Resident Astronomer

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

Applications are invited for the position of Resident Astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawai’i Telescope (CFHT). CFHT is a 3.6 m scientifically-competitive telescope located near  the summit of Maunakea. The position is located at our headquarters in Waimea, Hawai’i. The appointment will be for an initial period of three years and is renewable. The position is supported by the National Research Council of Canada, and will serve as a liasion with the Canadian astronomical community.

Maunakea is a mountain of high cultural and spiritual significance to Native Hawaiians. CFHT recognizes its privilege to conduct scientific observations from this iconic mountain, and joins the Native Hawaiian people in their demands for shared governance of Maunakea and advocacy for Native Hawaiian rights.

CFHT's success comes from high quality instrumentation and Science Operations that optimize night time and maximize scientific return. CFHT operates its 5 main instruments in Queue Scheduled Observing (QSO) mode remotely from Waimea with no staff at the summit facility.

The suite of instruments consist of MegaCam, a 1 degree x 1 degree 340 Mpix CCD mosaic optical camera, WIRCam, a 4kx4k/20'x20' wide-field mosaic infrared camera, ESPaDOnS, a high resolution fiber-fed spectro-polarimeter, SITELLE, a Fourier Transform Spectrograph providing integral field spectroscopic capabilities in the visible (350 to 900 nm) over an 11 by 11 arcminutes field of view, with a variable spectral resolution, and SPIRou, a near-infrared high resolution spectro-polarimeter that began science operations in February 2019.

For the future, CFHT is exploring the possibility of upgrading the facility to an 11 meter telescope with a fiber fed Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) called the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE).  CFHT is particularly interested in attracting excellent scientists capable of conducting observations and work on instruments or software development in scientific domains related to MSE. Potential applicants should consult the CFHT and the MSE websites for more information on current CFHT instruments and MSE development activities.

Resident Astronomers have approximately one third of their time available for research and are expected to become active users of CFHT. CFHT resident astronomers also  have competitive access to 10 discretionary nights on the telescope each semester and have a research budget that is used to cover research-related travel and other expenses. Collaborations with astronomers from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai’i, and scientists from other Maunakea observatories are encouraged.

Resident Astronomers are assigned QSO coordination duties and, occasionally, may have to perform service observing at the summit facility.  They also serve as project or instrument scientist for the development of instrumental or software projects.

Minimum requirements are a Ph.D. in astronomy or physics or astrophysics or equivalent, combined with experience in instrument development, software development and telescope scientific operations. Our preference is for individuals with previous post-doctoral experience in astronomical instrumentation and software development in multi-object spectroscopy, integral field spectroscopy and/or time domain astronomy. Candidates without previous post-doctoral experience but showing definitive potential for duties involved in operational issues of CFHT will also be considered. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Competitive benefit packages and relocation assistance are also provided. The individual selected must pass a physical exam certifying ability to work at 4200 meters altitude.  Due to the nature of this position, work is occasionally required on weekends and holidays, but we do also have a flexible work policy allowing variable hours for instrument support and up to 50% remote work.  CFHT is an equal opportunity employer.

This position will be open until filled; we will begin reviewing applications on March 27, 2023.  Our desired start date for the position is July or August, 2023. Applications must be completed online at and include a detailed curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a statement of research interests including those particularly appropriate for CFHT and MSE and a statement addressing their experience and aptitude for the CFHT support tasks. Applicants should also provide contact information of three individuals who can provide letters of recommendation. 

To apply visit  The full position description may be downloaded at this site.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Mar 01
Application Deadline
2023 Apr 01


Daniel Devost