Science Data Analyst

California, United States
13 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
13 Jan 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

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

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech has an immediate position for a Science Data Analyst on the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

Caltech is more than a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, it is a community—a community of curious and passionate individuals who collaborate to understand and solve complex scientific and societal challenges. Caltech is an award-winning workplace and one of the best places to work in the greater Los Angeles area. We offer an exciting and dynamic work environment, career development opportunities, competitive pay programs, great benefits, and the opportunity to participate in many campus programs and activities. Exceptional employees are critical to Caltech’s success.

NExScI (, which is part of IPAC ( in 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 for the Exoplanet Community and NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program. The NASA Exoplanet Archive ( is a key resource used by the astrophysical community to explore and study the bounty of exoplanets being discovered. 

IPAC is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California by the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Caltech is small, but has an extraordinary science impact, with 39 Nobel Prizes awarded to faculty and alumni. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, the leading US center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System. Caltech also operates large-scale research facilities such as the Palomar and Keck Observatories, and LIGO, which in 2016 observed gravitational waves from colliding black holes for the first time. 

Pasadena is a city known for its contributions to science and technology, and its rich history, cultural treasures, scenic beauty, and year-round comfortable weather create a desirable environment for life and ideas to thrive. See Bill Nye’s take on our city.

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and lasting relationships. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. 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.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. Click here to read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Job Duties

The NASA Exoplanet Archive is hiring a Scientific Data Analyst who will work with the engineering and scientific team members to make crucial contributions in maintaining an up-to-date database and archive content. The primary tasks will include collaboratively selecting, extracting, analyzing, and reformatting relevant data from the astrophysical literature and catalogs as well as from data contributed by NASA missions and exoplanet community members. 

Basic Qualifications

These are a set of skills and experiences which are necessary for your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of the job position

  • Your Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in astronomy, physics, computer science, information sciences or related field
  • Proficiency with basic computer skills using Windows, Mac OS, or Linux/Unix
  • Familiarity with basic programming and scripting tools such python, perl, shell or related languages
  • Familiarity with data analysis tools such as excel, text editors, or related tools

Preferred Qualifications

These are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of the job position. The following attributes would make you a better fit for this position, but even if these all do not describe you or your experience, we would still like to hear from you.

  • Basic knowledge of astronomical terminology particularly related to astronomical coordinate systems, nomenclature, observing techniques, or exoplanets
  • Demonstrated ability to program or script in Python, perl, shell, or related languages

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter (The cover letter should give a brief description of how your recent work experience and accomplishments match the needs for this position)
  • List of Three References (names and contact information)

Preference will be given to applications that are received by 14 December 2018. The position will remain open until filled.