Research Scientist, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

Massachusetts, United States
15 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
15 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Working at MIT offers opportunities, an environment, a culture – and benefits – that just aren’t found together anywhere else. If you’re curious, motivated, want to be part of a unique community, and help shape the future – then take a look at this opportunity.

RESEARCH SCIENTIST, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research-Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), to join a team that will design and deliver a low-latency alerting system for rapid gravitational wave detection and follow-up during LIGO's (and Virgo's) fourth observing run, expected to commence in late 2021.  The LIGO Laboratory’s mission spans a broad, vibrant array of activities related to gravitational-wave physics and astronomy, including detector operations, R&D toward detector improvements, gravitational-wave astrophysics, observatory operations, and education and public outreach.  Will work on the design, implementation, and maintenance of low-latency astrophysical searches and the distribution of the source detections as public alerts to the broader astronomical community.  Such public alerts enable the follow-up of astrophysical sources detected by LIGO and Virgo in the electromagnetic spectrum as well as with neutrinos.  Will deliver a wealth of astrophysical detections in real time, several times more than what has been accomplished so far.  LIGO is collaborating on these aspects with and is working as part of the broader LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the international network of interferometric gravitational-wave detectors (Virgo, KAGRA).

Job Requirements

REQUIRED:  Ph.D. in physics, astronomy, or computer science; familiarity/experience with signal processing techniques for extracting weak signals out of noise and with cloud-based technologies for deployment and management of scientific software; experience with or ability to quickly learn modern technologies in real-time applications like the analysis and dissemination of gravitational wave alerts, including work-flows for distributed data analyses tasks, queuing, and pub/sub technologies; and ability to benchmark technologies (such as that related to the low-latency alert system currently undergoing a design study and review) for the specific application and participate in and lead such efforts. Job #19001 

The position is available effective immediately and applications will be considered until the position is filled; but to ensure full consideration, candidates should apply by November 15, 2020.

Interested candidates should submit a curriculum vitae via the MIT website and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to Dr. Erik Katsavounidis at and Dr. Peter Fritschel at

The appointment is initially for one year and renewable annually.

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

MIT considers equivalent combinations of experience and education for certain jobs. All candidates who believe they possess equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply.

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