Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow (Software Scientist) in Survey Astronomy

Southampton, United Kingdom
£33,314 to £42,155 per annum
25 Jan 2023
End of advertisement period
21 Feb 2023
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Astronomy Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £33,314 to £42,155 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (33 months)
Closing Date:  Tuesday 21 February 2023
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2152223WF

This is an exciting opportunity to join a team of researchers at the University of Southampton, working towards delivering new science with the state-of-the-art Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space Time (LSST). LSST will be the largest and most comprehensive ground-based optical survey ever undertaken, delivering a petabyte scale dataset of billions of astronomical objects that will open up unprecedented new discovery space. You will be the lead Research Software Scientist delivering one of the UK's accepted software infrastructure contributions to the Rubin project - the LSST-VISTA Fusion Dataset. Our leadership of near infra-red astronomical surveys, specifically those conducted with the ESO VISTA Telescope, provides a unique value-added contribution to Rubin. The combined LSST-VISTA dataset will allow studies of the most distant, obscured and red astronomical sources thus widening the LSST discovery space.

You will work within the research team led by Dr. Manda Banerji but interact widely with the rest of the Astronomy Group and the LSST:UK and International Collaborations. You will be responsible for developing the LSST-VISTA joint data analysis pipeline and scientifically validating the resulting data products for extragalactic astronomy applications. You will liaise closely with the Rubin Project and Data Management teams and the LSST Galaxies and AGN Science Collaborations. There will be training and networking opportunities as part of a team of Research Software Engineers who are delivering the UK's software contributions to Rubin. The wider Astronomy group at Southampton is leading other software infrastructure contributions to Rubin and also working on a number of related surveys (e.g. DES, VISTA, 4MOST, MOONS). The position therefore presents a unique opportunity to establish yourself at the forefront of modern ground-based survey astronomy. 

To be successful you will have a PhD in Astronomy, Astrophysics or a closely related field. Experience with software development for astronomy, high-performance computing and/or large astronomical surveys and databases will be considered an asset.

Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD.   Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.’

In return we offer you a welcoming and  inclusive research environment and encourage those from  under-represented groups in Physics and Astronomy to apply.  We are strongly  committed to  diversity in both the academic and student population, and  in  recognition we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2018 and  the  Institute of Physics Project Juno Champion status in 2019. Physics  and  Astronomy gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work   flexibly, including part-time, and due consideration will be given to   applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous   maternity policy*, and onsite childcare facilities. For further information please visit

The  post is initially available for 2.5 years due to funding  restrictions but with prospects for renewal. The University offers an attractive benefits package. 

Please  supply a CV and brief research statement detailing your relevant experience in this area (2 pages  maximum) as a single PDF along with the details of two referees by the  application deadline. 

Informal enquiries about the position are very welcome and can be directed to Dr. Manda Banerji (E-mail:

*subject to qualifying criteria

Working at the University of Southampton:

Check out the staff benefits and why you should join us at The University of Southampton!

 Application Procedure 

The application deadline is midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need assistance, call Recruitment on  +44 (0) 23 8059 2750, or email Quote the advert reference on all correspondence.

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