University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


GAIA Software Developer (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 March 2021 in the first instance.

The Institute of Astronomy (West Cambridge) seeks one or more Software Developers to work as members of the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium for the European Space Agency's Gaia project ( and for the UK involvement in Gaia). The local Gaia team is composed of about fifteen scientists and IT professionals.

The purpose of the post is to contribute to the development and maintenance of the Cambridge Data Processing Centre infrastructure software including, but not limited to: system validation, data management, automation, processing job submission and execution. The work involves all phases of the development cycle, including systems analysis, design of robust and efficient solutions, coding, testing, documentation and support of existing code. The successful candidate will become a member of the small software infrastructure group within the Cambridge team.

The Data Processing Centre is one of six across Europe that carry out the on-ground processing of data received from the Gaia satellite. It uses cluster-based processing to analyse and process the large data volumes generated by the satellite and contributes directly to the published Gaia Data Releases.

The post-holder will have a relevant degree (computer science, maths or a physical science with significant computing content). Experience of software development, system-building and continuous integration with Maven is essential together with familiarity with SVN, Git or other version control systems. They should posses a thorough understanding of object-oriented programming and design principles. Previous experience with software development in large scientific projects would be an advantage, as would experience of working within internationally distributed projects.

The post is available as soon as possible and the initial appointment is to 31st March 2021, with the possibility of further extension subject to the availability of additional funding.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please submit your application by midnight of the closing date of Friday, 30th August 2019. If you have any queries about your application please contact Ms Joy McSharry (jpm(at) Further information is available from Dr Francesca de Angeli (fda(at)

Please quote reference LG19769 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online