- Assistant Professor, the Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) -

December 16, 2016

Assistant Professor, the Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

1. Job Title: Assistant Professor
2. Division and Location: Subaru Telescope
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
650 North A'ohoku Place
Hilo, HI 96720, U.S.A.
3. Area of Expertise: Astronomy and/or related fields
4. Job Description:

Subaru Telescope, NAOJ operates the Subaru Telescope, an optical-infrared telescope at the 4,200 m (13,460 ft.) summit of Maunakea on the island of Hawaii, for open use observations. Subaru Telescope operates the facility adaptive optics system AO188 with Laser Guide Star (LGS) system, and also carry out observational research on exoplanets using SCExAO (Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme-AO), an instrument for high-contrast imaging. In addition, Subaru Telescope is active in the research and development for its future instrumentation, in particular the system of next generation adaptive optics system using a deformable secondary mirror. We are seeking an assistant professor who will play a central role in a) maintenance, scientific operation, and upgrade of existing instruments, in particular the current adaptive optics system (AO 188 + LGS); b) planning and developing a next generation adaptive optics system for Subaru Telescope. For more specific information on the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for the position are described here.


Term of Appointment: The starting date is ASAP after the offer and acceptance of the position, which could continue until NAOJ’s mandatory retirement age.  A review for continuation of the appointment will occur before the beginning of the sixth year, and the review may result in a request that you transfer to another position within NAOJ.

6. Minimum Educational Requirement: Ph.D. or its equivalent
7. Required Application Materials:
a) Curriculum vitae
b) List of publications
c) Summary of past research activities as they relate to astronomical research, research and development (R&D), and the operation of the telescope and its instrumentation
d) Plan that includes not only an individual research plan but also addresses your perspective on your leadership role in maintenance and upgrade of instruments as well as development of future instruments
e) Two (2) reference letters
f) Your e-mail address
8. Application Deadline: All materials must be received by no later than February 28, 2017, 17:00 (Japan Time)
9. Details of the Application Procedure
a) Send all materials by E-MAIL to: (replace _AT_ with @)
b) Format of materials
  1. Convert each application document to a PDF file and attach each to your e-mail. Do not make a single file that includes all of the documents; and, do not use a compressed or zipped file.
  2. Pay attention to the size of your PDF files. Each file should be less than 10 MB.
c) Reference letters should be sent directly from the referees to the e-mail address shown above before the deadline.
d) Address questions about the position and/or application to:
Professor Nobuo Arimoto, Director, Subaru Telescope (NAOJ)
650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, U.S.A. (replace _AT_ with @)
10. Processing of Application
a) You will receive an acknowledgement of your submitted application. If you do not receive this within a couple of days, please send an e-mail to: (replace _AT_ with @)
b) The NAOJ Board of Operations will make the final decision for the appointment. NAOJ complies with Japanese Equal Opportunity Employment Law and strives for the realization of a society with equal participation by both men and women.

Duties, Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Benefits

1. Summary of Duties and Responsibilities: This position of the Assistant Professor with the Subaru Telescope, NAOJ is based in Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.A. The Subaru Telescope has been carrying out high spatial and contrast observations using the adaptive optics technique. At the same time, the Subaru Telescope aims to develop a ground-layer adaptive optics system with a deformable secondary mirror and wide-field near-infrared instruments (ULTIMATE-Subaru project). Primary duties and responsibilities of the incumbent is 1) not only to maintain and operate, but also to upgrade the current adaptive optics system (AO 188 + LGS); 2) to plan and develop a next generation adaptive optics system using deformable secondary mirror for Subaru Telescope. Details are summarized as follows:

  • In order for the Subaru Telescope to continue to produce high-level scientific results, plays central roles in maintenance, scientific operations, and upgrades of instruments at the Subaru Telescope, in particular the facility adaptive optics system (AO 188 + LGS).
  • In order to maintain high-level of scientific competitiveness of the Subaru Telescope, develop and materialize a next generation adaptive optics system for Subaru Telescope in cooperation with scientists and engineers/technicians at Subaru Telescope as well as collaborators in Japan and overseas institutions.
  • In cooperation with other observatories at Maunakea, formulates and promotes joint development of instruments and sharing various resources.

In addition to the duties and responsibilities, the incumbent supports the daily operation of the telescope system and also is expected to be active in his/her own research and development activities. Note that the duties and responsibilities mentioned above could be reconsidered about 5 years later, depending on needs at the Subaru Telescope as well as his/her capability.

2. Qualifications: Demonstrable experiences and knowledge in the field of development, commissioning, and/or operation of astronomical instruments are required. Abilities to supervise a group of approximately ten (10) people are also required. In addition, experiences in systems engineering and creating specifications are desirable. Previous experiences related to the adaptive optics are not required. Abilities to interact and communicate effectively with engineering as well as scientific staffs hired locally as well as those sent from Japan. Leadership skills in multi-cultural work environment.

3. Benefits: Salary is dependent upon experience and qualifications. Benefits, including relocation cost support, are determined by the NINS and NAOJ rules.

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