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Job Title:
Astrophysicist (Technical Assistant) IS 1330, Grade 7; $52,527 - $68,285 per year
Type of Position:
Trust Fund (non-federal) Indefinite
Division/Department:
Facility:
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. Selection is to be made at grade 7. The employee may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher grade level upon the recommendation of the supervisor based on position classification requirements and satisfactory employee performance and qualifications.

Summary: 

This is the position of Astrophysicist (Technical Assistant) at the developmental trainee level in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The position is split 50/50 between the Chandra Director’s Office and the Science Data System Planning groups. At the developmental trainee level, assignments combine the performance of productive work with orientation and supervised on-the-job training.

Duties:

  1. Develop, update and maintain web-based material concerning the Chandra X-ray Observatory and its use for scientific observations under the supervision of a staff scientist. This may include posting or updating web pages containing information on the Chandra instruments, how to propose for science observations, how to determine the status of observations, how to download observations and how to analyze the data for scientific research.
  2. Provide technical assistance to Chandra scientists and observers worldwide concerning the Chandra X-ray Observatory and its use for scientific research. This frequently involves researching information from CXC web pages and/or staff and/or working with science data or software and relaying it to the observer via the web, email, or in person. It may also involve troubleshooting science datasets or software and tracking software bugs.
  3. Assist in the management of science proposals and information and provide technical support throughout the Chandra CfP cycle. Activities relating to the management of proposals may entail testing and updating documentation, answering questions from users specific to writing research proposals, ensuring receipt of proposals, reviewing proposals for errors in content or format, making correctly formatted proposals available to CXC staff and Peer Review participants, and assisting in the sorting and scientific classification process of proposals.
  4. Assist in the overall Chandra outreach program to the scientific and general community. This involves helping organize the Chandra presence at scientific (for example, AAS, HEAD or APS) or outreach conferences, interacting with the Chandra science community and the public and supporting computer demonstrations
  5. Test new or updated software in preparation for its release to the astronomical community. Report errors and provide input for documentation to ensure that products and their documentation are user-friendly. This may include software for science data analysis, science proposal planning and submission and data search and retrieval.
  6. Provide assistance and support to scientists at professional meetings related to CXO, including computer demonstrations, technical support, and assistance in preparing and/or presenting papers or talks.
  7. Perform other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

Basic Requirements:

A Degree in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. 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. The coursework must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics.

OR

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 7: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 5 level in the normal line of progression for the occupation.  Specialized experience is an experience that has equipped the applicant with the competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, such as basic knowledge of some astronomical software packages and programming languages. Or the experience in document writing or supporting users.

OR Completion of one year of graduate level education 

OR Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). 

For SAA requirements, please go to the OPM website: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=General-Policies

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at:  http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/IORs/gs1300/1330.htm 

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

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

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

 

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