HR: Employment Opportunities
 
 Job posting 20-69
Opening date: December 28, 2020
Closing date: March 26, 2021

TITLE Astrophysicist, IS-1330, Grades 12 - 13; $85,428 to $132,064 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-Federal)Indefinite
DIVISION: - HEA High Energy Astrophysics Division
LOCATION: 2 vacancies in Cambridge, MA

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates. Eligibility and subsequent appointment is dependent upon the candidate's ability to obtain required export license approval. First selection may be made 14 days after the opening date

Selection for this position will be made at either the grade 12 or 13. If selection is made at the grade 12 level the selectee may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher level up to the grade 13 upon recommendation of the Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee ( PAEC)

Responsibilities:

This is the position of Astrophysicist in the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of the position is to contribute to the work of the Science Mission Planning group in the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), working with CXC staff and NASA to maximize scientific accomplishments of the mission; the primary responsibilities will be in mission planning and scheduling activities. The employee will be expected to carry out scientific research in the field of X-ray astronomy.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

Assist with day-to-day activities of the Mission Planning Group by working on technical issues pertaining to long-term and short-term schedules, representing Mission Planning in technical meetings, supporting technical review of Chandra proposals and observing plans, and working with group members to develop solutions.

Assist with long-term and unanticipated activities of the Mission Planning Group. Carry out specific investigations of science planning activities and procedures, including solutions to unanticipated spacecraft or instrument events. Conduct the analysis for these studies, developing computer algorithms as necessary and supervise their implementation, testing, and documentation. Interpret the results of these investigations, doing theoretical calculations when appropriate. Work actively to exchange ideas with other groups and institutions involved in similar activities. Participate in the process of hiring new team members, as needed.

Prepare long - and short-term schedules, review load products, and interact with observers and CXC staff to ensure the scientific goals of proposed observations are achieved. Interface closely with the CXC Flight Operations Team (FOT) to ensure timely scheduling of approved Chandra observations.

Determine relevant and fruitful areas for research, and conceive, propose, and carry out observational and data analysis efforts directed towards a wide range of astrophysical systems utilizing X-ray and other ground- and space-based facilities. Formulate plans and hypotheses in areas which are new and unexplored, or which have presented critical obstacles in the past, and carry them through to completion. Prepare research grant proposals.

Communicate research results through preparation of papers for publication in scientific journals and/or conference proceedings. Give presentations at professional meetings. Maintain awareness of new problems and techniques through communication with other scientists.

Participate in overall astronomy programs of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), the High Energy Astrophysics Division, and in overall scientific programs at SAO. Interact with scientists at SAO and other institutions to coordinate activities such as scientific observations and analysis, software development, and overall planning in astronomy.

Referee papers submitted to scientific journals and participate on NASA peer review committees.

Perform other duties as required

Requirements:

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 12:

A. Ph.D. degree or equivalent doctoral degree

OR

B. A minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least grade 11 in the normal line of progression for this occupation, which should demonstrate: a thorough knowledge of physics/astrophysics; knowledge of current (preferably X-ray) astronomy experimental and data analysis techniques; knowledge of spacecraft and observatory instrumentation, scientific programming, modern methods of software generation, verification and documentation, and Unix-type operating systems; knowledge of the application of modern computing techniques to the solution of scientific problems; skill in developing proposals for astronomical observations; ability to present findings in a publishable format and to present materials at professional meetings; and the ability to function in a large, inter-organizational experimental group

OR

C. A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above

Grade 13:

A minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation, which should demonstrate: the ability to conceive of, and play a leadership role in carrying out, original astrophysical research projects; the ability to lead successful proposals for astronomical observations; a mastery of current (preferably X-ray) astronomy experimental and data analysis techniques; a mastery of spacecraft and observatory instrumentation, scientific programming, modern methods of software generation, verification and documentation, and Unix-type operating systems; ability to present findings in a publishable format and to present materials at professional meetings; the ability to serve on professional astronomy-related panels, such as time allocation review panels; and the ability to take a leadership role in a large, inter-organizational experimental group.

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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