Research Associate/Assistant in Computing for Radio Astronomy
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 December 2024 in the first instance.

A position exists for Research Associate/Research Assistant in Computing for Radio Astronomy.

The role holder will work as part of an agile development team advancing Big Data/Exascale Astronomy approaches for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Data Processing project. The SKA telescope requires a supercomputer-scale computing facility for the processing of its data. Fresh and carefully considered implementation approaches to the software engineering, algorithms, and computing operations are being developed during the SKA construction period. The Data Processing computing platform will host the processing pipelines (taking the raw data from the telescopes and converting this into usable data for scientists) and the data storage software. The computing platform includes hardware, operating system, SKA-originated software, and third party software. The processing pipelines include all software for ingesting, calibrating, editing, imaging, cataloguing, and searching data to produce science data products. The software focus will be on the highest risk areas of the architecture such as use of fast buffering, hierarchical use of execution frameworks (and suitability of such frameworks for the scaling out of the SKA processing), and investigating implementations of key radio astronomy algorithms.

The successful candidate will hold (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in astronomy, computer science, engineering or a closely related discipline with a proven track record of software development with Python.

Preference will be given to candidates with experience in aperture synthesis or development of data analysis frameworks in a distributed compute environment. Solid development experience with C++/C, parallel programming and use of High Performance Computing is highly desirable.

The candidate will be willing to work as part of an agile development team alongside colleagues from academia and industry, as well as demonstrate good organisational, communication and team working skills.

The post holder will be located at the Department of Physics Cavendish Laboratory JJ Thomson Avenue Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK.

Salary Ranges: Research Assistant: £27,116 to £31,406 Research Associate: £33,309 to £40,927.

Appointment as a Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will initially be appointed as a Research Assistant and amended to research associate when he PhD is awarded.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. Please submit your application by midnight on the closing date.

If you have any questions about this vacancy please contact DR Jeremy Coles ( If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Mott Hub HR Administrator (

Please quote reference KA29440 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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