HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 19-76
Opening date: September 16, 2019
Closing date: January 23, 2020

TITLE Astrophysicist, IS-1330, Grade 13, $98,366 to $127,874 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite
DIVISION: - HEA High Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates. First selection may be made 14 days after the position is announced.


This is the position of Astrophysicist (Technical) in the Data Systems (DS) division of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), which is part of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The employee will undertake a significant role in the CXC, working with CXC science and IT specialist staff to maximize the scientific return of the data obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Duties: The employee reports to the Chandra X-ray Center Data System (CXCDS) manager, and provides scientific coordination of, and input to, the design, development, and integration of software to support the CXC's scientific fitting data analysis package and other scientific software supported by the group. The employee is expected to conduct a program of research in the area of x-ray astronomy and high energy astrophysics with Chandra and other observatories.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

Lead the design, development, testing and implementation of advanced data analysis algorithms to meet the science requirements. Interface with science staff at the highest project levels to obtain requirements specified by the science team. Stay current with community needs through meetings, reading literature, and researching options and communicating them to the group. Provide technical guidance to scientists and realizable technical solutions to their complex problems.

Evaluate advanced scientific and numerical algorithms taking into consideration the rapidly evolving technology and where the trends and future are in astronomical data analysis systems. Recommend new algorithms to the science team where appropriate. Manage algorithm scalability and efficiency in relation to the data and processing. Obtain necessary data to verify requirements and test software. Create simulated data for self and others when actual data is unavailable.

Design and implement software following the CXC software design standards, applicable vendor's literature, and established CXC practices; conduct software development at the subsystem and component levels by estimating schedules and working to them, and ensuring compliance with standards throughout the process. Ensure HEASARC FITS standards and IVOA standards are followed and adhered to when appropriate.

Conceive and conduct a program of independent observational or theoretical research with x-ray satellite observations and with other space and ground-based facilities. Identify and define areas of study and determine what appear to be the most fruitful investigations and approaches to the area of study. Formulate hypotheses, develop a research plan and perform the research, and prepare reports of the findings for presentation at astrophysical meetings or publication in astrophysical journals.

Participate in meetings and conferences to discuss current research, projects, and development with other scientists and project personnel.


Basic Requirements:

A. Degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. 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, mathematics, and electronics, with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional 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 13:

A minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation. The experience includes activities such as software development for astronomy applications for self and others.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We are only accepting online applications for this position. 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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