Staff Scientist

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

IPAC at Caltech has an opening for an entry-level scientist to participate in the Euclid mission and to support part time the IPAC Communications and Education team (ICE).

IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (, provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground.

Euclid:  Euclid is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the geometry and nature of the dark Universe, which launched on July 1, 2024. NASA has established the Euclid NASA Science Center at IPAC (ENSCI) in order to support US-based investigations using Euclid data. ENSCI participates in the Euclid Consortium’s Science Ground Segment, with algorithm and software development, and by performing data processing. In addition, ENSCI will support the US research community by providing expert insight into the Euclid surveys, data processing, calibration, and products. For more details, see

ICE: our team provides strategic planning, development and programming in public outreach, formal and informal education programs, science visualization, graphic design, media relations, strategic and crisis communications, video, animation, website and applications development, planning and execution of STEM workforce pipeline development and more.

Who do we work with? Our partners and collaborators include other Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (WEPOC) specialists and teams, as well as a broad range of the science community including individual researchers, science collaborations, science projects, missions and centers. Our work includes people and projects both within IPAC, but also NASA and NSF projects, NASA centers including JPL and GSFC, Caltech, as well as public and private institutions across the U.S. and internationally.

Essential Job Duties

The position will be 80% with ENSCI and 20% with the ICE team.

As a member of ENSCI, your specific tasks would include: (1) designing and testing forced photometry services for the public Euclid archive (2) working with software developers to implement and test relevant pipeline modules; (3) working with ENSCI to support the US-based research community in using Euclid data; (4) writing documentation for the user community; (5) leading workshops (in person or online) on the use of Euclid data; and (6) participating in meetings, tele- and video-conferences, together with travel to Euclid meetings in Europe and relevant conferences to meet the user community in the US.

With the ICE team, your voice as a scientist with WEPOC interest and experience is essential in ensuring the fidelity of our work and helping make the science and discoveries engaging for all. You will be responsible for managing several of our ongoing projects with the NASA’s Universe of Learning collaboration, providing scientific inputs and oversight into our outreach programs and products, and helping develop a community of practice for WEPOC professionals.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in Astronomy, Physics, or a related field.
  • 2+ years of experience post-PhD as a research scientist in infrared astronomy.
  • Experience working with a distributed team.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Beyond these basic qualifications, there are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of an IPAC research scientist working with Euclid and ICE:

  • Familiarity with Euclid and its science.
  • Expertise with photometry and/or forced-photometry software.
  • Practical (volunteer or professional) experience in education, outreach and/or public communications.
  • Experience mentoring students or postdocs.
  •  Strong teamwork, collaboration, verbal and written communication, along with demonstrated creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
  • A passion for science communication, community engagement.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Names of three professional references.
  • Complete applications submitted by February 1, 2024 will receive full consideration, but review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate has been identified.
  • Application Accepted via the Caltech Site only

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and positive relationships. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership.

Hiring Range

$66,600 - $103,300 Per Year

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick time, parental leave, bereavement, etc.), tuition reimbursement, and more. Non-benefit eligible employees will have access to some benefits such as onsite counseling and sick time. Learn more about our benefits and staff perks

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at [email protected]

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Dec 23
Application Deadline
2024 Feb 01