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Job Title:
Astrophysicist, IS-1330, Grade 12; $93,175 - $121,128 annually
Type of Position:
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

This is the position of Astrophysicist in the High Energy Astrophysics Division with the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.  The employee will work within the Chandra Director's Office (CDO) in support of all aspects of CDO activities, and will also conduct research in the field of X-ray astronomy.

Note: This position is open to all qualified candidates. First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date. Selection will be made at the grade 12 level. The selectee may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher level up to the grade 13 upon the recommendation of the supervisor based on classification requirements, satisfactory performance, qualifications of the employee and recommendation of the Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee ( PAEC).


  1.  Participate in the technical review of proposal parameters, which are submitted by the scientific community throughout the world and used at the Peer Review to evaluate the feasibility and resource allocation with the CXC Director, Peer Review Lead and CXC Staff. This includes ensuring proposal parameters accurately reflect the proposers’ observing criteria.    
  2. Participate in the technical review of identifying Symposia science themes, recruiting the Science Organizing Committee and publicizing the Symposium to the science community (via a website, social media, bulletins etc.) with the Workshop Lead, CXC Director and other CXC Staff.  This includes Serving on the Local Organizing Committee (LOR) and interfacing with administrative staff. 
  3. Participate in the technical review to develop and test software for the Call for Proposals and Peer Review with the CXC Science and Programming Staff.  This includes Interfacing with representatives from other facilities to enable joint observing proposals and Organizing panels for the Chandra Peer Review and attending the Peer Review.
  4. Work with the Archive Group to compile and analyze Chandra statistics including publications, citations, and other metrics pertaining to Chandra productivity. Prepare reports      for the CXC Director.  Perform other related duties as assigned by the CXC Director.
  1. Formulate and conduct independent research in x-ray astronomy using both numerical and observational data from space and ground-based observations and archival observations. Develop hypotheses, determine the most fruitful investigations, formulate research plans and observations, and analyze and interpret data.
  1. Prepare papers, presenting research results for publication in scientific journals and presentations at conferences. Participate in meetings and conferences to discuss current research with other scientists and project personnel. Participate in other scholarly activities.


Basic Requirements: A)Degree in one of a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science or electronics, including course work in differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy or physics; OR

B)A combination of education and experience equivalent to A above including 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.

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 of specialized experience equivalent to at least grade 11 in the normal line of progression for this occupation, which should demonstrate: experience working in an observatory setting or equivalent scientific facility, including participating in peer review panels and writing/editing technical documents; organizing science symposia and knowledge of publication/citation metrics; testing and documenting science software and working in teams involving scientists and software staff.  The candidate has the ability to formulate and conduct independent research program(s) and has knowledge of the application of computer and analytic techniques to the solution of scientific problems.


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

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at 

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 .

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