The Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA), established in 2015, is a partnership of three South African universities: the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape with the aims to build capacity and expertise in data intensive astronomy in the partner institutions and to provide systems and solutions for converting data to knowledge in the big data era of MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The University of Cape Town is seeking to appoint a new Director for IDIA to continue and build on the exciting work done to date.

IDIA developed and operates the ilifu Data Intensive Research Cloud ( hosted at the University of Cape Town. In collaboration with the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, ilifu provides a dynamic platform for the South African research community for processing and analysis of MeerKAT programs and other SKA pathfinder projects, as well as supporting some major bioinformatics projects. Ilifu is the first research cloud facility of its kind in South Africa and is currently used by more than 500 South African and international researchers in astronomy and bioinformatics. Most of the processing and analysis of MeerKAT data is performed on the ilifu cloud. IDIA also provides leadership in the development of the CARTA visual analytics tool (

IDIA teams work with national and international stakeholders on technologies and systems relevant to the emerging network of SKA Regional Centres, including cloud platforms for processing and analysis, visualization of big astronomy data in the cloud, and cloud federation with the European Open Science Cloud and with facilities of the South African National Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure System.

The Director of IDIA reports to the Dean of Science while also being a member of the Department of Astronomy. The Director is the line manager for a team of around 15 developers and research officers and works closely with two Associate Directors(Technology Development and Outreach) to determine the strategic directions for IDIA, with input from a Management Committee composed of representatives from the partner institutions.

The University of Cape Town, with the IDIA partner universities, will appoint a Director for an initial five year term, starting in 2024. The appointment is at the full Professor level. We seek a senior astronomer with a strong research program in data intensive astronomy and demonstrated collaborative leadership and administrative skills.

Details of the full advertisement and how to apply can be found here: