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Job Title:
Senior Astrophysicist, SL-1330, Grade 00; $135,468 - $203,700 per year
Type of Position:
Federal- Career/Career Conditional
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:   This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals.


As a Senior Astrophysicist in the Radio and Geoastronomy Division, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), he/she will conceive, design, develop and implement a unique and original global network of millimeter telescopes to probe supermassive black holes at event horizon scales. He/she will lead SAO's effort and attack fundamental problems in very high angular resolution astronomy that are exceptionally difficult and challenging with solutions representing a major advance in the field.


  1. Direct the design, development, test and installation of complex radio astronomy instrumentation for the SMA, Greenland Telescope, and provide leadership at the national and international levels for the global Event Horizon Telescope system.
  2. Conceive, formulate and conduct original and cutting-edge independent research with particular emphasis on very high angular resolution observations of radio emission from cosmic sources, especially supermassive black holes at event horizon scales using VLBI techniques at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths.
  3. Demonstrate leadership in the research field as evidenced by the presentation of major talks at scientific meetings and conferences, service on scientific and technical review committees, and publications in scientific journals.
  4. Raise funds from external agencies to support parts of research program.
  5. Participate in education and public outreach programs. Guide and advise undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in research in very high angular resolution observations of radio emission from cosmic sources at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. 


Minimum Education Requirements:
A) Degree in one or 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.  

Specialized Experience: One year of directly related experience (Federal or other) equivalent to GS-15. Specialized experience would include activities such as directing an international collaboration to develop and operate a global network of radio telescopes for astrophysical research, publications of original research on supermassive black holes at event horizon scales using Very Long Baseline Interferometry, and leadership of  proposals to external sponsors such as the National Science Foundation to support technical and scientific development of Very Long Baseline Interferometry at millimeter wavelengths.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

There is no education substitution for this position.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Important Note:

The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

Application Procedures:  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.

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