10-meter South Pole Winter-Over

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
University of Chicago
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Job Description

Job Summary
The 10-meter South Pole Telescope (SPT) Winter-Over will be a member of a two-person crew located at the NSF Amundsen-Scott South Pole research station in Antarctica. The crew will be responsible for the hands-on maintenance and operation of the SPT. The crew will participate in the preliminary analysis of the astronomical data and is an integral part of the SPT collaboration. A continuous stay at the South Pole, lasting approximately twelve months, is required. The position begins in November 2024 and ends in November 2025.


  • Assemble and set up scientific equipment.
  • Check scientific instrumentation.
  • Maintain cryogenic refrigeration systems in good working order.
  • Test and integrate electrical and mechanical assemblies, including the power, computer, and electronic components.
  • Climb, operate machines, operate power tools, and report on the status of telescope and observations to SPT collaboration through weekly teleconferences.
  • Other field work for instrument deployment and maintenance.
  • Provides technical and administrative support for a research project.
  • Collects and enters data. Assists in analyzing data. Assists with the preparation of reports, manuscripts, and other documents.
  • Assists with the installation, sets up and performs experiments, interacts with students and other laboratory staff under the direction of the principal investigator.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


  • Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships, or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • An undergraduate degree in Physics or Engineering with a strong research component.


  • Remote-field work experience on telescopes, mechanical systems (including servo systems and cryogenic systems), radio, analog, and digital electronics.
  • Experience working in a self-motivated manner within a large collaboration and the demonstrated ability to think in a structured, logical manner while under pressure.

Preferred Competencies

  • Competence with computer systems and electronic instruments is required. Climbing, bending, reaching lifting and operating machines and power tools are required.
  • Experience working at a harsh, remote site.
  • Experience working in a self-motivated manner within a large collaboration.
  • Demonstrated ability to think in a structured, logical manner while under pressure.
  • Must have the ability to work independently and as well as within a team environment.
  • Planning; attention to detail; analytic and quantitative skills; reading; self-motivation; problem solving; math; reasoning; oral and written communications; ability to manage time pressures.

Working Conditions

  • A continuous stay at the South Pole, lasting approximately one-year, is required.
  • Due to the job site, good physical health is required.
  • Applicant must be able to work in a cold, harsh environment.
  • Applicant must pass physical and mental qualifying exams before employment.
  • Ability to climb on telescope, bend, reach, lift and use of machines and power tools.

The successful candidates will attend the NSF contractor orientation program and will be expected to pass physical and psychological evaluations required by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination. Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-1032 or email  [email protected] with their request.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Mar 07
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 04


Bradford Benson