HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 18-79
Opening date: September 12, 2018
Closing date:October 31, 2018

TITLE: IT Specialist (DATAMGT), GS-2210, Grade 11; $67,643.00 to $87,940.00/yr
TYPE OF POSITION: Career/Career-Conditional
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals. Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities may apply to Job Announcement #18-80.


1. Applies expertise in the field of computer science to address and resolve problems in the design and implementation of high-performance workstations and computer clusters for the conduct of scientific research. Optimizes hardware and software for state-of-the-art performance on such systems.

2. Analyzes and evaluates the operating capabilities of computer hardware in the selection process or for purposes of upgrading existing equipment. Installs and customizes, as necessary, new or upgraded operating systems and utility software on new and existing.

3. Investigates, explores, and tests operating system changes and releases, ensuring compatibility with existing.

4. Installs, configures, and maintains software packages such as AIPS, IDL, and CASA for the reduction and analysis of interferometric data from the SMA, ALMA, and VLBI networks. Optimizes the operation of such software on the Smithsonian’s high-performance computing cluster.

5. Analyzes projected program requirements. Investigates software systems capability, hardware configuration and data communication requirements and determines the feasibility of proposed future computing solutions to anticipated needs.

6. Interacts and negotiates with vendors, as required, to acquire equipment and services and to evaluate vendor products for suitability. Participates in identifying computational needs and ensuring that they are met through appropriate hardware/software policies and procedures.

7. Maintains users accounts, monitors and maintains adequate disk space on all RTDC and R&G workstations, monitors and maintains automatic data transfers from the SMA site in Hawaii, and assists users and the Computation Facility at SAO with a wide variety computer hardware and software problems.


For all positions, individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.

Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

Along with the four competencies listed above you must possess at least one (1) year of specialized experience described below to qualify based on experience.

Candidates for grade 11 must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 9 in the normal line of progression for this occupation. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Experience may include, but is not limited to, providing software and/or hardware technical support to users in technical or scientific research setting; high-level responsibility for maintenance of networked servers hosting remote users.

Substitution of Education for Experience:

GS-11: Successful completion of a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 full years of progressively higher- level graduate education leading to such a degree in an accredited college or university, may be substituted for experience at the GS-11 grade level. Such education must demonstrate the skills needed to do the work. For this position a degree in computer science, engineering, information science, information systems management, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or technology management or a degree that provided a minimum of 24 semester hours in one or more of the fields identified above and required the development or adaptation of applications, systems or networks is qualifying. One year of full time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 54 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 3 years of full-time study requirement.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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