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Research Associate - Plaskett Fellowship

Priority will be given to the following designated employment equity groups: Women, Indigenous peoples* (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), persons with disabilities and racialized persons*.
* The Employment Equity Act, which is under review, uses the terminology Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities.

City: Victoria 

Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics 

Classification: RO 

Tenure: Term 

Duration: Three (3) years 

Language Requirements: English 

The NRC Advantage

Great Minds. One Goal. Canada's Success.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At the NRC, we know that diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, a safe and respectful work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system.  We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to complete the employment equity self-declaration questions during the job application process.

Please let us know of any accommodation measures required to help you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Please note that the information you provide will be treated confidentially. 

Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada's largest research and technology organization.


We are looking for a postdoctoral Research Associate to work within one or more of the multiple areas of astronomy research within the NRC's Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (NRC-HAA). The chosen candidate would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.


The successful candidate will be an outstanding recent doctoral graduate in astrophysics or another closely related discipline who is highly motivated to engage in scientific projects at the NRC's Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (NRC-HAA). Plaskett Fellows undertake leading-edge research activities in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The successful candidate will:


  • Conduct original research independently and in collaboration with NRC-HAA staff members.
  • Contribute to the scientific exploitation of NRC-HAA resources, particularly, but not limited to, the expertise of scientific and technical staff, and the astronomical facilities and infrastructure administered by NRC-HAA, such as ALMA, CFHT, the Gemini Observatory, the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) home to the Canadian Virtual Observatory, the CANFAR cloud computing network, and the instrumentation labs.
  • Engage with the astronomical community to advance NRC-HAA’s mandate to provide astronomical facilities and services to Canadian researchers. NRC-HAA is a leading developer of instrumentation for current and future ground- and space-based telescopes (e.g., ALMA, CFHT, Gemini, JWST, CASTOR, MSE, SKA, and TMT).
  • Share with other postdoctoral research associates the organization of the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics weekly seminars, which run from September to April.


For background information, please visit the Plaskett Fellowship Program’s website.


Information on the staff and their research interests is available at the Herzberg Astrophysics’ website.

Screening Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


Applicants must have received their Ph.D. no more than 5 years before assuming the Fellowship.


Doctoral candidates who will complete all requirements for their Ph.D. within 6 months of assuming the Fellowship may also be considered.


**Exception may be considered to recognise maternity/parental leave.


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency


  • Experience in publishing international calibre astronomical research papers in the refereed scientific literature.
  • Five years or less experience in astronomical or astrophysical research beyond the PhD.
  • Experience in obtaining, reducing, analyzing, and/or aiding in the interpretation of astronomical data from ground- and/or space-based observatories or from astronomical data archives.

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

Assessment Criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies

  • Ability to conceive, organize, conduct, and publish independent astrophysical research of international calibre.
  • Expert knowledge of astronomy/astrophysics in one or more areas of forefront research.
  • Expert ability to contribute to the planning and execution of astronomical observations using ground-and/or space-based telescopes.
  • Advanced knowledge of the exploitation of astronomical data, including proven ability to analyze and/or enable the interpretation of such data, or to contribute to the development of reduction techniques and software.
  • Advanced knowledge of sophisticated physical and/or statistical interpretation or modelling of complex astronomical data sets.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Research - Communication (Level 2)
  • Research - Creative thinking (Level 3)
  • Research - Results orientation (Level 3)

Competency Profile(s)

For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profile(s): Research.


View all competency profiles


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.


The intent of this hiring action is to staff through the Research Associate (RA) Program at the AsRO level, which is an early-career level position with a salary range of $74,230 to $103,093.


NOTE: Salary determination will be based on a review of the candidate’s expertise, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience relative to the requirements of the level.  As a guide, the current annual PhD recruiting rate is $74,230.


NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of competitive benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.

Application Requirements

In order to be considered for the program please include the following in your application, please note that you will need to attach the required documents as per the list below when submitting your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.


  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Cover Letter
  • List of Publications
  • Research proposal no longer than 3 pages. The proposal should highlight areas that are relevant to one or more of the facilities and/or groups at the Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Centre.
  • Two letters of reference*


*Applicants will arrange for two letters of reference to be directed to with the following in the subject line:
17630_[Applicant Last Name] [Applicant First Name]


  • Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
  • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
  • We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (17630) to:


Telephone: 613-299-4697 

Closing Date: 30 November 2022 - 23:59 Eastern Time



For more information on career tools and other resources, check out Career tools and resources


*If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.


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