password will be emailed to you after you have correctly responded to the security questions.

Do you have internship opportunities?
Internship opportunities are listed in the same manner as our open positions. Please browse jobs to see our current listing.

How do I withdraw my application?
Send an email to indicating that you wish to withdraw your application. Remember to provide the requisition number and job title.

Even though you have withdrawn an application, your profile will remain in our e-Recruiting system. You are able to return to our site to apply for other positions, should you choose to do so.

Have a question not shown here that you think we should post?
Feel free to contact us at

Working at Gemini

Working at Gemini

About Hawaii and Chile

Information About Hawaii and Chile



* ​As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws.​

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