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Research Officer (Astronomer) - Canadian Gemini Office

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: Continuing 

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 an early career Research Officer (Astronomer) in a continuing position at NRC’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Research Officer (Astronomer) would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.


The position will be within the Canadian Gemini Office (CGO), located at its Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) campus just outside of Victoria, BC, Canada.  The CGO provides support to the Canadian community in their use of the 8-m twin Gemini North and South telescopes, located in Hawai’i and Chile, respectively.  Salary will be commensurate with the successful applicant’s qualifications and experience.  The position is expected to start no later than 01 December 2022.


As part of the CGO, the successful applicant will conduct original research, preferably but not exclusively with the Gemini Observatory.  HAA has recently identified three key areas in which it would like to expand its expertise, The Dark Universe (Dark Matter and Energy); Extreme Objects, Time-Domain, and Multi-Messenger Astronomy; and Exoplanets.   Preference will be given to applicants whose astrophysics research overlaps with these particular areas.  


Support duties within the CGO may include: keeping the community informed of the capabilities and opportunities with Gemini, technical advice to proposers and technical evaluation of proposals, support for the creation of Phase 2 detailed observing programs; providing support to Gemini users for data reduction of optical imaging and spectroscopy data; responding to Helpdesk requests; providing scientific and technical expertise to our stakeholders (the Canadian astronomical community and the Gemini partnership) through participation in the CGO duties and representing the CGO at the international level;  regular visits for observing at either Gemini Telescope and learning about new instrumentation and techniques; and preparation of material for outreach and public talks.  The successful applicant will be a member of HAA’s scientific staff and hence will be encouraged to provide scientific guidance to the capabilities of all of Canada’s current or future observatories.

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:


PhD in astronomy/physics or related field.


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


  • A minimum of two years of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Extensive observing experience using large optical telescopes.
  • Experience in reducing and analysing optical data from major optical telescopes, including multi-object spectroscopy and IFUs.
  • A clear record of impactful astronomical research papers in the refereed scientific literature.
  • Experience in providing user support to observational astronomers.
  • Experience in high-resolution optical spectroscopy would be considered an asset.

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status


All employees of the National Research Council are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Assessment Criteria

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

Technical Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge of current observational techniques in optical astronomy, and of associated data reduction techniques and interpretation of such data, including for multi-object spectroscopy and IFUs.
  • Strong abilities in providing user support to observational astronomers on a major optical observatory in person, videoconferencing, emails and/or Helpdesk.
  • The ability to conceive, conduct, and publish independent astrophysical research of international caliber.
  • Clear oral and written communication skills.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Research - Communication (Level 2)
  • Research - Creative thinking (Level 2)
  • Research - Initiative (Level 2)
  • Research - Networking (Level 2)
  • Research - Results orientation (Level 2)
  • Research - Teamwork (Level 2)
  • NRC-Wide - Valuing people (Level 1)

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 this position at the Associate Research Officer (AcRO) level, which is an early career level position with a salary range of $105,785 to $123,393


NOTE: Please note that the full RO salary scale has five levels. 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 such, the initial salary could be within another level of the RO salary scale (i.e. above or below the intended level for this position).


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

How to apply

Please 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.


  • Cover letter.
  • CV + List of publications.
  • Description of past research accomplishments (max. five pages in length, excluding references).
  • Description of current and future research goals (max. five pages in length, excluding references).
  • Names of three (3) individuals familiar with your work who can be contacted for reference letters.


  • On October 6, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a mandatory vaccination policy across the federal public service. The Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the National Research Council requires you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that you attest to your vaccination status prior to the date of your appointment unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act. You can find more specific information on the collection and use of your personal information when you submit your attestation.
  • ​A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
  • 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 (14301) to:


Telephone: 613-949-7685 

Closing Date: 30 June 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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