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Job Title:
Astrophysicist, IS-1330, Grade 11; $ $77,738 - $101,055 per year
Type of Position:
Trust Fund Temporary - Not to Exceed Two Years with The Possibility of Extension for A Third Year
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:   This position is open to all qualified candidates.

Note: First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.


This is a position of Astrophysicist (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow) in the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division.  The purpose of this position is to work on observational and numerical investigations, as well as software development, related to the detection and characterization of small body populations in the solar system.


  1. Conduct a program of research and scholarship in the area of observations, data analysis, numerical modeling, and software development related to the detection and characterization of small body populations in the solar system.
  2. Formulate and conduct original programs of independent astronomical research, with an emphasis on small body populations in the solar system.
  3. Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research by, for example, preparing papers for publication in scientific journals and preparing and presenting findings at scientific meetings, as required.
  4. Support, as required, the development of proposals for research funding.
  5. Support observations or archival studies to collect data for different projects.
  6. Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, school, and institute.
  7. Perform other scientific duties identified by the Supervisor, such as:
  • Contribute to the ongoing searches for TNOs and other solar system bodies with DECam, JWST, Pan-STARRS, and other platforms.
  • Contribute to extending ephemeris-quality numerical tools such as ASSIST to the full n-body problem or to artificial satellites.
  • Contribute to the development and testing of algorithms for the Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).


Basic Requirements:

A. Degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. The coursework 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 such as n-body simulations or searches for solar system bodies.

C. 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 Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days after the closing date of announcement.

Additional information

For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and its impact on your application, click on Smithsonian Institution’s Frequently Asked Questions

Application Procedures:  We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply please visit USAJOBS at: USAJOBS

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