The Astrophysics Data System Logo astrophysics data system


Who we are

The NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is the primary digital library portal for researchers in astronomy and astrophysics; it is also used extensively by the physics and geophysics communities. The ADS corpus consists of over 13 million documents and is growing at a rate of several thousand per week. Every astronomy paper ever published and nearly every physics and geophysics article refereed in the past 20 years is fully indexed by the ADS. Over 50,000 scientists and librarians use the ADS daily.

The ADS project develops and maintains services to facilitate the discovery and access of the scholarly literature published in the relevant fields of research. The project embraces the spirit of openness long championed by NASA and the astronomy community in general: all the software we are developing is licensed under an open source license model and access to our data holdings is provided via an open API.

Who we are looking for

The ADS project has two openings to join its dynamic team of eight software developers and three curators. The ADS has built a highly scalable and feature-rich platform using a modern development stack: a custom build of the open-source search engine Solr, a highly responsive UI engineered on top of React, a high performance distributed brokerage system, and cloud-based hosted services with Kubernetes in Amazon Web Services. The developers will be part of a small, agile team of talented, like-minded individuals who are solving difficult problems as a group.

We’re looking for:

  • a highly-motivated DevOps engineer experienced in administering key components of software infrastructure, including search engines, relational databases, and cloud-based microservices. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing ADS’s cloud-based computing infrastructure and system operations, ensuring the security, stability and scalability of the ADS services and its data; working with team members to ensure software modules are production-ready, including managing their deployment and monitoring; collecting metrics about system operations and service usage to support system monitoring, usage tracking and reporting; and collaborating with other team members and stakeholders in the design and development of new capabilities and the maintenance of existing functionality. (apply here)
  • a UX-aware front-end developer interested in designing and implementing key components of the user interface, including user profiles, notifications, and search capabilities. The successful candidate will be responsible for designing visually appealing, intuitive, and accessible user interfaces that help to make our set of complex APIs simple to interact with and understand; developing and maintaining user stories, wireframes, specifications and other design tools/documentation; communicating with users to understand their needs and use that knowledge to drive the design process; and collaborating with senior developers to help implement components of the ADS user interface as a web application. (apply here)

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Depending on the candidate’s experience and education, we can hire at a variety of seniority levels, which explains the wide salary range advertised in the job postings.
  • We are very accommodating with flex time and part-time telecommuting, but these positions require the employees to be based in Cambridge, MA.
  • Candidates can qualify for the positions based on either education, experience, or a mixture of both. If you don’t have the academic credentials but have relevant on the job experience, you should apply.
  • Both US citizens and foreign nationals are welcome to apply. Our institution is able to sponsor the appropriate work VISA if one is required.

What we offer

The ADS project is funded by NASA through a cooperative agreement and provides its services to the entire worldwide research community in astronomy and physics. We are hosted by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), one the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world. Here, scientists carry out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, and earth and space sciences. By joining our group, you will be actively supporting the discovery and dissemination of scientific results to the worldwide research community!

Some of the perks of the jobs include:

  • Work with a creative, multitalented team in a first-class academic environment
  • Generous benefits, flexible work hours, and (local) telecommuting options
  • Access to the astronomical community and events at the CfA and Harvard University
  • Engage with users at community meetings and present your work at scientific conferences in astronomy and information science

For more information, please see: