SAAO is Hiring a Staff Astronomer


The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of staff astronomer.


The primary responsibility of the astronomer is to lead and conduct original research in synergy with the  SAAO research focus areas. Student supervision will be strongly encouraged, and active participation in the scientific and functional life of the observatory. These other activities would depend on the applicant’s strengths, interests and background and may include observing support, instrumentation and/or software development, lecturing, or science engagement. All astronomers need to be based in Cape Town but will travel to Sutherland if and when required.

  • PhD in Astronomy or related field;
  • Four or more years of post-doctoral experience in astronomy; and
  • Proven ability to carry out independent astronomical research.
Desirable Work Experience
  • Experience and/or strong interest in student supervision;
  • Strong track record of publications and/or contributions to infrared astronomy instrumentation projects;
  • Experience developing data reduction pipelines for near-infrared astronomy;
  • Background in science engagement activities; and
  • Experience in techniques dealing with spatially and spectrally resolved near-infrared data.
Additional Notes

The applicant should have the following abilities:

  • Demonstrate leadership qualities in a scientific and/or academic environment; and
  • Effectively work across the boundaries of science and engineering.
How to Apply

Applicants should apply through the NRF recruitment portal here before 3 February 2023. For further information, please contact Prof. Vanessa McBride []

This position will be filled in line with the NRF’s Employment Equity Policy and Plan in the South African context of the  Employment Equity  Act.

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