HR: Employment Opportunities
 
 Job posting 19-14
Opening date: February 8, 2019
Closing date:March 7, 2019

TITLE: Astrophysicist, IS-1330 Grade 7 $45,707 to $72,683 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund, Indefinite
DIVISION: - SSP High Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All qualified candidates
First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.

This is the position of Astrophysicist (Research Assistant) in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of the position is to support scientific research in the area of solar physics, specifically in obtaining and analyzing data.

DUTIES:

Duties at Grade 7:

1. Participate in the conduct of research in the field of solar physics relating to software, instrument and detector testing, fabrication, development, and calibration. This includes the setting up of data-taking experiments, acquiring data, and evaluation of this data.

2. Assist the scientific staff in the conceptual definition of solar observing programs through research, including literature searches, and discussions with senior colleagues.

3. Participate in the XRT, AIA and IRIS investigations, analyzing quick-look data and evaluating observed sequences. Analyze sets of observations. This includes data reduction, statistical analysis, plotting, logging, archiving, evaluation, and reporting of results.

4. Analyze observational data from solar projects. This includes coordinated observations with satellites and ground-based telescopes, calibration data sets, aligning images, comparing the data with different theoretical models, defining the necessary algorithms or computer programs, performing manual calculations or coding, and debugging computer programs.

5. Assist in the development of written procedures and standards for analyzing data sets.

6. Assist in publishing papers and/or present talks or posters at professional meetings on the results of experimental research..

Grade 9: In addition to the duties above, duties at grade 09 may include but are not limited to:

1. Science related (astronomy, physics of models, algorithms). Analyze data and draw conclusions regarding the quality, selection, reliability, and scientific content of the data. Assist scientific staff in activities such as running experiments and acquiring data. Organize and summarize results in reports for the scientific staff to utilize in their research. Develop, test, and modify new and existing computer code, as necessary, to accomplish these data analysis activities.

2. Computer related (programming). Develop and analyze numerical algorithms on which data analysis software will be based in collaboration with staff scientists. Write and modify prototype analysis software code for analyzing data. Design, code, test, and debug software. Generate and maintain software documentation.

3. Data related (analysis, models). Write computer programs for modeling by converting algorithms to computer programs and testing algorithms by running and debugging these programs. When errors occur in the programs or data, determine cause and take corrective action in consultation with scientific staff.

4. Instrument observations. Design and prepare observation plans for scientific instruments in the groupís programs. Communicate with instrument team about ongoing observation plans and policies. Coordinate joint observations with other instruments and observatories. Evaluate data against observations plans and scientific objectives. Provide support to other people working with the groupís instruments. Assist with instrument calibration and engineering operations.

5. Scholarly activities. Provide technical assistance to other division staff such as scientists and IT Specialists, and assist members of other institutions as appropriate. Assist in publishing papers and/or present talks or posters at professional meetings on the results of experimental research.

QUALIFICATIONS:

All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements: A. Degree in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, or space science. The course work must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics. OR B. Combination of education and experience - at least 30 semester hours of courses equivalent to a major in any combination of astronomy, space science, physics, and mathematics with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Education

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown below: Grade 7: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 5 level in the normal line of progression for the occupation. Experience at this level normally would have included participating in conducting research in the field of solar physics relating to software, instrument and detector testing, fabrication, development and calibration; analyzing observational data from solar projects. OR Completion of one-year of graduate level education OR Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) when it provided the applicant with the criteria necessary to do the work of the position. For SAA requirements, please go to OPM website: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp Grade 9: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 7 level in the normal line of progression for the occupation. Experience at this level normally would have included analyzing data and drawing conclusions regarding the quality, selection, reliability, and scientific content of the data; developing, testing and modify new and existing computer codes; designing, coding, testing and debugging software; writing computer programs by converting algorithms to computer programs. OR 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit: USAJOBS

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