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Job Title:
Astrophysicist, IS-1330, Grade 12; $86,283 to $112,172 annually
Type of Position:
Permanent - Indefinite Trust Fund Appointment
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

Open to all current Smithsonian Institution employees in the local commuting area


The purpose of this position is to conduct scientific research on corona holes and solar eruptions, as well as to develop and maintain data products for SSXG missions


Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Develop and interpret data reduction and analysis of observations from satellite and ground-based experiments in the context of existing theories and models of corona dynamics.
  2. Work with scientists to prepare collaborative observing programs involving AIA and solar experiments such as SOHO, STEREO, Hinode or ground based. Assist in the preparation of proposals for new instrumentation and analysis of existing data sets.
  3. Contribute to the long-term calibration of instrumentation projects such as the Hinode XRT and AIA programs.
  4. Prepare and submit proposals for studies using various space- and ground-based facilities and for interpreting data from them.
  5. Design, develop, and verify software systems for general data analysis. This includes defining the necessary programs and subroutines, coding and debugging them, and applying them to the analysis of scientific data.
  6. Formulate and carry out independent scientific research involving a program of observational studies. Prepare observing programs that will address specific scientific problems; reduce and analyze the resulting data; interpret the results in the context of existing theories and models of corona dynamics.
  7. Prepare papers for scientific publication and present scientific results at meetings and conferences. Attend meetings and conferences to exchange data and ideas with other scientists.
  8. Perform other related duties as requested.


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 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


B. A  minimum of one year specialized experience equivalent to at least grade 11 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 experience with mission-lifetime scale data sets and NLFFF modeling.  

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

Conditions of Employment

You must be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.


Have an approved Reasonable Accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accommodations below.  

Additional Vacancy Language Regarding COVID-19

The Smithsonian Institution has a mandate requiring all employees (federal and trust), affiliated staff (including volunteers, interns, and fellows), and the contractors who work with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., onsite, telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the Smithsonian Institution, if after November 22. The Smithsonian Institution will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required exemption from this requirement. This requirement applies to employees, affiliated staff, contractors who are working on-site, and those teleworking in whole or in part. Limited exemptions to the Smithsonian Institution’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be considered on a case-by-case basis for selected candidates who inform the Smithsonian that they cannot be vaccinated because of a disability, including certain medical conditions the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers contraindications to the vaccine, or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Additional information and instructions regarding Smithsonian’s COVID-19 mandate will be provided at the time of selection.


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

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