HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 20-09
Opening date: November 8, 2019
Closing date: December 15, 2019

TITLE: Astrophysicist, GS-1330, Grade 14; $116,240.00 to $151,115.00/yr
TYPE OF POSITION: Federal Career/Career-Conditional Appointment
DIVISION: - Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals (including Veterans recruitment) residing in the local commuting area. Excepted Service employees living in the local commuting area may also apply to this announcement.


This is the position of Astrophysicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division. The primary role for this scientist is formulate, conduct, and lead strong independent and original programs of astrophysical research.


-Formulate, conduct and lead strong independent and original programs of astrophysical research that align with the strategic interests of SAO, especially by microlensing techniques.

-Develop research plans and hypotheses and carry them through to completion by submitting proposals, analyzing data and interpreting results.Lead investigations in a specific area of astrophysical research, especially exoplanet science and microlensing observing. Initiate, plan, and carry out research in related areas of astrophysics.

-Prepare papers describing results, techniques, and interpretations for publication in scientific or technical journals, and presentation at scientific or technical meetings and conferences, and within the CfA. In addition, the incumbent will maintain a high profile in the scientific community.

-Propose for extramural contract and grant support, including self-supporting fellowship funding, for research in astronomy, astrophysics, or related fields in the physical sciences as collaborator on a scientific team or as PI.

-As a recognized leader in the field of astrophysics, collaborates and consults both nationally and internationally with other scientists concerning ongoing research programs in the scientific community. The incumbent takes part in research planning activities on the national level, including participation in advisory committees, scientific workshops, conferences, etc. In addition, the incumbent serves as a consultant to other agencies, institutions, and to other specialists in the field.


In addition to the education requirements, applicants must possess a minimum of one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 13 level in the normal line of progress for this occupation. Specialized experience would include activities such as publication of independent and original programs of astrophysical research based on astronomical microlensing observations, especially microlensing studies of exoplanets from ground- and space-based telescopes, and leadership in national and international initiatives to develop the next generation of telescopes that will be used to increase microlensing observing capabilities with external agencies such as NSF or NASA.

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.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.


1. 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.


2. 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 , plus appropriate experience or additional education.

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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