HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 20-27
Opening date: January 30, 2020
Closing date:April 30, 2020

TITLEAstrophysicist (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow:IS-1330 Grade 11 $71,274 to $92,655 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Temporary - Trust Fund Temporary - Not to Exceed 2 Years With The Possibility Of Extension For An Additional Year
DIVISION: - HEA High Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All qualified candidates First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date..

The position of Astrophysicist (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow) at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of this position is to train postdoctoral researchers to conceive, plan and conduct highly specialized research in the incumbent's area of expertise. The incumbent will be expected to perform scholarly research and participate in making contributions to the field of physical science


Duties may include, but are not limited to:

Conduct a program of research and scholarship in the area of high energy astrophysics under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigator

Assists in the development of software and procedures of the reduction, analysis and interpretation of data as needed; or assists in the development of analytical methods and/or software to model physical processes and conditions; or assists in the development of scientific instrumentation for the collection of data, as needed.

Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which engaged, for example prepare papers for publication in scientific journals, prepare and present findings at scientific meetings, as required.

Support, as required, the development of proposals for research funding.

Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, School and Institute.

Mentor and assist, as appropriate and as directed, the research graduate students in your area of research.


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.


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 the basic requirements, candidates for the grade 11 must also possess one of the following:

a) Master's or equivalent graduate degree; or

b) Minimum of one year specialized experience equivalent to at least 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 such as professional research experience in high energy astrophysics and/or astrophysics of galaxies or clusters of galaxies and/or astrophysics of supermassive black holes.

c) Combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above.

Important Note:Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.


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 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:

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

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

Visit our SAO website.


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