This is the position of Information Technology Specialist in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and is for the purpose of providing computing support to the Chandra X-ray Center's (CXC) Science Support Division during all phases of the program
This position is open to all qualified candidates. Selection will be made at the grade 7 or grade 9 level. This is a career ladder opportunity with promotion potential to grade 9. If selected at the grade 7 level the selected candidate may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher grade level, up to grade 9, upon the recommendation of the supervisor based on classification requirements, satisfactory performance and qualifications of the employee.
First consideration maybe made 14 days after the opening date
The Science Support Division operates as an integral part of the CXC, interacting with Systems Engineering and Integration and Data Systems staff as well as with many external Chandra elements, including the scientific community.
- Computer related (programing): . In collaboration with other staff scientists, develop, analyze, and express numerical algorithms as software which will be used for activities such as proposal planning and x-ray data reduction. Design, code, test, and debug data analysis and other software. Generate and maintain software documentation.
- Models and data related Analyze data and draw conclusions regarding the quality, selection, reliability, and content of the data. In concert with scientific staff, acquire data. Organize and summarize results in reports for the scientific staff and outside community to utilize their research. Develop, test, and modify new and existing computer code, as necessary, to accomplish these data analysis activities.
- Working with users (GO, GTO, IPI, FOT): 25-35%. Provide technical assistance to other division IT specialists, staff, and assist members of other institutions. Provide support to observers for accessing and analyzing observations, and/or on-site support to peer review panels. Responsible for designing, developing, maintaining, and enhancing relevant Web sites. Update and maintain documentation on proposal submission, observing techniques, data analysis, and the archive. Verify and test all generated software and maintain code as part of an overall system; participate in the integration of software modules into the software component to produce and maintain program libraries as necessary.
- Data related (analysis, models): 15-25%. Evaluate system performance, including modeling results of data processing via manual calculations and/or secondary software. When errors occur in the programs or data, determine cause and take corrective action in consultation with scientific staff.
- Other duties as assigned.
In addition to the duties above, duties at the grade 9 may include but are not limited to:
- Data related (analysis, models): Maintain databases for activities such as archiving software and data products. Ensure that incoming data from the instrument and operations teams are archived in a timely fashion. Develop and organize a database of data reduction results for use by scientific staff. Write software code to access and correct the databases. Trace errors if anomalous situations arise and make any necessary modifications to the databases.
For all positions, individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.
Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
Candidates for grade 7 must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 5 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 demonstrated working knowledge of the Linux or UNIX operating systems; working knowledge of web standards and technologies; knowledge of Web tools; knowledge of relational database systems and experience in their administration.
Candidates for grade 9 must possess minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 7 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 demonstrated working knowledge of JAVA, C, C++ or Fortran programming languages; knowledge of the Python programming language; working knowledge of web standards and technologies; knowledge of code versioning tools.
All academic degrees and coursework must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions. Undergraduate or Graduate Education: Degree in computer science, engineering, information science, information systems management, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or technology management or degree that provided a minimum of 24 semester hours in one or more of the fields identified above and required the development or adaptation of applications, systems or networks.
Grade 7: 1 full year of graduate level education or superior academic achievement
Grade 9: master's degree or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.
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The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace